I was just about to Tweet, “Povetkin isn't making it out of the fifth, is he?” when the Russian boxer threw an uppercut from hell, and sent Dillian Whyte to that same place.
Alexander Povetkin, who turns 41 years old on Sept. 2, went down twice in round four on Saturday evening in England, in a fight which screened on DAZN. Whyte, who's been rated No. 1 by the WBC for more than three years, landed sharp rights and meaningful left hooks and seemed to be in prime position to stop Povetkin. A win would earn Whyte, a 32 year old born in Jamaica, a date with the winner of the third Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder fight, which will take place sometime soon(ish).
Then, the reminder, that this sport is called “the theater of the unexpected” for a superior reason..Until the final bell rings, a seasoned pro can uncork a shocker launch that can leave the jaws of those watching on the floor. That's where Whyte was; 30 seconds into round five on the grounds of Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom UK headquarters, the ref didn't even bother to count. Povetkin (36-2-1) threw a jab, and Whyte dipped some to his left. Povetkin, dismissed by so many coming in, because of his age, looked like he'd rip a left hook to the body. Instead, his fired a left uppercut, which positively exploded on the chin of Whyte (seen above on the canvas in Mark Robinson/Matchroom photo for Matchroom).
The eyes of Whyte (27-2 record) went unfocused right away, and he crashed onto his back. Game over, and not in the way you'd thought it would go, less than two minutes prior.
Before that exclamation point ending, 135 pound ace Katie Taylor went to 16-0, with a focused presentation of ring generalship over ten rounds in a rematch with rugged Delfine Persoon, who works as a cop in Belgium.
Many thought that Persoon deserved the decision when they clashed June 1, 2019 at Madison Square Garden, underneath Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz 1. There wasn't so much debate after this face-off.
Persoon herself said after she didn't disagree with the three judges, who tagged the 34 year old Irish pugilist the better woman at Matchroom Square Garden on Saturday.
Persoon (44-3), age 35, said after she ate too much during the pandemic and didn't feel as strong this time out against Katie.
Here is the release sent out by DAZN after the fight card played out:
ESSEX, U.K. (Aug. 22, 2020) – The highly anticipated Fight Camp finale on DAZN delivered a pair of candidates for annual honors as Alexander Povetkin’s stunning knockout victory over Dillian Whyte and Katie Taylor’s hard-fought win over Delfine Persoon are guaranteed to be leading contenders for their respective awards. In the main event, Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) rallied back after being sent to the canvas twice in the 4th round from left hands and delivered a sensational left uppercut of his own in the 5th round to unseat Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) as the longtime number one contender. Promoter Eddie Hearn insisted that Whyte will trigger his immediate rematch clause and that they will look to stage the rematch before the end of 2020.
In the co-feature, Katie Taylor (16-0, 6 KOs) and Delfine Persoon (44-3, 18 KOs) once again delivered a tremendous back-and-forth, all-action battle in a ‘Fight of the Year’ contender. Taylor again emerged victorious, successfully defending her WBC, WBA. WBO and IBF titles to remain the undefeated and undisputed world lightweight champion.
On the undercard, Chris Kongo (12-0, 7 KOs) stopped Luther Clay (13-2, 5 KOs) with a tremendous left hand in the 9th round, Alen Babic (4-0, 4 KOs) earned his fourth knockout victory in as many outings against veteran Shawndell Winters (13-4, 12 KOs), and Jack Cullen (18-2-1, 9 KOs) and Zak Chelli (7-1-1, 3 KOs) battled to a split draw.
On being knocked down twice: “I didn’t feel that I would finish the fight like this. I was pretty confident in the 4th round that, even though I went down twice, it was OK. It wasn’t too much damage.”
On the knockout punch: “I was watching his fights and taking into account that he was missing uppercuts from the left and from the right. During my training, I was training on putting combinations around those shots.”
On a rematch clause: “First of all, my future plans don’t depend on me, it’s more a question for my promoter and for Eddie Hearn. So we will see what they decide. At the same time, I want to thank Andrei Ryabinski and Eddie Hearn for everything they do for me.”
On everyone who doubted him: “I don’t have anything to respond to those people. I just want to box more. I want to thank all of the fans who believe in me.”
Whether this was the best punch of his career: “Yes, definitely.”
To Eddie Hearn: “Can we get the rematch in December? I'm good, I'm good. It's just one of those things where it just landed didn't it. I was bossing it. It is what it is. Rematch. It's cool, it's all good. That's what boxing is about.”
On if she thought she did enough to win: “I think so. I knew it was going to be a tough battle going into this fight. It’s never going to be an easy fight against Delfine. I knew I had to dig deep at some stage during the fight but I thought I boxed a lot better than last time. I still could’ve boxed a bit more.”
