By: Hans Themistode
Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte was in clear control of his career.
Following eight straight wins against some of the divisions very best including former belt holders Joseph Parker and Lucas Browne, Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) found himself on the verge of his very own title shot. All the British native needed to do was dispose of the ancient 41 year old contender Alexander Povetkin on August 22nd.
Before their matchup, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman went on the record stating that if Whyte managed to do what many were expecting, that he would be given the first shot at the Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury winner.
Povetkin vs Whyte played out typically to start off. Whyte out boxed his man early until he landed bombs on the Russian contender in the fourth round, dropping him twice. Then out of seemingly nowhere, Povetkin landed a monstrous left uppercut that immediately turned off Whyte’s light switch.
Before Whyte could give his concession speech though, he was calling for an instant rematch. Well, come November 21st, he’ll have his wish.
Promoter Eddie Hearn didn’t sound thrilled when discussing Whyte’s quick turn around. With that being said, he simply acquiesced to his request.
“Moving into the rematch just 13 weeks after the first fight is very, very dangerous,” said Hearn to Sky Sports. “But Dillian Whyte wouldn’t have it any other way.”
For Povetkin, asking the recently turned 41 year old to make such a quick turn around would seem unfair on his part. But with a highlight level knockout win over his man already under his belt, both him and his team believe that they can and will do it again.
“Povetkin and his team are ready to go,” said Hearn. “They don’t see a problem. They’ve knocked him out once and they believe they’re going to do it again in November. “
For the past half decade, Whyte carried both pressure and expectations into the ring with him. Following his knockout loss at the hands of current unified champion Anthony Joshua in late 2015, Whyte spent all of his time rebuilding his name and image. By all accounts, it worked. He was widely regarded as a top contender in the division and stood in the number one spot in the WBC rankings.
The British native could have easily stood by, twiddled his thumbs and waited for his shot at a world title. Instead, he repeatedly placed everything on the line time and time again. The pressure to perform never seemed to bother him, but with two huge knockout losses on his record, Hearn believes the pressure on Whyte for his rematch with Povetkin is going to be out of this world.
“This is the pressure of his career. He was controlling the fight August 22nd, and then brutal knockout. All of a sudden his career spins on its head. But he’s hugely motivated to put this right but it’s extremely dangerous. I think it’s terminal for his world title chances and that’s obviously the ultimate aim for Dillian Whyte. I think he knows the pressure.”