Rumble on the Rock sees fighters staying on £143million super-yacht as Gibraltar hosts huge heavyweight clash
Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin will find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place when they meet in their highly-anticipated rematch on Saturday night.
The first fight took place at the Matchroom HQ in Essex last summer but they have now swapped Eddie Hearn’s back garden for Gibraltar – dubbed ‘The Rumble on the Rock’. The government has even commissioned a commemorative £2 coin to celebrate the bout.
British heavyweight Whyte was shocked by the Russian in August last year when he was caught by a heavy right hand at the start of the fifth round and knocked out.
The two were set to meet in a rematch in November but Povetkin tested positive for coronavirus and it had to be postponed.
Their second clash was then supposed to usher in the new year but, at the start of January, boxing was suspended amid the growing coronavirus cases in the UK.
Promoter Hearn then confirmed news that the fight had been pushed back by three weeks on February 20 and moved to Gibraltar.
BETTING SPECIAL: GET WHYTE AT 6/1 OR POVETKIN AT 20/1 IN HUGE ODDS BOOST
He said: “In the current environment we are always having to think on our feet.
“We did everything to try and make March 6 happen, but with the new travel restrictions it was impossible.
“Now we have something outside the box, compelling, and a unique setting for one of the heavyweight fights of the year.
“Roll on the Rumble on the Rock!”
Matchroom have put plenty of measures in place to make sure the fight goes ahead on Saturday, with the main card starting at 10:30pm.
Travelling to Gibraltar
Matchroom ensured everyone travelled to the country in style by chartering jets to take domestic fighters and staff there.
Whyte has been based in Portugal, which caused problems initially as travel restrictions would have disrupted his training schedule.
That’s when the decision was made to move it to Gibraltar.
Hearn told iFTV: “I spoke to Team Povetkin and they understood – they pulled out previously with COVID. They were happy with Gibraltar. The sports minister there and the chief minister are absolutely over the moon.”
The British Boxing Board of Control will still be the commission in control of the event.
“There has never been a boxing event in Gibraltar – so there is a lot they have got to be happy with,” said Hearn. “We’ve got to bring in the right doctors and medical team, make sure everything is set up with local hospitals.
“The board will be across that. That is what they are elected to do. We don’t want to bring in a new commission which has never done a big fight before. It’s British territory as well.”
Whyte and the Matchroom fighters have been staying in a £143milion super-yacht ahead of the fight. Povetkin is holed up in a different hotel, to avoid any awkward exchanges around the breakfast table.
The yacht stretches 465 feet and is seven stories high, making it one of the biggest yachts on the planet.
The Sunborn Hotel boasts 189 rooms from twin-rooms to the penthouse suite – with some costing as much as £2,000 a night.
There are several restaurants on board and it also features its very own casino, spa and fitness suite.
It’s almost reminiscent to yacht Conor McGregor stayed on before he was beaten by Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi in January.
Sky Sports reporter Matthew Macklin made that comparison to Whyte in an interview on Monday, but the Body Snatcher was not overly impressed.
The fight will be held at the Europa Point Sports Complex and the location is stunning.
Hearn posted pictures on Instagram showing how impressive the surroundings to the venue are.
It has a capacity of just over 8,000 and is the national stadium of Gibraltar. The right will take place indoors and 500 will be in attendance, with lockdown restrictions eased in Gibraltar and the population all having been vaccinated.