Whyte will exercise Povetkin rematch clause – Hearn

Eddie Hearn says Dillian Whyte will exercise the rematch clause in a bid to avenge his shocking defeat by Alexander Povetkin on Saturday night.

The Russian (35-2-1) shattered Whyte’s world-title dreams with a beautiful uppercut early in round five to stop the 32-year-old from Brixton.

It was a devastating turn of events for Whyte, who had appeared in total control of the bout for the first four rounds. Indeed he had scored two knockdowns of his own in the fourth – the first courtesy of two rights followed by a left hook, the second from a lovely left uppercut.

But Povetkin wasn’t finished and came out to close the show in sensational style just minutes later.

While a victory for Whyte would have seen him meet the winner of Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3 for the WBC world heavvyweight title next, his promoter Eddie Hearn says Povetkin won’t get that mandatory title shot.

Instead Hearn says Whyte will exercise the rematch clause they have immediately, and hopefully will meet Povetkin again before the year is out.

He told Sky Sports Box Office: “I can’t quite believe it. When the punch landed I felt like I was almost in a dream. The fight was almost over. But in heavyweight boxing one punch can change everything.

“Dillian Whyte was in total control and I really felt confident he was about to finish the fight. It is a shock, but we knew how good Alexander Povetkin was. Dillian Whyte had that fight almost in the bag.

“I am pretty much lost for words, speaking to people, and they are the same. We have a rematch clause and the first thing Dillian said was ‘get me that rematch’.

“We will exercise that rematch clause and look to do that fight before the end of the year. But I know that Dillian will come back from this. He will come back, he will rematch Alexander Povetkin.”

What Whyte’s defeat also does is potentially make for an easier route to a huge unification showdown between Fury and Anthony Joshua.

“One of the stumbling blocks to making that bout (Fury vs Joshua) early in 2021 was the mandatory. I guess that frees up Tyson Fury to fight Anthony Joshua after the Wilder fight.”

While Fury must beat Wilder in their trilogy fight, Joshua must dispose of Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in a defence of his IBF, WBA and WBO titles.