The best knockouts are the ones nobody sees coming. The element of surprise is what makes us watch them over and over again, too. Add in some high stakes and it’s pure gold. That’s exactly what boxing fans got with Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte.
Heading into the bout at Matchroom Fight Camp in England, Whyte was WBC’s No. 1-ranked heavyweight and held WBC’s interim heavyweight title for over three years. He hadn’t lost since 2015 and was well on his to getting a world title shot next year.
That all came crashing down in the fifth round Saturday night thanks to a massive left uppercut by Povetkin.
Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte Knockout
Things were looking a little dicey for Alexander Povetkin in Essex after he was knocked down twice in the fourth round by Dillian Whyte. Then, the 40-year-old Russian came back with a vengeance in the fifth and delivered a surprise blow that changed the entire trajectory of heavyweight boxing.
With a victory, Whyte, who had won 11-straight bouts after losing to Anthony Joshua in 2015, was set to face winner of the Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder trilogy fight for the WBC title.
Instead, Povetkin is the WBC interim heavyweight champion and the winner of Fury vs. Wilder could now face Joshua.
“I can’t quite believe it,” Matchroom boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said, via ESPN. “When the punch landed I felt like I was in a dream. After two knockdowns I felt it was over, but this is the drama of heavyweight boxing and one punch completely changed the fight.
“We have a rematch clause, and the first thing Dillian said to me was, ‘Get me that rematch.’ … We’ll exercise that rematch clause. We’ll look to make that before the end of the year, and it’s a huge fight. He will rematch Alexander Povetkin and bring his No. 1 position back to life.”Advertisement
Katie Taylor took down Delfine Persoon by unanimous decision to make her the undisputed world lightweight champion, but the biggest surprise was Povetkin’s win over Whyte.
It was one of the best knockouts of the year, and now Whyte has an even longer road during the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 outbreak to be a title fight contender.