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Q&A: Dillian Whyte

The Brixton heavyweight on headlining Matchroom Fight Camp and the long wait for a WBC world-title shot

How’s camp in Portugal ahead of this month’s clash with Alexander Povetkin in Essex?

I’ve been out here since March, getting ready for my return to the ring and focusing fully on training properly. Most of my team have been here with me the whole time but me and Mark Tibbs have gone our separate ways so I’ve got Xav Miller as my new head coach for this fight.

Mark has obviously not been out in Portugal with you. What ended the relationship?

Things didn’t work out for whatever reason. I respect Mark — I learnt a lot from him. Now I’ve got Xav and he’s very experienced.

At 40, Povetkin is still going strong. How much of a danger is the Russian as you chase a world-title shot?

Povetkin is experienced — he’s won everything as an amateur and everything as a professional. He’s a great fighter and his age doesn’t even come into it. Don’t forget, two years ago he gave (Anthony) Joshua hell at Wembley Stadium.

How do you feel about being the first British boxer to fight on pay-per-view behind closed doors?

I’m open to new things, I want to fight and it feels like doing my bit for the fans and for the people. They can have a night in and see a big heavyweight event. You can take sport for granted — I’ve realised that during this time — and people can use sport for therapy so I hope we can put on a real show for everyone watching at home.

You recently clocked up 1,000 days as the WBC’s No.1 challenger. What’s the latest on getting a world-title shot?

I’ve been waiting for a long time — it’s stressful. I can’t say much about what’s happening with the WBC as there are legal proceedings under way but I want to get my shot at the world title proper. My upbringing has taught me to be patient, it’s about never giving up.

Will you still get your shot by next February if Wilder and Fury fight for a third time later this year?

I don’t know what’s going on, people say Wilder’s gone off the radar so let’s see but he’s that kind of guy. A bit of a strange guy. A colourful character. It might just be he’s gone into training camp.

Do we need to see a Fury-Wilder trilogy fight?

I don’t think so — Tyson won both fights in my opinion, in the second one he decided the issue. But it’s a contractual situation and I bet he wishes he hadn’t agreed on a mandatory rematch for Wilder now. I don’t even think Wilder really wants it but he has to take the fight.

And will you get your shot at revenge against Anthony Joshua one day?

I’d love to fight him again if I can get Povetkin out of the way. These are the sort of fights I need in my career. What is the point of easy fights?

Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin is on Saturday, August 22. Order on Sky Box Office.