Friday, September 30, 2022  |

News

Aficianado

Fight Picks: Alexander Povetkin-Dillian Whyte 2

24
Mar

Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte will finally square off in their eagerly anticipated rematch in Gibraltar on Saturday.

The heavyweight shootout, dubbed “Rumble on the Rock”, will be shown live on DAZN in the U.S., beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET/ 12:00 p.m. PT, and Sky Sports Box Office in the U.K.

Povetkin, who is rated No. 3 by The Ring at heavyweight, won gold at the 2004 Olympics. He’s been a professional since 2005 and holds impressive wins over Chris Byrd (TKO 11), Ruslan Chagaev (UD 12), Carlos Takam (KO 10) and Mike Perez (TKO 1). Losses came in title challenges to Wladimir Klitschko (UD 12) and Anthony Joshua (TKO 7), but he has since beaten Hughie Fury (UD 12) and Whyte (KO 5).

Conversely, Whyte, who is rated No. 4, had a limited amateur career before turning professional in 2011. He won his first 16 outings before losing to Joshua (TKO 7), but the powerfully built Jamaican-born fighter bounced back impressively to score solid wins over Derek Chisora (SD 12 and KO 11), Lucas Browne (KO 6), Joseph Parker (UD 12) and Oscar Rivas (UD 12).



Has Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 knockouts) been able to shed any lasting effects from COVID-19? Has Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) mentally recovered from the harrowing one-punch knockout he suffered at the hands of the Russian seven months ago? Was that a last hurrah from the 41-year-old Povetkin?

Online gambling group William Hill lists Whyte as a 2-7 (-350) favorite, while Povetkin is priced at 13-5 (+260); the draw is 22/1 (+2200).

Here’s how the experts see it:

THE RING MAGAZINE/RINGTV.COM

Dillian Whyte is out before he hits the canvas from a left uppercut. Picture By Mark Robinson

TOM GRAY: POVETKIN TKO
“Last time out I was fairly confident that Whyte would blast Povetkin out and the fight was heading that way through four rounds. However, the Russian’s knockout in the fifth is one of the most perfectly executed finishes I’ve seen in the heavyweight division for many years. To take out a fighter as durable as Whyte with a counter left uppercut is testament to Povetkin’s excellent technique, timing and hitting power. For me, personally, that was the finest knockout of 2020. Anyway, now that Whyte has something to fear, his effectiveness is likely to suffer. He’s a strong and aggressive brawler with imposing dimensions, so he’s always on the attack, but how aggressive will he be after being cleaned out by one shot? The more time Povetkin is given, the more he can impose his boxing skills on Whyte and that type of fight doesn’t suit the Brit. I think it’ll be very close, they may trade knockdowns again, but I just have the feeling that Povetkin will find another spectacular finish.”

ANSON WAINWRIGHT: WHYTE TKO 9
“To me it boils down to two things: Has Whyte recovered mentally from the devastating knockout in the first fight, and has Povetkin fully recovered from COVID-19? Both men know they can hurt the other, however, Povetkin knows – and so does Whyte – that he can end the fight with one shot. I think we may see a tentative opening. The fight being postponed should aid Whyte, and I feel that he’ll find his groove and force a stoppage in around nine rounds.”

LEE GROVES: WHYTE PTS
“Povetkin’s stunning one-punch KO of Whyte last August overshadowed the fact that Whyte was winning the fight handily up to that point. He had floored Povetkin twice in round four and seemed in full control of the proceedings until Povetkin’s power put him down and out. Whyte already showed that he has the tools to win the rematch, and if he doesn’t allow his mind to be preoccupied by how the first fight ended, he will use those tools to gain vengeance.”

MICHAEL WOODS: WHYTE UD
“Nope, I don’t think ghosts live in the head of Whyte, I believe he will be focused and STAY focused and not get caught. He can repeat the pleasant parts of the first fight and avoid the mental error which left him open to be finished off…and I’m guessing he will do that. It’s a guess, though, and I am eager to tune in and see if my hunch is right. Whyte wins by unanimous decision.”

RON BORGES: WHYTE PTS
“Like the first one this fight could go either way but I like Whyte to win by boxing far more carefully. He has the better skills, as he showed in the first fight before he ran face first into an oncoming train. He’ll stay safely in the station until the train clears the tracks this time and win a relatively boring decision.”

MARTY MULCAHEY: WHYTE UD
“While I do not think Povetkin landed the proverbial “lucky punch” (also believe he deserved the victory), I saw Whyte as having the better of the fight as a whole before the fantastic KO victory. Whyte is not the type of boxer to become gun shy either, so look for him to rebound and avenge this loss with a clear decision victory or late-round knockout. Whyte should again determine distance and keep Povetkin at the end of his punches but will have learned from his mistakes and either clinch or pivot clear out of danger before it presents itself. A frustrated Povetkin will look for a second miracle punch, but I do not see it appearing with a more focused Whyte.”

MICHAEL MONTERO: WHYTE UD
“People will think I’m crazy, but I favored Dillian Whyte the first time around and I favor him in the rematch. Many forget that Whyte was ahead and had dropped the Russian twice before getting caught in the fifth round last August. This time around, Whyte will be more cautious and focused. The rematch in Gibraltar will be fought at a technical pace and I like the Londoner by unanimous decision.”

