Whyte sent Povetkin to three sides of the ring with three successive blows in the fourth round
Dillian Whyte kept alive his hopes of a heavyweight world title shot by emphatically gaining revenge over Alexander Povetkin with an impressive knockout win in their rematch.
The Briton, 32, showed smart timing from the off in Gibraltar before a decisive attack in the fourth round.
A right hand sent Povetkin backwards, another sent him into the ropes and a left hook floored him heavily.
He found his feet but was rightly stopped to suffer his third loss.
Only Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko had previously beaten Povetkin in 39 fights.
Some questioned if Whyte was right to take an immediate rematch after a horrific knockout defeat by the Russian in August but after four well-crafted rounds, BBC Radio 5 Live commentator Mike Costello said his performance would "reverberate" around the heavyweight division.
"I am just sad I didn't get it finished in the first round," said Whyte. "He is a tough guy but I felt I could have finished it early.
"I want the world title."
Relive the action as Whyte dominates PovetkinRicky Hatton's son Campbell wins on professional debut
Revenge, risk and a wait
- 1 Revenge, risk and a wait
- 2 'Relief and open doors' – what they said…
- 3 'Accomplished and classy'
- 3.1 Comments
- 3.2 Join the conversation
- 3.3 Comment posted by Sheriff, today at 04:12Sheriff
- 3.4 Comment posted by Luciano 666, today at 03:50Luciano 666
- 3.5 Comment posted by ShinyDavidHowell, today at 03:47ShinyDavidHowell
- 3.6 Comment posted by Not my Martyr, today at 03:34Not my Martyr
- 3.7 Comment posted by andrew, today at 03:10andrew
- 3.8 Comment posted by ab, today at 03:01ab
- 3.9 Comment posted by Terry, today at 02:38Terry
- 3.10 Comment posted by goochs 333, today at 02:38goochs 333
- 3.11 Reply posted by Funky, today at 03:03Funky
- 3.12 Comment posted by dependabledennis-606_must_stay, today at 02:33dependabledennis-606_must_stay
- 3.13 Reply posted by Vedrex86, today at 02:37Vedrex86
- 3.14 Comment posted by e3sa, today at 02:22e3sa
- 3.15 Reply posted by Mia San Mia, today at 02:42Mia San Mia
- 3.16 Comment posted by ThatOldG, today at 02:20ThatOldG
- 3.17 Comment posted by U16627255, today at 02:15U16627255
- 3.18 Comment posted by goochs 333, today at 02:10goochs 333
- 3.19 Reply posted by mrjones, today at 02:13mrjones
- 3.20 Comment posted by Alex, today at 02:09Alex
- 3.21 Comment posted by e3sa, today at 02:09e3sa
- 3.22 Comment posted by goochs 333, today at 02:09goochs 333
- 3.23 Comment posted by Nimrod, today at 02:09Nimrod
- 3.24 Comment posted by bogmanstar, today at 02:08bogmanstar
- 3.25 Comment posted by mrjones, today at 02:08mrjones
- 3.26 Reply posted by Alex, today at 02:10Alex
- 3.27 Comment posted by mrjones, today at 02:06mrjones
A heavy left hook ended the contest in round four and gave Whyte his 28th win in 30 fights
Whyte will likely need to wait some time for a world title shot if Joshua and Tyson Fury – who hold all four major belts between them – finalise the details for two successive bouts.
August's loss to the wily and experienced Povetkin ultimately cost Whyte his position in the queue for a title fight and a second defeat would have all but wiped out his status as an elite name in the division.
Such was the significance of the bout for his career, late moves were made to switch it to Gibraltar so that Whyte could avoid the disruption of a 10-day quarantine in a Covid-secure UK fight bubble.
Private planes were chartered for stakeholders and Povetkin. Whyte stayed on a super yacht close to the fight venue. Those attending from the UK signed up to a handful of Covid-19 tests to make hopes of using the obscure fight base become a reality.
Whyte agreed to a cut in his fight purse to deliver the venue switch and when the lights dimmed at the Europa Point Sports Complex he played his part perfectly in front of 500 fans.
In a robe sporting 'RIP Hagler' in tribute to the late middleweight 'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler, Whyte bounced on the spot as his ring walk music played, seemingly bristling with energy as the chance to right wrongs drew closer.
From the bell he kept Povetkin's fierce power at distance and his rival – who contracted Covid-19 late in 2020 – looked shaky on his legs early on, losing his balance even as punches flew past his head.
