Alexander Povetkin lost to Dillian White in a rematch and lost his interim WBC heavyweight title. At the beginning of the fight, the 41-year-old Russian missed a series of heavy blows and lost for most of the fight, and in the fourth round he was knocked out after a left hook performed by the British. For Povetkin, this defeat was the third in his career.
White was in a desperate situation. If the Russian had already managed to write his name in the history of boxing and achieve many successes, then the Briton was in the middle of his path in sports. And another defeat could, if not put an end to his prospects of becoming an elite fighter, then at least seriously delay his formation in this capacity. Therefore, Dillian tuned in to the battle, as one of the most important in his career, which was confirmed by the words of his manager Eddie Hearn.
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On the eve of the duel, many representatives of the British team noted what significant progress he had achieved since the first meeting in August. Hearn drew attention to the changes in the athlete’s psychology, and coach Harold Knight promised that in Gibraltar he would not repeat mistakes and appear as a new version of himself. Dillian himself praised his own physical strength and threatened to knock out Povetkin. Apparently, similar statements were imbued with bookmakers, who called White the clear favorite in the return battle (- 350 / + 275).
It is worth noting that White really came to the rematch in the best shape, which became noticeable even during the weigh-in. In comparison with the previous fight, he lost two and a half kilograms (112 instead of 114.5).
Perhaps some of White’s confidence in White could be attributed to Povetkin’s recent troubles. At the end of 2020, the Russian Knight suffered the coronavirus, which could well have affected his physical fitness. He has had stamina issues before, and the aftermath of COVID-19 could have forced him to force the tide of battle right from the start. As for the difference in weight, it has noticeably decreased in comparison with the first fight. Alexander gained 1.9 kilograms (103.5).
The first round turned out to be discouraging for Povetkin. From the first seconds it seemed that he went into battle too “charged”, as a result of which he acted less prudently than usual. The Russian boxer did not manage to attack from a long distance, and attempts to get to the close one were often unprepared and punished with an oncoming jab.
It became quite alarming at the moment when Povetkin’s next reckless swoop was met with a powerful right cross. Alexander staggered, struggling to keep his balance for the next ten seconds, fighting off Dillian’s attacks along the way. The Briton surpassed the Russian in everything, and before the end of the three minutes he hit several more times – both on the head and on the body.
Even in the course of the first round, it became clear that White’s team was not cunning, talking about the progress of their ward. The applicant worked on the errors and thoroughly analyzed the manner and style of fighting the interim champion. The hard jab allowed Dillian to keep Alexander at the right distance and not allow him to make his trademark jumps on the jump, and the right overhand hacked the defenses without any problems. An additional advantage was the difference in weight, which allowed White to dominate in the clinch, and at times literally throw Povetkin away from him.
Nevertheless, in the second round, the Russian managed to slightly equalize the position in the ring. Yes, the Briton still had the advantage, but it was no longer so clear. And in the second half of the segment, Povetkin managed to carry out almost the first successful combination: the trademark left at the jump allowed him to overcome White’s defense, and close up he managed to convey several hooks on the body.
The beginning of the third segment also inspired optimism. Povetkin stopped fussing and began to act more measuredly. Although he did not seize the initiative, he began to respond more and more often, and in one of the episodes he even provoked White’s fall. Dodging another foray by the rival, the Briton slipped and found himself on the floor. However, the referee saw everything and did not open the countdown. And after a few seconds, Dillian took revenge – the right cross towards him almost sent Alexander to the canvas.
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The first half of the fourth round turned out to be less promising. It was still not possible to pick up the keys to the enemy’s defense, and reddening had already formed on the left side of the forehead and cheek from the missed blows. Dillian had the advantage, and in the end he sent the champion to the canvas. The most powerful deuce threw the Russian to the ropes, and the next three blows completed the job. The decisive one turned out to be a crushing left hook, though much less effective than in their first confrontation.
Povetkin found himself in a heavy knockout, but even at that moment he did not give up. He got to his feet with great difficulty and was ready to fight on, but the referee decided to protect the athlete’s health. It is noteworthy that the Russian team also thought so, throwing a towel into the ring at the same second. White took a confident revenge, but at the end he showed respect for his opponent. The Briton brought a stool and sat the shocked opponent on it.
Povetkin lost to White and lost the WBC interim heavyweight title. For Alexander, this defeat was the third in his career and only the second early. Previously, only the current holder of the IBF, WBA and WBO belts, Anthony Joshua, managed to knock him out.
Source site russian.rt.com