Dillian Whyte got his revenge tonight in Gibraltar, dropping and stopping Alexander Povetkin in the fourth round to regain — for what it’s worth — the interim WBC heavyweight title.
Whyte (28-2, 19 KO) had the better of Povetkin (36-3-1, 25 KO) from the get-go in this one, and being completely honest, the 41-year-old Povetkin did not look like himself. He had shaky legs from the first round on, stumbling even on glancing blows, and though he took some good shots, he never quite had his legs under him in this fight.
Whyte pounced in the fourth, hurting Povetkin with a couple of shots, then finishing him off. Referee Victor Loughlin was stopping the fight when Povetkin got up, and the Russian’s corner had also thrown the towel.
Without meaning to say anything against Dillian Whyte — it’s not his fault, after all — it’s hard to think a reportedly really hard bout with COVID-19 didn’t have an affect on Povetkin here. There was talk all week that he didn’t quite look himself, and he looked a little soft and unsure on the scales Friday, too. Again, not meant to discount Whyte, who went in there, did his job, looked ferocious, and gets the win. And Povetkin passed medicals and all that, so it is what it is.
And however you take it, Whyte is now right back in that heavyweight mix for sure.
“I could have gotten the finish in the first round, but he’s a tough guy. But I think I could have finished him early,” Whyte said. “If he wants a rematch and they offer me the right money, I’ll fight him again. I shouldn’t have lost the first time. I’m annoyed at myself for losing the first time. I just had to be a bit smarter, that’s all.”
“From the first round I was onto him, but I was, like, ‘Let me relax,’” Whyte added. “He’s an Olympic gold medalist. He’s only lost to me, Joshua, and Klitschko. It shows how good he is, and he’s very strong still. I can be a world champion, I can beat anyone. The rescheduling messed me up, but I was in much better shape this time. He had to pay tonight, man.”
“Eddie needs to get me an easy fight so I can make some damn money and not take so much risk,” Whyte joked. “I want the world title!”
“He manhandled Povetkin from the first round,” promoter Eddie Hearn said. “His world championship dreams were on the line tonight. I’d like to see him box quickly again in the summer, maybe let’s go over to the States.
“We’ve called for the Deontay Wilder fight for a long, long time. He actually DM’d Dillian Whyte and told him, ‘I will never, ever give you that fight.’ Now he got knocked out, he’s calling for the fight with Dillian Whyte. To me, that’s a stadium fight, that’s a colossal fight. But I’d like to get (Whyte) back out quickly in the summer. The ultimate game has been to challenge for the world heavyweight title. Tonight was about getting his career back on track.”