Dillian Whyte prepared to "risk" bout as mum offers inspiration during coronavirus pandemic

Dillian Whyte opens up about knife crime in BBC series 'I've Been There'

Dillian Whyte is willing to "take the risk" of boxing during the coronavirus pandemic and is using his mother as inspiration to prepare for any bout.

The British heavyweight is due to face Russia's Alexander Povetkin in a behind-closed-doors bout on 4 July.

Whyte is training in Portugal and asked his mother, an NHS nurse, to join him, but she refused in order to work.

"The NHS and my mum are doing their bit so I need to do mine and put on an event for peoples' morale," said Whyte.

The 32-year-old told BBC Sport: "One of my biggest fears is showing weakness for my mother to see. She has shown incredible strength. She is putting her life at risk for people she doesn't know. How can I top that? This is nothing compared to what she has to do.

"It's a stressful time for everyone, a dark time. I am worried for my mum. When I said stop working, come to Portugal with me she said 'no, I have a duty'. When she said that to me I thought I have to do more.

"Hopefully by me showing resilience, training and being motivated someone somewhere will say 'he doesn't know when he's fighting but he's motivated'. If I can give five or six people that motivation I have done my part. That is all I can do at the moment.

"In hard times we need to be brave. Fighting behind closed doors there's major risks. I'm used to fighting in big arenas. Everything is different. This is me doing my bit. I'm willing to take the risk."

Whyte on gang violence

Whyte's bout with 40-year-old Povetkin is unlikely to take place on 4 July given British boxing bosses have said fight nights are realistically more likely to take place in late July or early August.

Away from the ring, Whyte has appeared in BBC iPlayer series 'I've Been There'.

Whyte was stabbed three times and shot twice before focusing on a career in boxing. During the show he visits two aspiring teenage boxers in south London who have also experienced gang violence.

"There's nothing cool about those things," Whyte added. "I was once in their position and thought I was cool but when I look back I was a fool.

"They said they understand and I hope they do. We have all been young before and when you're young it goes in one ear and out the other. It took me a long time. One of my main goals is to try and help guys like them, to help them understand there's always another way.

"You don't need to have come from a good home or have backing or support to be somebody. If you have the right determination, hard work, discipline and desire you can get there. It's a lot harder but you can get there."