Shaun Brown polls some of the leading names in the boxing trade to ask for their picks for tonight’s heavyweight rematch between Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte.
Repeat or revenge? The Alexander Povetkin-Dillian Whyte rematch in the unusual surroundings of Gibraltar is set up perfectly. Last time around, Whyte was in complete control before a knockout of the year candidate wiped the Brit out in round five. Will Povetkin have a repeat of his victory or will Whyte reignite his world title dreams and gain revenge? Boxing Social asked members of the trade for their verdict.
Kevin Barry: Whyte will get his revenge. The delay will work to his advantage, giving him necessary time to fully recover from the brutal KO loss. Povetkin was looking old and slow in fight one and is at the end of his career. The bad Covid experience also won’t help. Whyte by easy KO win inside six.
Gavin McDonnell: I think Whyte on points. I just think he won’t make the same mistake twice and he was in control up until the KO.
Jay Harris: Revenge.
Joe Hughes: I’m really unsure on this one. I think I’ll go with Whyte to get revenge and win by KO. He was well on top last time up until the KO but Povetkin obviously has the ability and power to end it at any moment. It’s also hard to know if the KO has taken anything out of Whyte and, if so, how much. But I think he will get it done this time around.
Hosea Burton: I hope it’s repeat but I think it will be revenge as Whyte may have took his eye off the ball in the last fight. If he loses this, he knows it will be a long road back to a world title shot.
Sean McGoldrick: I think Whyte wins – I think he will be ruthless and stop Povetkin. But it’s heavyweight boxing and anything can happen (like last time).
Ryan Walsh: Revenge. Lightning doesn’t strike twice! It was a great punch to finish the first fight. I’m sure Whyte is now well aware of the danger. Adjustments will be made and Povetkin will be the one being stopped or ko’d.
Jason McClory: Revenge. For me, Dillian just had a lapse in concentration last time out. He was winning comfortably last time then got caught. Obviously, that threat is always going to be there so Dillian can’t switch off for a second. I think Dillian stops him in the second half of the fight.
Liam Walsh: For me it will be revenge. Dillian had him almost done last time. I think Dillian will box clever/cautious and break Povetkin down for a middle rounds stoppage.
Sam Bowen: Revenge. [Whyte] will be more hungry for the win, won’t switch off this time around. Mid-fight stoppage win.
Sahir Iqbal: Revenge. Whyte was winning the first fight by a lot and got complacent, which led to the KO. This time he’ll be switched on from start to finish and get the win.
Arnie Farnell: I think it’s revenge as Whyte was bossing it before he got caught. Just depends if Dillian is feeling the effects of it.
Chris Jenkins: Revenge. Only because I think Whyte will be more aware of that shot after their first fight but Povetkin is a dangerous man and carries power.
Steve Wood: Going for repeat. Think he will find a way again to KO Whyte.
Tony Sims: I think Whyte beats Povetkin this time around. He had the beating of him last time but walked into a great shot. That happens in heavyweight boxing. But if he sticks to his jab and keeps his distance with his boxing brain and uses side-to-side movement. I think he can comfortably beat him on points or maybe even late stoppage. I wish him as a fellow Brit all the best.
Caoimhin Agyarko: I think revenge. I think Whyte will learn from his mistake and close the show. He knows he can hurt Povetkin and he’ll regret not finishing him last time. So, I think once he has him hurt, he’ll jump at the chance to end him.
Gamal Yafai: Revenge.
Kal Yafai: Revenge! Whyte will be sharper and more switched on to what’s coming back. Similar start to the first fight without getting complacent. Whyte KO.
Jordan Gill: Revenge in my opinion. I think once Whyte hurts him, he’ll stay sharp and be more aggressive this time and not let him off the hook.
Jon Pegg: I think corner retirement win for Whyte around round 8 or 9. He’ll box smart and careful and Povetkin’s age and recent Covid will see his corner saving him as it all starts to catch up with him.
Kelly Pavlik: I think Whyte wins this time. I thought he was on his way last time but got caught. I just see it going the same way but with Whyte either knocking him out or decision.
Jez Smith: Revenge. Think Whyte will be more switched on this time and, when he has him hurt, I think he will finish him. KO win mid rounds.
Billy Nelson: Povetkin by KO. Clever fighter. Will be patient then attack at correct time.
