Alexander Povetkin has claimed that he agreed a fight against Dillian Whyte “a long time ago”.
Whyte is still searching for an opponent for a summer return to continue his march towards a world title fight, and Povetkin is an option.
“Whyte is a good, famous boxer, No 1 in the WBC. That would be an interesting fight,” Povetkin told the official website of his promoters, World of Boxing.
“We agreed to this fight a long time ago, but there was no answer from their side, as far as I know.
“[If] they will give the answer that the battle will be [happening] – I will go against him, why not?”
Whyte’s search for an opponent was narrowed down to five options last week by his promoter Eddie Hearn.
He remains the No 1 ranked contender with the WBC but that governing body’s title will be defended by Deontay Wilder against his mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale on May 18.
Anthony Joshua defends the IBF, WBA ‘super’ and WBO belts against Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller on June 1.
Oleksandr Usyk debuts in the heavyweight division against Carlos Takam on May 25, while Tyson Fury returns later in the summer against Tom Schwarz.
Whyte is awaiting clarification on his status as the WBC’s No 1 ranked heavyweight and wants to be made the mandatory challenger for the winner of Wilder vs Breazeale.
“Plans are in place for his July fight already, but we are also keen to know that we get what we requested from the WBC,” Hearn said last week.
“He wants to have a proper fight, even if he’s mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Breazeale. He wants to have a proper fight and that’s Dillian Whyte all over.
“The names we are looking at are all good fights and like I said, once we get that ruling, we will be pulling the trigger and making that announcement.”
Povetkin has not fought since being stopped by Anthony Joshua last year. He has only been beaten by Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko in 36 fights.
Whyte knocked out Derek Chisora to conclude a stellar 2018 that also included wins over Lucas Browne and Joseph Parker.
“Povetkin was always interested in the fight [against Whyte],” said Vadim Kornilov of the Russian’s promotional team earlier this year.