Whyte crisply landed a jab-right hand combination in the second, and he drove home a well-timed counter right in the third before the fourth saw him ruthlessly strike – the decisive left hook delivered with an arrogance befitting of a final blow.
Whyte has admirably taken risk after risk in choosing opponents. It may still be true that his risk in facing Povetkin in August proves costly to his hopes of landing a title shot.
For 41-year-old Povetkin, retirement now surely looms while for Whyte there are at least exciting possibilities on the horizon again.
This manner of this win shows he is a worthy contender. He has moved on from a brutal setback in the most emphatic way possible.
'Relief and open doors' – what they said…
Whyte was keen to help Povetkin as the Russian recovered from the knockdown in his corner
Promoter Eddie Hearn speaking to Sky Sports: "His world championship dreams were on the line tonight. That was a lot of pressure tonight. Tonight was about getting him back on track. He wasn't going to be denied.
"He man-handled Povetkin, he battered him from pillar to post. We are back where we wanted to be. The aim remains the same, for Dillian to have a shot at the world championship."
BBC Sport boxing correspondent Mike Costello: "The key emotion for Whyte will be relief because of all those doors being closed if he didn't win this evening, in the way that they have now closed for Povetkin.
"This opens up a whole range of opportunities. Yes, he might have to wait for that world title chance but he's used to that. At least now he is back in a position where he can barter on the back of the performance that he's produced tonight.
"He is now once again a significant factor in the heavyweight division."
Natasha Jonas, first female British Olympic boxer, on BBC Radio 5 Live: "The pressure of needing to win and the expectation weighs differently on different fighters and Dillian proved tonight that he can do it."
British trainer Peter Fury on BBC Radio 5 Live: "It was a faultless performance. Povetkin got beat – it wasn't because he was an old man – he got beat fair and square. Whyte has a tremendous left hook, that would have put anyone over."
'Accomplished and classy'
Former world cruiserweight champion Tony BellewWhyte's move to try to help his beaten rival after the stoppage drew praise on social media from the likes of British trainer Dave ColdwellAnother trainer, Joe Gallagher, said he would like to see Whyte face British heavyweight Joe Joyce nextTrainer Shane McGuigan praised Whyte's bravery in taking on an immediate rematchcommentsView Comments94
Join the conversation
94 commentsShowLatestOldestHighest RatedMost RepliedS
Comment posted by Sheriff, today at 04:12Sheriff
04:12Povetkin vs Whyte trilogy in the making?00L
Comment posted by Luciano 666, today at 03:50Luciano 666
03:50Good win, I don’t think he has much to offer for AJ or Fury though. But he has to get a shot eventually.10S
Comment posted by ShinyDavidHowell, today at 03:47ShinyDavidHowell
03:47Great thing about Whyte is he’ll not back away from making a fight happen.
If Joshua and Fury are going to be tied up with each other for a while then there’s an ongoing battle for who’s next. Anyone who’s in that mix could end up fighting Whyte next, and there wouldn’t be an overwhelming favourite either way.10N
Comment posted by Not my Martyr, today at 03:34Not my Martyr
03:34Good win and a brave one , He knew Povetkin could hurt him but took the fight to prove to himself that he can still compete at that level.10A
Comment posted by andrew, today at 03:10andrew
03:10Well Tyson, do you fancy a dance with Dillian?02A
Comment posted by ab, today at 03:01ab
03:01Only one fight in this division to care about…AJ v Fury. Fighters in their prime01T
Comment posted by Terry, today at 02:38Terry
02:38Whyte found success tonight with discipline and a bit of patience – 2 elements he often seemed to fall short on. He got the potent combination of accuracy, timing and power right and kept to a basic combo of jab and right cross to soften Povetkin up. The finish was solid but in part due to an opponent who’d had his golden years and is better off hanging up his gloves. Whyte vs Michael Hunter next11G
Comment posted by goochs 333, today at 02:38goochs 333
02:38Both has been bums. Would nt pay 10 p for this fight. Never mind ppv412F
Reply posted by Funky, today at 03:03Funky
03:03to goochs 333"Both has been bums. Would nt pay 10 p for this fight. Never mind ppv"Funky replied: You go in the ring with them and show these bums up then80More replies (1)downD
Comment posted by dependabledennis-606_must_stay, today at 02:33dependabledennis-606_must_stay
02:33So much negativity.
