Dillian Whyte was knocked out in sensational style by Alexander Povetkin during Saturday night’s WBC heavyweight world eliminator at Matchroom Fight Camp. The Brixton fighter was putting his WBC world title shot on the line against the Russian, but will now be left to pick up the pieces and mount another challenge on the heavyweight ladder.
Whyte went into the fight as the mandatory challenger for the WBC title, with Tyson Fury set to defend the belt against Deontay Wilder at some point later this year.
The Brit started well, putting the 40-year-old Russian down twice in the fourth round with a pair of brutal left-hand shots.
The first, a beautiful short left hook, sent Povetkin spinning on his way to the canvas, and the second – a left uppercut – left him on the verge of being stopped.
But in the next round, he came out swinging and clearly knew he was in trouble, but managed to land a ‘Hail Mary’ punch on the chin of Whyte.
Whyte barely hit the canvas before the fight was waved off, and was immediately given medical attention inside the ring.
Povetkin was warned against celebrating before Whyte regained consciousness, a clear indication of how serious the knockout blow was.
Whyte, who waited for over 1,000 days as the WBC’s number one ranked heavyweight challenger without getting a title shot, eventually rose to his feet and was accompanied out of the ring, heading straight back into the Matchroom offices.
The fight had started well for Whyte, who came out putting in some of the best boxing of his career.
However, speaking after the fight, Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed there was a rematch clause in place.
“We have a rematch clause,” he said.
“The first thing Whyte said to me on the way out the ring was ‘give me that rematch’.
“We will exercise the rematch clause and do that before the end of the year.”