On facing a relentless opponent like Delfine Persoon: It’s always going to be tough. You can’t relax at all in there against someone like that. She’s going to come and come and come. Even though I am hitting her with clean shots, she is just on the attack all the time. That’s why it is such a tough fight against someone like Delfine. But congratulations on two fantastic fights. They were an amazing two fights for women’s boxing.”
On if she silenced the critics of the first fight’s decision: “yeah, I think it was a lot more convincing tonight even though it was a tough fight. But as I said, it’s always going to be a tough fight against someone like that and you’re going to have to dig deep and show a lot of heart at some stage during the fight. But I think I did that well, I boxed well.”
On a trilogy: “C’mon, give me a break!”
On accepting the result: “Yes, this time I respect the result. For me this time, the weight was a little too much. I didn’t feel like I had enough power to hurt her this time. I tried to get my weight up but I could not hurt her this time. And if you don’t hurt her, it’s technical and she’s good at moving around. You have to hurt her otherwise she gets away. The power was not enough. I’ve got no problem with this decision and my respect she deserves.
On a trilogy: “In the second round, I think I broke my nose so it was eight rounds boxing with my nose broken. First I must repair my nose and then I think super featherweight is better for me than lightweight. My trainer pushes me to eat, eat, eat but when you train a lot, it’s too much to gain the weight. My respect to her. She deserved to win today.
On Alexander Povetkin’s upset victory: “I felt like I was in some dream. The fight was over, virtually. Povetkin started well, Dillian Whyte was measuring up and had a great finish to the 3rd round. Then he has two heavy knockdowns in the 4th round. I know I felt, and a lot of people felt, that it was over. But this is the drama of the sport that we love. This is the drama of heavyweight boxing – one punch can change everything. And tonight, one punch just completely changed the fight. Dillian Whyte was in total control of the fight, I really felt confident that he was about to end the fight. Was he complacent? Was it just great work from Alexander Povetkin? There’s that uppercut that some believe Whyte is susceptible to and Povetkin slipped right under and delivered it. Unbelievable. It is a shock. We knew how good Povetkin was and we knew how dangerous he was. Dillan Whyte had that fight virtually in the bag but we know how dangerous these elite heavyweights can be. It was just a thrilling knockout on a thrilling night. I’m pretty much lost for words.”
On a Whyte-Povetkin rematch: “We have a rematch clause. That was the first thing that Dillian said when he came out, ‘Get me that rematch, get me that rematch.’ It was a heavy knockdown, he’s going to have to take his rest. Povetkin is the mandatory now but he won’t be called. The only person to get called to negotiate with the winner of Fury vs. Wilder was Dillian Whyte. So we will exercise that rematch clause and we will look to make that happen before the end of the year. Listen, it’s a huge fight. It’s a dangerous fight now because obviously back-to-back defeats has a different shade on it. I know he will come back from this. It is crippling for Dillian to lose that number one position but he will be back. I believe he will win the rematch and bring his number one position back to life. This is the best sport in the world. The most dramatic sport in the world. This is what the sport brings us and sometimes it’s brutal.”
On whether Povetkin’s win makes Joshua vs. Fury easier to arrange: “One of the stumbling blocks was that early in 2021 the mandatory defense against Dillian Whyte. Alexander Povetkin won’t be called as that immediate mandatory even though he sits at number one position. So, yes, that frees up Tyson Fury to fight Anthony Joshua after the Deontay Wilder fight. For me, I wanted Dillian Whyte to get that opportunity. I thought a good win tonight would secure that and I thought he deserved that but he did lose and now he needs to rematch and try to beat Alexander Povetkin.”
WBC Interim Heavyweight Title Fight – 12 Rounds
Alexander Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) defeats Dillian Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) by TKO at :30 of Round 5.
Undisputed Lightweight Title Fight – 10 Rounds
Katie Taylor (16-0, 6 KOs) defeats Delfine Persoon (44-3, 18 KOs) via unanimous decision (96-94 X2, 98-93).
Welterweight Fight – 10 Rounds
Chris Kongo (12-0, 7 KOs) defeats Luther Clay (13-2, 5 KOs) by TKO at 2:44 of Round 9.
Heavyweight Fight – 8 Rounds
Alen Babic (4-0, 4 KOs) defeats Shawndell Winters (13-4, 12 KOs) by TKO at 2:20 of Round 2.
Super Middleweight Fight – 10 Rounds
Jack Cullen (18-2-1, 9 KOs) and Zak Chelli (7-1-1, 3 KOs) fought to a split draw (97-93 Cheli, 96-95 Cullen, 95-95).