He had to take the rematch, as for what’s next, aj is going to be busy beating fury and will likely dodge Whyte, so he’s gonna have to fight the loud mouth in America, kick his backside then fight for a vacant title that aj will leave after he retires in two fights time26V
Reply posted by Vedrex86, today at 02:37Vedrex86
02:37to dependabledennis-606_must_stay"So much negativity.He had to take the rematch, as for what’s next, aj is going to be busy beating fury and will likely dodge Whyte, so he’s gonna have to fight the loud mouth in America, kick his backside then fight for a vacant title that aj will leave after he retires in two fights time"Vedrex86 replied: Been on the strong stuff pal?11E
Comment posted by e3sa, today at 02:22e3sa
02:22I found it strange Whyte wanting to fight povetkin for a 3rd time in his interview. Don’t see the point or purpose of that when he should be looking forward towards fighting contenders and title shots, not fighting 41 year olds past his sell by date !
Wilder, Joyce, Usyk, Dubois and Andy Ruiz are all possibilities.73M
Reply posted by Mia San Mia, today at 02:42Mia San Mia
02:42to e3sa"I found it strange Whyte wanting to fight povetkin for a 3rd time in his interview. Don’t see the point or purpose of that when he should be looking forward towards fighting contenders and title shots, not fighting 41 year olds past his sell by date !Wilder, Joyce, Usyk, Dubois and Andy Ruiz are all possibilities."Mia San Mia replied: It’s a draw,1-1, has to be a third fight13T
Comment posted by ThatOldG, today at 02:20ThatOldG
02:20Tyson Fury is going to breeze the scene for a good while if he stays on the ball.
I think Fury is underestimated because all around him are overestimated in the division.
Fury is actually one of the true heavyweight greats. Not his fault he is surrounded by chumps.211U
Comment posted by U16627255, today at 02:15U16627255
02:15Povetkin should’ve retired after the first fight the guy has nothing to fight for anymore and deserved to end on a high he’s had a great career but is too old now. Tony Bellew is also a clown 🤡 who needs to calm down Povetkin is past it it’s 1/1 Whyte is not amongst the best because he was the fastest to KO him, AJ fought a much younger and sharper AP and Wlad fought a prime AP no comparison…81G
Comment posted by goochs 333, today at 02:10goochs 333
02:10I would nt pay 10 p to watch these has been bums.210M
Reply posted by mrjones, today at 02:13mrjones
02:13to goochs 333"I would nt pay 10 p to watch these has been bums."mrjones replied: You’d have to pay lots more for anyone to watch a ‘current bum’ (™mrjones) like you.11More replies (3)downA
Comment posted by Alex, today at 02:09Alex
02:09Congratz to Whyte on winning but the performance wasn’t great. The first round in particular he was loading up far too much, over-extending on his punches and leaving himself open to counters. Just bizarre tactics after the first fight. He’s going to need to fight much smarter, setting things up properly, against better opposition. Povetkin looked totally shot tonight though so he got away with it24E
Comment posted by e3sa, today at 02:09e3sa
02:09Excellent performance and comeback from Whyte. This now opens up options for him going forward. I believe over the the years Whyte has become a solid all round fighter deserving of a world title shot. At the same time we have to look at reality and that is Povetkin, although dangerous as he is a warrior, this version of him was an old man at the end of his career. Would love to see him woop wilder41G
Comment posted by goochs 333, today at 02:09goochs 333
02:09Boring fight. Theres no great fighters anymore .48N
Comment posted by Nimrod, today at 02:09Nimrod
02:09I have to admit to being wrong on this one. I didn’t see Whyte coming straight back after such a knockout. Well done to Whyte. Proved me wrong and respect to what you’ve achieved tonight. 👌👌👌43B
Comment posted by bogmanstar, today at 02:08bogmanstar
02:0841 year old who recently had covid? Let’s keep this in perspective, ffs147M
Comment posted by mrjones, today at 02:08mrjones
02:08Wardley took big hits without getting hurt. He’s unpolished but definitely a prospect. Couple of good fights tonight.02A
Reply posted by Alex, today at 02:10Alex
02:10to mrjones"Wardley took big hits without getting hurt. He’s unpolished but definitely a prospect. Couple of good fights tonight."Alex replied: Yeah, the Cheeseman – Metcalf fight was class21M
Comment posted by mrjones, today at 02:06mrjones
02:06Watching boxing with extra sound due to covid is a scary reality!11More commentsBack to topunknown