- Alexander Povetkin knocked Dillian Whyte out in the fifth round of a “Fight Camp” bout Saturday.
- The result delighted a number of prominent people in boxing, with fellow heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. laughing at Whyte’s loss and promoter Bob Arum bodied the beaten fighter’s focus.
- Later, when Povetkin returned to Russia, he was treated to a hero’s welcome at the airport.
- It is likely a rematch will be booked, with Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn saying: “We’ll look to make that before the end of the year.”
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Prominent people in boxing are gloating after the British heavyweight Dillian Whyte suffered a brutal knockout loss Saturday.
Whyte, 32, dropped his “Fight Camp” opponent Alexander Povetkin in the fourth round with a left hook and an uppercut, and with two knockdowns banked he appeared to be in the ascendancy of the bout.
But disaster then struck for the Matchroom Sport fighter as Povetkin regained his composure in the corner between rounds, and came out in the fifth with a methodical plan to disguise a chin-bound uppercut behind a feint for a left hook to the body.
The result was a win in which Whyte was down and out in an open-air ring built on the gardens of Matchroom’s headquarters in England.
And people online couldn’t be happier.
Andy Ruiz Jr. posted a laughing emoji on Twitter almost instantly.
— AndyRuizjr (@Andy_destroyer1) August 22, 2020
Ruiz and Whyte fought in separate bouts at the same event last year, with the Londoner out-pointing Mariusz Wach on the undercard of the Mexican’s loss to Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this year, Whyte lobbied for a fight with Ruiz which would have apparently earned the former heavyweight champion a $US5 million payday.
He then downplayed Ruiz’s accomplishments in combat sports by saying he is a one-and-done champion, and had achieved all he was ever going to.
Whyte’s conclusive loss at the weekend left Ruiz elated. “I was so happy that Whyte f—— got his arse knocked the f— out,” Ruiz said in a video, as reported by Boxing Scene.
“You know why? Because he doesn’t have respect for the fighters, that’s what gets me pissed off.”
One of boxing’s most powerful promoters also bodied Whyte
Ruiz was not the only one in the industry to seemingly celebrate.
Bob Arum, the 88-year-old founder and CEO of the Las Vegas-based boxing powerhouse Top Rank, also added insult to Whyte’s injury.
Arum, who represents a number of heavyweights of his own including the WBC champion Tyson Fury, said Whyte was distracted by out-of-the-ring issues – notably chasing a mandated shot to challenge Fury, as he had been the No.1 contender in the WBC’s rankings for a long time.
“Dillian Whyte was so busy fighting for his WBC mandatory position that he didn’t see Povetkin’s uppercut, which knocked him cold on his arse,” Arum, 88, tweeted.
Dillian Whyte was so busy fighting for his WBC mandatory position that he didn’t see Povetkin’s uppercut, which knocked him cold on his ass.
— Bob Arum (@BobArum) August 22, 2020
Happy to use the opportunity to deliver a one-two blow to his promotional rival Eddie Hearn, the group managing director of Matchroom Sport said his fighter, Kubrat Pulev, would be next to upset another of Hearn’s clients – the unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
“Pulev will KO Joshua next,” Arum said. “London Bridges are falling.”
As boxing tried to turn Whyte to a zero, Povetkin became a hero
The reaction to Whyte was a contrast to how Povetkin was treated.
The Russian, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist and former champion of the “regular” version of the WBA heavyweight championship, built a respected career as a pro because of only two losses in 39 fights – to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013 and Anthony Joshua five years later.
Though Povetkin had solid victories over Ruslan Chagaev, Marco Huck, and Carlos Takam, it is likely the stunning knockout win over Whyte that will go down as his signature win.
And when he returned to Russia from Britain, he was given a reminder of how his country treats its winners.
Check this out:
This is how Alexander Povetkin was greeted when he returned to Russia today after knocking out Dillian Whyte ????????????
???? Russian Boxing Federation pic.twitter.com/yJSAeg8cLu
— Boxing on BT Sport ???? (@BTSportBoxing) August 23, 2020
With the win, Povetkin advanced his record to 36 wins (25 knockouts) against two losses and one draw.
Whyte saw his record drop to 27 wins (18 knockouts) against two losses, but could have a chance to avenge the defeat, as Hearn is plotting a rematch later this year.
Matchroom added a rematch clause in the Whyte vs. Povetkin bout agreement, meaning a Whyte defeat could spark a second fight should the team wish to exercise it – and exercise it they shall.
“We’ll look to make that before the end of the year and it’s a huge fight,” Hearn told Sky Sports.