For the primary four rounds of Dillian Whyte’s bout with Alexander Povetkin in August 2020, all was getting to plan. Then, with only one punch from Povetkin, everything changed. Whyte had spent quite 1,000 days because the WBC’s mandatory challenger for the heavyweight championship but lost that status — and therefore the WBC interim belt — when Povetkin landed a brutal uppercut that had Whyte out cold before he even hit the canvas.
The two men are now set to rematch on Saturday (3 p.m. ET, DAZN) at Europa Point Sports Complex in Gibraltar. Upsets in boxing are rarely left alone without the favored fighter given an opportunity to urge right, after all.
Whyte was biding his time for an attempt at becoming heavyweight world champion, a chance that was unlikely to return any time soon with a logjam of potential superfights within the division involving Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. But he appeared to be able to remain in his position after demolition Povetkin twice within the fourth round of their first meeting. It seemed the 41-year-old Povetkin wasn’t destined to ascertain the scorecards, including have his hand raised at the top of the fight.
Just 30 seconds into Round 5, Povetkin slipped a punch, dipped to the left and unloaded with an uppercut that sent Whyte crashing to the canvas to attain the large upset.
Povetkin has only lost twice in his pro career, both coming when he received an opportunity to fight for the planet title. He first lost a choice to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013 before being knocked out by Anthony Joshua in 2018. Another win against Whyte would keep Povetkin within the search for one final shot at world championship glory before he steps faraway from the game .
This card might not be that deep, but it’s some interesting fights for the U.K. fans to urge invested in. Ted Cheeseman is back when he takes on James Metcalf during a super welterweight bout. Cheeseman, 25, has had a wild career over the last two years. He’s amassed a 1-2-1 record while challenging for British and European super welterweight titles. Now, he takes on Metcalf for the once more vacant British super welterweight title.
Fight card, odds
Alexander Povetkin (c) +280 vs. Dillian Whyte -360, WBC interim heavyweight championship
James Metcalf -175 vs. Ted Cheeseman +150, super welterweight
Chris Kongo -270 vs. Michael McKinson +220, welterweight
Fabio Wardley vs. Eric Molina, heavyweight
Erik Pfeifer vs. Nick Webb, heavyweight
Youssef Khoumari vs. Kane Baker, super featherweight
Campbell Hatton vs. Jesus Ruiz, lightweight
The reality is that Whyte is just the higher boxer in 2021. Povetkin landed a near-perfect clock in the primary meeting, but boxing doesn’t often let a Cinderella story rest and mandatory rematch clauses mean promoters are ready to quickly “set things right.” Whyte was handling Povetkin well through the primary four rounds of their fight, though Povetkin had been performing some sneaky work to the body within the early rounds. Povetkin is completely a live underdog once more , especially with Whyte having big defensive liabilities also as Povetkin being a legitimately good boxer. However, Povetkin is coming off a bout with COVID and is sort of up there in years. Whyte can push the pace, work the body and break down Povetkin before a late stoppage — as long as he can avoid that “one perfect punch” again.
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