Dillian Whyte’s guaranteed shot at the WBC heavyweight title in early 2021 went to dust on Saturday, when Alexander Povetkin knocked him out in the fifth round on a massive uppercut.
But the 32-year-old Whyte (27-2, 18 KO) says he doesn’t regret taking a dangerous fight even with a lot on the line, and expects to come back strong:
“I have no regrets. It was a great fight and Povetkin did well. I know I can beat him, I showed that from round one. Obviously he is very experienced. His corner was on the verge of pulling him out. But he pulled out one of the best punches of his career. That’s heavyweight boxing, full of drama, ups and downs. I didn’t rush him in the fourth round because he is dangerous - when he’s hurt he swings big punches. ... I’m still one of the top heavyweights around. It’s not like I’m old or beaten up. I’m still learning. I learned from a harsh mistake. I’m still the same me, ready to go, I can’t wait to get back in there.”
It’s expected that Whyte and Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KO) will have a rematch by the end of 2020, with Whyte having a contractual clause to do so. The current plan is to do it in December.
Can Povetkin do it again? Will Whyte bounce back strong? He’s not just gabbing here, and he’s not crazy — Whyte was in control of that fight, had dropped Povetkin twice in the fourth round, and just got caught with a perfect shot. He probably will still be the favorite in the second fight, but there is no guarantee. Clearly.