George Arias: Revenge. The first was pretty favourable for Whyte and age might play a role against Povetkin. But I think if Whyte is in shape, he should be able to out box and hurt Povetkin.
Frank Warren: I think repeat.
John Ryder: Revenge! I think Dillian will be too switched on this time around and will be more switched on expecting the unexpected.
Chris Sanigar: Revenge. I go for Dillian Whyte. I have utmost respect for Dillian to demand this return. This win is not a foregone conclusion as Povetkin is a cunning old fox and a momentary lapse of concentration could see the same result. My gut feeling is Dillian will this time come through even there may be the odd scare. Whyte by late stoppage.
Anthony Crolla: I think Dillian gets revenge. Think a similar pattern to first fight but Dillian stays switched on and stops Povetkin a few rounds later.
Umar Sadiq: I suspect revenge because Whyte was comfortably ahead in the last fight until the heavyweight cliché of “one punch can change it all”.
John Docherty: Revenge. And just how he started the last fight. Stops him in the 7th.
Fabio Wardley: Revenge. Dillian won’t make the same mistake he did the first time by switching off for a split second. He was in complete control in the first fight and will be again this time around but will go for the kill when he sees the opportunity.
Josh Taylor: I think it will be revenge. Dillian was bossing the fight and had him down in the last fight, too. He just got caught with a perfectly timed shot. But I think Whyte will be more switched on this time around and finish the job.
Lee Selby: I’m picking Whyte in the rematch. I think Dillian would have learned by his mistakes he made in the first fight and stay extra disciplined and stick to his boxing. Dillian Whyte by KO in the mid rounds.
Kash Farooq: Revenge. Dillian will be more focused and alert this time around.
Kevin Maree: Revenge. Povetkin started to look old against Michael Hunter. I was in Hunter’s corner that night and Hunter shook him many times. In the first fight, Whyte seemed to hurt him every time he landed. Then got complacent. This time he won’t switch off. Another year old and just having had Coronavirus will have affected the 41-year-old.
Denzel Bentley: I think it’ll be revenge. Whyte won’t make the same mistake of switching off again and will get the win.
Ryan Garner: I reckon it will be a Whyte late knockout or points win. I just think that Whyte will play it safe early on, as he will just want to get the win and not do nothing stupid, but once the fight starts going late Whyte will see Povetkin getting tired, and I think he will then start taking risks and stepping on the gas.
Jamie Conlan: Revenge.
Rhys Edwards: I think Whyte will win mid-to-late rounds stoppage. Think this time round he will be a bit more switched on.
Martin Harkin: I think going by the first fight Dillian Whyte was winning comfortably until he was caught with that punch. Second time round it all depends on how Dillian is psychologically affected by the first fight. His confidence may be affected. I think this time Dillian might take it on points with a defensive/play it safe performance.
Tony Bellew: Whyte by KO inside 8! Very close to achieving this last time, just switched off for a split second. I believe that was a once in a career punch from Povetkin after being down twice and virtually out on his feet. Very rarely does lightning strike twice.
Jack Massey: I think Whyte will come out on top this time.
Kieran Smith: Revenge. Whyte will box smarter first half of fight and wait until Povetkin’s sting is out of his shot before taking any gambles.
Maxi Hughes: I’m going for repeat. I feel like Povetkin knows he can knock Whyte out and he will go for that whereas Whyte put Povetkin down but couldn’t keep him down. There may be some demons in his head that play a big part.
Dan Naylor: Revenge. Whyte will be more spiteful and switched on. Extra break has benefited him. Rounds 5-8. Povetkin will be tough as nails as always.
Chantelle Cameron: I think Whyte wins. Late rounds knockout. I think it will be a tough fight again, but I think this time Whyte knocks him out.
Natasha Jonas: Whyte wins mainly because he has to. He won’t make the same mistakes as last time (at least I hope not). He can hurt Povetkin but he also knows he was vulnerable. When he gets the chance, I believe he takes it this time.
Wayne McCullough: Povetkin will be confident this time around. He will probably be looking for the knockout again but should focus on winning rounds as it just came so naturally the first time around. Whyte has to keep his mind on scoring points round after round and stay alert for big shots coming at him. His defence needs to be tighter and, if he gets the knockdown this time, he must close the show and move in to finish it with his hands held high. If he can do this Whyte may be able to stop Povetkin around the 7th.
Main image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.