Former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew believes his friend, Dillian Whyte, will be staking his career when he faces Alexander Povetkin in a rematch.
Whyte, who lost his WBC mandatory position in the process, was brutally knocked out by Povetkin on Saturday night at Matchroom's Fight Camp in Brentwood.
Whyte was up on the cards and scored two knockdowns in the fourth round, but then he was knocked out cold by a Povetkin uppercut in the fifth.
Bellew ended the career of David Haye, after knocking out the former heavyweight champion in back to back fights.
Whyte finds himself in a similar position, as he's exercising an immediate rematch clause to fight Povetkin for a second time in the fall.
Another knockout loss, against a 41-year-old Povetkin, could spell the end for Whyte's run as a top contender.
“I think there’s adjustments that need to be made on his part and I’ll speak to him. He definitely needs to make changes and there’s just a few other little things he needs to learn. But I definitely believe Dillian Whyte will still get to the final destination and become a heavyweight champion of the world," Bellew told Talk Sport.
“Just the right opponents at the right time. We’ve gotta remember, 1,000 days he’s been waiting to challenge for the WBC world title. And for 800 of them days Deontay Wilder’s been the world champion – a man who didn’t want to face Dillian Whyte, didn’t wanna know. He was facing taxi drivers instead of facing Dillian Whyte.
“It’s wrong what’s been done to the lad, but he’s now in this very strange position where he’s gotta go into the rematch and his career is on the line. I believe Dillian will beat Povetkin. I think he needs to go in there and perform basically the same. Just, when you go in for the final finish, you’ve got to be alert and aware.”