NORM FRAUENHEIM: WHYTE TKO
“It’s being called Rumble on the Rock. What else? The Alexander Povetkin-Dillian Whyte rematch is in Gibraltar, which is synonymous with the Rock. Mention one, you think of the other. But here’s a better label: Reversal on the Rock. Whyte figures to avenge his stunning loss to Povetkin, who got up twice in the fourth and then delivered a left uppercut for a fifth-round stoppage in August. Whyte appeared to be headed to an easy win through four rounds. His skill set is better in just about every way. He’ll make sure to finish the Russian this time around.”

BOXING INSIDERS

Alexander Povetkin climbed back into the top five of the heavyweight rankings with his one-punch KO of Dillian Whyte. Photo by Mark Robinson.

STEVE FARHOOD (TV ANALYST): POVETKIN KO 8
“It’s tempting to pick Whyte, but that was no standard KO in their first fight, and it’s not something Whyte is easily going to get over. Povetkin by KO in the eighth.”

DUKE MCKENZIE (FORMER THREE-DIVISION TITLEHOLDER/TV ANALYST): WHYTE MD
“The Obvious questions will be, how has the KO affected Whyte’s confidence? Will he be gun shy? Has his punch resistance gone? Will he have a panic attack in the mid rounds? It wasn’t just a TKO; it was a savage KO. If, as I suspect, he’s learned his lesson, he can box his way to a points decision. However, should he opt to trade again with Povetkin, he can expect the same result as the first fight. A puncher like Povetkin never loses his power which makes him a danger from the first to last bell. If Whyte is to prevail, he can’t be drawn into a dog fight, he must box to orders. Concentration is paramount. Whyte cannot afford to switch off for a second. I see a majority points decision for Whyte.”

RAUL MARQUEZ (FORMER WORLD CHAMPION/COMMENTATOR): POVETKIN KO 7
“Povetkin has the better skills and is not one-dimensional. Whyte is aggressive, he attacks and has a lot of holes in his defense. I’m going with Povetkin by KO in Round 7.”

ALEX STEEDMAN (COMMENTATOR): WHYTE
“I don’t buy the narrative that Whyte was one punch away from winning the first fight. He was on top, building a platform, yes but they were flash knockdowns and there was nothing lucky about the ending. That was years of training, perfecting technique, rolled into one moment. Whyte may be too big, too fresh but Povetkin remains the better boxer and could repeat if he gets the chance. But I think we might see an AJ-style rebuild from Whyte, boxing at distance, behind the jab and steadily breaking down Povetkin. Whyte Round 7-12.”

SERGIO MORA (FORMER WORLD CHAMPION/COMMENTATOR): POVETKIN PTS
“I can’t see Whyte coming back from that kind of KO. It’s not like it was a lucky punch, Povetkin set that up. Povetkin by decision.”

KATHY DUVA (PROMOTER, MAIN EVENTS): POVETKIN TKO
“This fight is a close call, but as Povetkin fought much tougher opposition than Whyte in the early stages of his career, he has a better foundation to weather his opponent’s assault. Experience will win out. I am picking Povetkin by late stoppage.”

JOLENE MIZZONE (MATCHMAKER, MAIN EVENTS): WHYTE TKO 7
“I think that the age of Povetkin may get to him in this fight. Whyte knocked him down twice in the last fight and will have the confidence to finish him. Love this fight because it can go either way, but I’m giving Whyte a little bit of an edge here. Whyte TKO 7.”

CAMILLE ESTEPHAN (PROMOTER, EYE OF THE TIGER): POVETKIN KO
“I feel that Povetkin will do it again. He will KO Whyte in the later rounds. Povetkin is underestimated in my opinion. It was not a fluke in their first bout.”

ARSLANBEK MAKHMUDOV (HEAVYWEIGHT CONTENDER): POVETKIN KO
“Before their last fight, I gave the advantage to Povetkin 55 percent to 45 percent. Povetkin is older but he has a good technique and a very good punch. For their second fight, I see Dillian Whyte with the advantage. You could argue it’s still a 50-50 because Povetkin could have the lucky punch with his power, but if Whyte adapts and arrives with a good game plan to keep his distance, he can win. Povetkin hits really hard. Povetkin win by knockout.”

SIMON KEAN (HEAVYWEIGHT CONTENDER): WHYTE TKO 5
“I think Dillian Whyte will be very careful for their rematch. He will not make the same mistake twice and he will win by an easy TKO in Round 5.”

RUDY HERNANDEZ (TRAINER): POVETKIN
“This style of fighting is a perfect match. They seem to be on equal terms. The first fight ended with a knockout candidate of the year, if not knockout of the year. I think that Povetkin has Whyte’s number. Will he knock him out again? I don’t know, but I truly believe Povetkin will win the rematch.”

KALLE SAUERLAND (PROMOTER, SAUERLAND EVENTS): POVETKIN
“I see it as a 50-50 fight, like I saw the first one, but I do believe lightning can strike twice. I’d have to go with Povetkin just on the basis that in a normal world you’d want to have seen Dillian take a fight in between. For me, it’s 50-50, but if I’m pushed to pick a winner, I go with Povetkin again.”

Final Tally: Whyte 11-9

 

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright

 

GET THE LATEST ISSUE AT THE RING SHOP (CLICK HERE) or Subscribe

Latest Issue Cover

close

SIGN UP TO GET RING NEWS ALERTS