Heavyweight hero Alexander Povetkin has reportedly returned to light training after hospitalization from Covid-19, but the man he spectacularly knocked out has to wait for a rematch while his recovery continues.

British bully Dillian Whyte, whose veteran Povetkin lay on the floor in England at a knockout tournament of the year in August, bizarre claims earlier this month that his Russian rival faked a positive Covid-19 diagnosis to get a rematch delay.

Povetkin’s agents responded by reiterating that their fighter was in the hospital and offered to send promoter Eddie Hearn’s medical records to prove he was ill when the series escalated amid widespread ridicule of Whyte.

Now the 41-year-old has posted a photo of himself on his feet for the first time in more than a month. Posing next to former champion Denis Lebedev and actor Vladimir Sychyov, he offers happy news to his more than 261,000 Instagram followers.

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Russian news agency Tass quoted a source as saying, “Alexander has recovered; he is feeling fine now.

“He’s starting to train gradually, but not at full strength. It has not yet been determined whether the fight with Dillian Whyte will take place in January.”

Whyte is desperate for another shot at Povetkin after his surprise loss on home soil that seriously undermined his hopes of winning the title next year.

“Personally, I don’t think he has Covid,” Whyte stormed, claiming that Povetkin suffered “a lot of damage” in the first four rounds of the scrap behind closed doors.

“He took a lot of time after the first fight. Although I was stopped, I immediately returned to training and immediately got involved again.”

The Londoner’s conclusion seemed unlikely as the long-lived povetkin was knocked out only once in his career against multiple champion Anthony Joshua in 2018.

Whyte had won all four rounds on the scorecards and knocked Povetkin down twice in the fourth, but the club uppercut the “White Lion” ended the fight with didn’t suggest he’d suffered badly.

“Good morning and have a nice day,” said Povetkin in his new post, telling his fans that he had visited a sauna and that his comeback would go “according to plan”.

Russian UFC legend Oleg Taktarov commented on Sychev’s side: “Three heroes.”

Whyte remained in provocative form the day before his fight with Povetkin, telling an interviewer that former WBC champ Deontay Wilder was a “****” and a “piece of shit”.

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