Dillian Whyte floored in the fifth by Alexander Povetkin despite an early lead
Dillian Whyte (age 32) was the clear favorite in Saturday’s fight against Alexander Povetkin (age 40). By most accounts, Whyte was in the lead after dominating the first four rounds of the fight. That all changed when, despite being floored twice in the previous round, Povetkin was able to land a spectacular left uppercut and floor Whyte.
“I didn’t think I would finish the fight like this,” said Povetkin after the fight. “But after four rounds, I still felt okay, I still felt confident even after the knockdowns.”
Saturday’s fight started with an excellent performance from Whyte. He was able to set the pace and keep Povetkin at bay with jabs and power punches to his body. Whyte’s performance and appearance seemed massively improved over his last bout against Mariusz Wach in December of last year.
Before the fight, Whyte had been the WBC’s No. 1 heavyweight contender for almost three years. This, alongside his WBC interim championship, was what he put on the line to fight Povetkin in order to become Tyson Fury’s mandatory challenger.
Whyte kept on Povetkin with sharp body blows, and the more the fight progressed, the more Povetkin began to show his age. Whyte was able to roll, catch and dodge a large number of Povetkin’s jabs and power punches while Povetkin took multiple blows from Whyte. Whyte was able to knock down the Russian twice in the fourth round. Povetkin took a knee with the first, but the second knockdown knocked him off his feet.
Thirty seconds into the fifth round, Povetkin lashed out at Whyte with a perfectly placed uppercut, which put a quick and succinct end to a previously one-sided fight.
“I can’t quite believe it,” said Eddie Hearn, Whyte’s promoter. “When the punch landed, I felt like I was in some dream, The fight was over virtually [in the fourth round]... but this is the drama of the sport we love.”
Hearn also spoke of a rematch between Whyte and Povetkin.
“We have a clause,” explained Hearn. “And Dillian said as we were coming back from the ring: ‘Give me that rematch, give me that rematch’.
Given how this fight played out before the uppercut, it will be interesting to imagine how a rematch between these two would play out. As for me? My money’s on Whyte.