Whyte vows to avenge Povetkin shock

➤ Bri­tish heavy­weight will get re­match af­ter knock­out de­feat ➤ Loss could has­ten Joshua and Fury uni­fi­ca­tion show­down

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Gareth A Davies BOX­ING COR­RE­SPON­DENT in Brent­wood

Dil­lian Whyte will ex­er­cise his right to a re­match with Alexan­der Povetkin for the World Box­ing Coun­cil in­terim heavy­weight ti­tle af­ter his plans to meet the win­ner of the Tyson Fury-Deon­tay Wilder fight were scup­pered by a bru­tal knock­out in Brent­wood on Satur­day.

It was a stun­ning turn­around by Povetkin, whose left up­per­cut in the fifth round ended a com­pelling con­test. Whyte had looked on course for vic­tory af­ter the 40-yearold – who has lost only to Wladimir Kl­itschko and An­thony Joshua in nu­mer­ous world ti­tle chal­lenges – was down twice in the fourth round. Yet heavy­weight box­ing was ever thus. One punch can change the course of his­tory – and this was a beauty.

Whyte, hav­ing out­boxed the for­mer Olympic cham­pion by us­ing his jab ef­fec­tively and un­set­tling him with body shots, had his am­bi­tions and senses taken from him in an act of heavy­weight artistry that re­versed the course of the con­test. It was a punch, and end­ing, that will live long in the mem­ory and will be re­played over and again.

Whyte was as shocked as the few in at­ten­dance, but had re­gained his com­po­sure when he as­sessed the fight yes­ter­day. “I was boss­ing it, but I got clocked, it’s heavy­weight box­ing,” said the man who had suf­fered a sim­i­larly spec­tac­u­lar blow in the only other de­feat of his ca­reer, against Joshua five years ago.

Povetkin ad­mit­ted that he had planned the coun­ter­punch in train­ing, hav­ing seen the mis­take on footage. But Whyte re­mained up­beat. “It’s not like I got beat up round af­ter round, I got clocked, that’s all. He dipped low, I shot the hook, he came with the up­per­cut and that was it.

“I’ll have a cou­ple weeks’ rest and get straight back in the gym. It’s not like I need to im­prove on any­thing re­ally. I was a lit­tle bit an­noyed be­cause it was a silly mis­take, I’ve blocked that punch 100 times in train­ing.”

Cer­tainly, by putting the WBC in­terim belt and his po­si­tion in the heavy­weight divi­sion on the line,

Whyte has ar­guably shown what seems in­evitable un­less the big­gest names are go­ing to sit out of the sport while au­di­ences are un­able to at­tend due to the coro­n­avirus cri­sis.

Had the lack of a crowd af­fected Whyte, now a fan favourite? “I have no re­grets, it was a great fight,” he said. “Povetkin did well, I know I can beat him, I know I could beat him. I showed that from round one. From round one I was get­ting on to him, but he’s very ex­pe­ri­enced.

“His cor­ner was on the verge of pulling him out and he pulled out one of the punches of his ca­reer. But that’s heavy­weight box­ing, it’s full of drama, ups and downs. I’m still one of the top heavy­weights around and I’m still learn­ing. A harsh mis­take, but it’s all good.

“The main thing is we’ve got a re­match, we’re go­ing to ex­er­cise the re­match, and try to get it done by the end of the year.”

Whyte’s de­feat could also has­ten the con­test be­tween Fury and Joshua, should they both beat their next op­po­nents. Both have said they want to de­fend their re­spec­tive world ti­tle belts this year. Fury, prior to Whyte’s loss, was fac­ing a WBC manda­tory chal­lenge from the Lon­doner, be­fore mov­ing on to Joshua, who holds the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion, World

Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion belts. Ed­die Hearn told The Daily Tele­graph yes­ter­day: “Right now, rather than look­ing at AJ [Joshua] against Fury, I feel for Dil­lian. I’m gut­ted – shell-shocked even – for him. He put it all on the line, took the risk, and it back­fired.

“But I’m con­vinced Dil­lian will win the re­match, which will be a huge fight, be­cause he was con­trol­ling this un­til he was caught in the fifth round.”

Hearn, The Tele­graph understand­s, will be look­ing to stage ma­jor fights later this year at the Royal Al­bert Hall, as well as the O2 Arena.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.