Dillian Whyte produced a superb performance to avenge that shocking defeat by Alexander Povetkin last August in their eagerly-awaited rematch on Gibraltar on Saturday night.
‘The Body Snatcher’ (now 28-2) stopped Povetkin (36-3-1) in the fourth round of a one-sided showdown. It was a sweet victory some seven months after suffering a knockout loss to the Russian at Matchroom Fight Camp.
It also allowed him to regain the WBC interim world heavyweight title, and put himself back on track for an eventual world-title shot.
Whyte starts fast
Whyte – in excellent shape after coming in some 5lbs lighter than for the first meeting – made an excellent start and had Povetkin hurt inside the first minute. An uppercut sent the Russian across the ring and he was on very wobbly legs for about 30 seconds as Dillian tried to capitalise.
Povetkin did regain his composure and spent the rest of the round trying to land a looping overhand right. Whyte meanwhile continued to box smartly and mixed in a couple of cracking right hands.
The second brought more of the same as Whyte continued to hold sway, boxing effectively behind a spearing jab and following up with a sweet right. Povetkin by contrast was wild in his work as he struggled to gain a foothold in the fight.
Povetkin started the third in better fashion as he started to get into range, but he was stunned by a beautiful right on the counter from Whyte as he tried to move in on ‘The Body Snatcher’. Another lovely right again stiffened Povetkin’s legs as the session came to a close.
If the first three rounds were impressive from Whyte, the fourth was sensational as he closed the show in great style. The Russian was forced to eat right hand after right hand before a beauty late in the session sent him lurching back onto the ropes.
Dillian closes the show
Whyte, who had Povetkin in big trouble in the fourth in their first fight, made no mistake this time. He continued the onslaught before a left hand finally sent the Russian to the canvas. He did beat the count but was clearly in no fit state to continue and referee Victor Loughlin waved it off at 2:39.
Whyte said: “I’m ready to run it back again if he wants it again. I shouldn’t have lost first time. I’m just annoyed, just one of those things. I made a silly mistake and paid for it.
“From the first round I was onto him. I was tempted to go hell for leather in the first round but maybe it wasn’t the smartest thing to do. He’s very strong still.
“I still believe I can be world champion and beat anyone. The reschedule messed with me big time. Stop and start, stop and start.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn meanwhile said: “He manhandled Povetkin from the first round and he never recovered. His world championship dreams were on the line tonight.
“I’d like to see him box again quickly in the summer. We called for the Deontay Wilder fight for a long time. Maybe go over to the States and have a big fight as well.
“We’re now back where we want to be. We regroup and we go again. He’s back on track, I hope the WBC make him mandatory immediately.”
The result also landed a winning prediction for our betting expert, who advised Whyte to win in Rounds 4-6 at tasty odds of 4/1.