As part of the Matchroom Boxing “Fight Camp” Series, Brixton’s Dillian Whyte took on the Russian Alexander Povetkin for a chance to challenge WBC Heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury. After a long arduous battle for Whyte to get a mandatory position, and Povetkins attempts to regain his former glory, the two met on Saturday in front of no crowd to settle it.
Whyte, the younger, home fighter, was predicted by all bookies to win pretty comfortably and as the fight began, it appears the experts were right. Dillians long range jab set the tone, establishing distance and knocking back the head of the Russian, who seemed to be looking his age.
As the fight went on, Whyte’s confidence grew and he was able to open up more, throwing power punches and body shots which appeared to take their toll on Povetkin, who at 40 would be expected to struggle with the pace. In the 4th round a breakthrough came when Whyte dropped Povetkin with a 1-2, and then again towards the end of the round with an uppercut, seemingly signalling the end for the veteran.
At the start of the 5th, English fans would have been safe in the knowledge their man was minutes away from landing the big fight and dispatching his opponent, but it was not to be. Despite the ringrust and the weariness, Alexander Povetkin knew all the tricks of the trade, after 2 decades in boxing, he’d spotted a mistake. Whyte was consistently throwing a left hook to the body, but to the trained eye, his dip down to the left before throwing it became a tell. So at the start of the round, as Whyte dipped to his left to throw the increasingly obvious hook to the body, Povetkin reacted and popped a beautifully timed left uppercut, knocking Whyte out cold.
Discussions of a rematch are already well underway, which seems extremely unjust, given Povetkin should now be guaranteed a shot at the WBC title. If their rematch does come to fruition I think it’s anyones to win, who can land the first big shot, although I suspect it may be the seasoned elder.
Challenge Sports Desk