FightPost Boxer of the Week: Alexander Povetkin
By Gary Kittilsen
On what was most assuredly the most entertaining and drama-filled weekend of boxing since its returned for its Coronavirus hiatus.
It featured two knockout of the year candidates and an ultra-close and competitive all-action world title fight. and several blue-chip prospects putting on spectacular performances.
However, it was an aging former secondary world titleholder, who had just one win in his last three contests including a lackluster draw to a fringe contender who rose of the deck twice to rejuvenate his career and score a sensational one-punch come from behind knockout over the surging Dillian Whyte.
Whyte looked to be in total control of the fight, and perhaps just moments away from scoring a stoppage victory of his own. It was a career-changing win for Alexander Povetkin.
The Russian native ran his career record to 36-2-1, secured another big money heavyweight fight, and takes home our Fighter of the Week award.
Entering the ring at Matchroom Fight Camp in Essex, the future was pretty clear for the 40-year-old Russian. A win keeps his career going and a loss all but ends it. Through the early going it looked like the end for the Russian heavyweight.
Whyte was dominating the first two rounds with his jab and blocking everything Povetkin offered up in return.
In round three Whyte, the number one contender for the WBC for more than 1,000 days, looked to pick up the pace and make a short night of it, landing thudding body shots that seemed to hurt the Russian.
Things when from bad to worse in the fourth for Povetkin as he was dropped twice by the hard-hitting Whyte. First with a double right hand and left hook, less than 30 seconds into the round, and then with about 20 seconds left Povetkin was again hurt badly and dropped this time with a single left uppercut.
Povetkin again beat the count and made it through the round. Whyte seemed to have his man hurt both times, he was floored, interestingly never went for the kill and never picked up the tempo. It proved to be a costly mistake.
The last thing that ever goes is a puncher’s power and just 90 seconds after looking like Povetkin was outclassed and about to be stopped he landed a picture-perfect left-uppercut that sent Whyte down and out.
Just like that Povetkin erased two knockdowns and four one-sided rounds with one perfectly placed uppercut. Putting himself back in the title picture.
Promoter Eddie Hearn summed it up perfectly after the fight saying “I can’t quite believe it When the punch landed I felt like I was in a dream. After two knockdowns I felt it was over, but this is the drama of heavyweight boxing and one punch completely changed the fight.”
Through four rounds Povetkin looked like a shot, over the hill, 40-year-old heavyweight, who was moments away from being retired by a massively strong heavyweight contender.
Then he landed a picture-perfect uppercut that propelled him to victory and guaranteed him one more big money fight, in the very lucrative and loaded, heavyweight division.
Whyte has a rematch clause in his contract that he is likely to exercise. A Whyte vs Povetkin rematch is being rumored for December of this year, should Whyte take the rematch.
If he passes Povetkin’s name will go right into the mix for a heavyweight title fight. His name will be mentioned for a rematch with both unified heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua, who he was very competitive with before being stopped in the sixth round back in 2018, as well as being in the mix for a fight with WBC and lineal heavyweight champ Tyson Fury. However, the Whyte rematch remains the most likely next fight for both men.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing