Since 2017, Dillian Whyte has been the clear contender for the WBC Heavyweight TItle. Winning the interim WBC title in 2019, his status was cemented further. A win against an older Alexander Povetkin would have put himself one step closer to gold.
One shot, however, changed all of that in an instant.
During the finale of “Matchroom Fight Camp” in Essex, Povetkin (36-2-1) would knock out Whyte (27-2) in the fifth round. As a result, he is now the interim WBC Heavyweight Champion and the holder of the WBC Diamond Title.
A leaner Whyte opened round one with a jab as Povetkin landed a reaching right. Whyte would land a big left hook, and Povetkin would counter with an inside uppercut. Whyte would focus on the body as he was hitting clean shots to end the round.
Round two saw Povetkin land a left to the body of Whyte, as the latter was keeping his hands tight inside. Povetkin’s punches seemed slower as the round went on as pointed out by the commentary team. He would, however, hit a sharp left hook and a body shot. Povetkin would land a stiff jab while Whyte hit counter combinations. It was clear that Povetkin, although slower, would make this somewhat competitive.
Rounds three and four were all Whyte, as he hit a right hand that rocked Povetkin back. He would hit a jab while Povetkin would look to counter with rights. Whyte would appear to get the clear advantage in round four as he hit three rights and a left hook that brought Povetkin down to one knee. When Povetkin got back up, Whyte landed a big uppercut. Povetkin would look to work the body, but a jab by Whyte pushed Povetkin back. Whyte would land a right and then a huge left uppercut that put Povetkin down again.
“I was pretty confident in the 4th round that, even though I went down twice, it was OK,” Povetkin would say. “It wasn’t too much damage.”
Povetkin would survive the round, and then things took a turn.
Whyte would start round five by hitting left-right combinations. However, Povetkin would manage to hit a left jab, duck a shot by Whyte and then land a vicious left uppercut that had Whyte down for the count. The announce team, Eddie Hearn, Whyte, and those watching around the world were shocked at what they just saw.
Alexander Povetkin was down twice in the previous round …
And then he did this 🤯 pic.twitter.com/9mgk7EKRbS
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) August 22, 2020
Povetkin is now 2-1-1 in his last four fights. He also earned the 25th knockout win of his career. Hearn stated after the fight that Whyte would be exercising his rematch clause. As a result, it appears that Povetkin will not be getting an automatic shot at the winner of Tyson Fury v. Deontay Wilder III.
“I was watching his fights and taking into account that he was missing uppercuts from the left and from the right,” Povetkin continued. “During my training, I was training on putting combinations around those shots.”
Whyte had his eleven-fight win streak snapped. He has only lost to former and current world champions in Povetkin and Anthony Joshua.
“Can we get the rematch in December? I’m good, I’m good. It’s just one of those things where it just landed didn’t it,” Whyte would say to Hearn. “I was bossing it. It is what it is. Rematch. It’s cool, it’s all good. That’s what boxing is about. Cheers Eddie.”