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Alexander Povetkin wants Dillian Whyte next

Alexander Povetkin Anthony Joshua

By Scott Gilfoid: Alexander Povetkin wants to face Dillian Whyte in his next fight when he returns to the ring in April, according to Rianru. Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) is being talked about fighting on the undercard of IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s card on April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Although Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) is considered by many to be the leading option for Joshua’s opponent on the April 13 date, it’s still up in the air who AJ will be facing.

Joshua climbed into the ring last Saturday night after Whyte’s 11th round knockout win over Dereck Chisora to let him know that he’s the #3 guy in the queue for his next fight on April 13, behind #1 Deontay Wilder and #2 Tyson Fury.

Even if Whyte doesn’t get the fight with Joshua, he’s probably not going to get anywhere near a talented fighter like Povetkin. That’s a bad match-up for Whyte. There are guys that have been interested in fighting Whyte, such as Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz and Joe Joyce, but they’ve not been able to get fights against him. Instead, Whyte has been matched against guys like Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne and Joseph Parker. There are certain guys that would be bad match-ups for Whyte, and you can add Povetkin to that list. It’s very unlikely Whyte will ever fight Povetkin, but if he does, it probably until the Russian fighter gets a little older, and slows down a little more. Povetkin is 39-years-old right now, and he’s coming off of a 7th round knockout defeat at the hands of Anthony Joshua on September 22. Povetkin had his moments in the fight in hurting Joshua in the second round. The way Povetkin fought, he would give Whyte a lot of problems.

It’s very likely that Whyte will be the one that Joshua faces on April 13. Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn wants the Joshua vs. Whyte fight in the worst way, and a lot of the British boxing public wants to see the rematch as well. They collectively feel that Whyte has earned his rematch with Joshua with his string of wins in the last three years against the following heavyweights: Dereck Chisora [x 2], Joseph Parker, Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne, Robert Helenius, Ivica Bacurin, Malcolm Tann, Dave Allen and Ian Lewison. You can argue that the officiating for Whyte’s fights with Chisora and Parker were so poor that you can’t really include those fights as counting. In some respects, referee Marcus McDonnell tainted Whyte’s recent win over Chisora on December 22 by twice taking points away from Dereck for different fouls. McDonnell’s decision to take points away from Chisora on two occasions during the crucial second half of the contest, and not addressing Whyte’s rabbit punching, elbows and shoving, looked to some like he was singling out Dereck. The fight might have been different if the referee had played a hands off role in the fight or if he had take points away from Whyte as well.

In the 11th, McDonnell took a point away from Chisora for the use of the elbow. The timing of the point deduction was odd, as things were looking bleak for Whyte at the time, as he was losing the fight. It didn’t look good for Whyte until the point deduction in the 11th. Chisora kind of blew his stack after losing the point, and he immediately went after Whyte in throwing wide shots that were badly telegraphed. Whyte had no reason to be upset, as he had just been given a second point by the referee. Whyte then calmly nailed the desperate looking Chisora with a left hand to the head that knocked him out. The question what would have happened in the fight if the referee hadn’t decided to insert himself into the equation by taking points away from Chisora in a fight that was filled with fouls by both guys.

If the referee had just things be, would Whyte have won? We’ll never know unfortunately. All we do know is this referee chose to take points away from Chisora for his fouling, but not Whyte. Did the referee not see Whyte’s rabbit punches or did he see them and think they weren’t serious enough to take points away? Many people believe rabbit punches are far more dangerous than low blows. Why then did the referee not take points away from Whyte for his rabbit shots? Whyte’s win over Joseph Parker last July also had poor officiating. The referee gave Whyte credit for a knockdown in the 2nd, which was caused by a head-butt. Parker was hurt from the head-butt. Whyte roughed Parker up with rabbit punches, and he didn’t have points taken away from him for his fouling.

Whyte, 30, doesn’t like being relegated to the #3 position by Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), but there’s not much he can do about it. Joshua, 29, is the A-side in this situation. He’s the decider. If Joshua wants to fight Whyte, he’ll do so, but only if he can get the bigger money options against Deontay and Fury. It’s not looking good though for Joshua as far as him getting either of those two talents. Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) wants a rematch with Fury, and the feeling is mutual. Those two need to clear up the controversy over their 12 round draw from December 1.

Joshua obviously doesn’t see the importance of those two facing each other in a rematch, but it’s not him that was involved in that fight. It’s no skin off Joshua’s teeth that Wilder and Fury both were perceived as being given lucky breaks by the officials in that fight. Fury lucked out that the referee Jack Reiss didn’t halt the fight when he was dropped hard in the 12th round by two sledgehammer blows from Wilder. Fury was on his back, eyes closed, and not moving a muscle for several seconds after dropped. Nine times out of ten, the referee would stop the fight on the spot and motion for the ringside medical team to come into the ring to look over the hurt fighter. Reiss did things different, choosing to give a count with Fury seemingly knocked out. The rest is history. Fury eventually woke up, and got to his feet just in the nick of time to beat the count. A lot of boxing fans still think the referee was taking a big chance in not stopping the fight immediately. As for Wilder, he was fortunate to get a draw after being out-boxed by Fury for vast stretches of the 12 round. If not for Wilder rallying in the championship rounds, he would have lost that fight. Wilder was able to drop Fury in the 9th and 12th rounds. Normally that’s enough for a champion to be given the victory over a challenger, but not in this case. Fury was seen as a champion in his own right due to him being a former unified belt holder.

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