Potential Rematches For 2021
By Joe Alexander
A second chance. The opportunity to right a wrong. Putting any doubt or questioning to bed once and for all. Roll on the rematch.
In 2021, there could be numerous rematches taking place. Some already scheduled and others which make sense, whilst others perhaps likely to present themselves during 2021.
Povetkin vs Whyte:
The first rematch in focus is the bout between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin. When they first met, Whyte was in full control, Povetkin showed signs of ageing. Then, seemingly out of nowhere a brutal uppercut from Povetkin ended the contest.
The 21st November was the original date that was later postponed – unsurprisingly, the reason for this was Covid 19. Povetkin tested positive and felt the full effects of the virus.
Coming only three months after the original fight, it was surprising that the rematch came so soon after such a terrifying knockout. This quick turn around didn’t sit well with me, as it reeked of desperation to overturn a loss from Dillian Whyte and Matchroom. To a degree, this was understandable, as the arduous journey towards a WBC title shot ended in Eddie Hearn’s back garden that night.
The next date pencilled in was the 30th January, setting up a big start to the Matchroom schedule in 2021. However, with Povetkin still not firing on all cylinders and with a serious lack of preparation, the rematch date is still up in the air. Whyte is looking for another fight in early 2021, but the rematch will still materialise before the year is out.
Like any good rematch, this fight produces a plethora of questions. Whyte was somewhat comfortable in the fight before the knockout. It suggests that if he remains switched on throughout a late stoppage or points decisions would be achievable.
However, with Povetkin’s proven power, the chance of repetition can’t be doubted. The question also remains as to what effect, both physically and mentally this will have on Whyte. So much so, Whyte may now have doubts in his take-a-few-to-land style previously supported by confidence in his punch resistance.
Arthur vs Yarde:
The next rematch in focus; Lyndon Arthur against Anthony Yarde. Although there is no contractual agreement in place as of yet, this fight is likely to occur in 2021.
After the first fight the two fighters were interviewed ringside along with promoter Frank Warren. A confused and embarrassed Yarde pleaded for the rematch, feeling hard done by and bemused by the decision. Arthur, having just won a decision seemingly with no right hand and in his typically cool demeanour saw no reason to not do it again either.
Both fighters will be looking to adapt and bring something new into the rematch. Perhaps the biggest issue lies with Yarde, principally whether to continue with his current trainer, Tune Ajayi.
Witnessing his corner work and the underwhelming game plan given to Yarde, Arthur was able to nick rounds. Worst of all was that Yarde seemed unaware that he was being beaten. This meant Yarde rarely stepped on the gas, even though this was where his successes came from.
Generic slogans from Ajayi gave Yarde little to go on in between rounds. The jab of Arthur was the main shot of the fight and illustrated Yarde’s deficiency in this area. A new trainer implementing a new game plan and approach could put Yarde in a favourable position to redeem his loss.
From Arthur’s perspective he will have taken great confidence in sticking to a gameplan and out jabbing the favoured Yarde. The right hand of Arthur was rarely thrown, presumably due to injury. Although when thrown, the right hand landed effectively.
In the rematch, Arthur won’t venture too far away from the original game plan. Arthur’s jab is arguably the best in domestic boxing, so why move away from this?
In order to keep Yarde at bay, the right-hand output and use of combinations will need to increase. With both making necessary tweaks and adjustments, this matchup of styles should lead to an enthralling second encounter.
Lopez vs Lomanchenko:
Lastly, the rematch between Teofimo Lopez and Vasyl Lomanchenko. What can only be described as a gigantic rematch, and perhaps a fight that could easily go down as a fight of the year contender.
Arguably the breakthrough and overall fighter of last year, Teofimo Lopez shocked many with his powerful but technical display against a pound for pound great in Lomanchenko.
One clear illustration of the unforeseen outcome of this fight was no rematch clause agreed in the initial contract. Lopez may feel he has already proven himself.
Along with the WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC (franchise) and Ring Magazine belts in his possession, another fight might be next.
The lightweight champion may look to fight the potentially undeserving WBC belt holder, Devin Haney.
The beaten Lomanchenko did not take the surprise defeat very well, letting himself down with recent comments. The ex-champion is definitely after the rematch. Even with his comments, it does seem right for such a great former champion to get a chance at regaining his titles.
The first was close. Was it a case of underestimating Lopez or an injured shoulder which was operated on a few days after the fight?
Convenient excuses maybe, but perhaps with a better appreciation for Lopez and a fully fit shoulder, along with his outstanding boxing IQ, it wouldn’t be surprising for Lomanchenko to win the rematch.
Contrastingly, Lopez may just have Lomanchenko’s number. The newly crowned champion may be too fresh for him.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing