Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin – preview & prediction for Aug.22
By Charles Brun: In less than a month from now, highly ranked heavyweight Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte will be taking a risky fight against Alexander Povetkin on August 22 at the Matchroom Fight Camp, in Brentwood, Essex.
Whyte and his boxing fans are counting on Povetkin being washed up and too old at 40 for him to win. They could be wrong for the reason that Povetkin has looked great in his last two fights against Hughie Fury and Michael Hunter.
Povetkin may not have looked good in his loss to Anthony Joshua in 2018, but he was in that fight up until AJ knocked him out in the seventh round.
Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) has gone through a lot lately with him parting ways with his trainer Mark Tibbs, struggling to beat journeyman Mariusz Wach last December, and having an adverse finding for his drug test before the Oscar Rivas fight.
Whyte is falling apart
Dillian came apart at the seams against Wach, and he looked like an old car with 300,000 miles on it, shooting out blue smoke out of its exhaust pipes. Although some blame Whyte’s performance on him being borderline obese, it could be that Whyte isn’t as good as people think.
We saw in Whyte’s two fights against Dereck Chisora that he’s on the same level as him talent-wise. Chisora is a journeyman fighter, so what does that make Whyte?
All of those things combined are a lot for any heavyweight to deal with, but Whyte, it might be a little too much going into his 12 round bout against 40-year-old Povetkin on August 22.
Dillian has these things going against him for the Povetkin match:
- Won’t have trainer Mark Tibbs
- Distracted by Tyson Fury fight
- The beating he took against Mariusz Wach
- Not concentrating fully on Povetkin
For a match like this, Whyte needs to be mentally ready for the former WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs).
Dillian focusing on Fury rather than Povetkin
If you look at Whyte’s interviews he’s done in the past month; he scarcely brings up Povetkin’s name at all. It’s as if Povetkin doesn’t exist. The name that comes out of Whyte’s mouth nonstop is Tyson Fury, and he can’t seem to stop talking about him.
What this means, of course, is Whyte is overlooking Povetkin and counting him as victory already. That’s a big mistake. Whyte lacks the talent to overlook an accomplished fighter like Povetkin, who has done much more in his amateur and professional career.
It would make sense for Whyte to be talking 24/7 about a fight against Fury if he’d already beaten Povetkin. In that case, Whyte would have the right to discuss a match between him and ‘The Gypsy King because he’s his mandatory challenger. But right now,
Whyte has Povetkin standing in front of him, and this is essentially an eliminator. The winner of the fight will be the WBC mandatory for Fury, while the loser slinks off into the sunset, needing to rebuild their shattered careers.
Whyte is another Dereck Chisora type of fighter, and he’s fortunate that he doesn’t have an additional three defeats on his record.
Whyte doesn’t have the momentum going for him as he heads into the most important fight of his career. If Dillian loses this critical contest against the 2004 Olympic gold medalist Povetkin, then he won’t be facing WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, next year.
Fury might vacate his WBC title
Judging by Fury’s recent comments, Whyte isn’t going to be fighting him in early 2021. In a social media clip, Fury let slip his plans for the future by revealing that he’s facing Deontay Wilder last this year and then going straight into a mega-fight against Anthony Joshua.
What’s interesting is Fury didn’t bother calling it a clash for the undisputed championship as he’d done in the past. The only thing Fury said is he’ll be facing Joshua after he takes on Wilder. He didn’t mention Whyte’s name, which can only mean one thing. Fury will be vacating his WBC title after he beats Wilder again next December.
Whyte is going to try and control the fight with Povetkin by jabbing and throwing his hooks to the head and body. Using that approach worked for Whyte in his wins over Wach, Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne, Robert Helenius, and Dereck Chisora.
It might not work against Povetkin, though, because he’s going to be putting pressure on Dillian, and hitting him with double and triple hooks when he gets in punching range.
Dillian took a beating in his last fight against 39-year-old Wach (36-6, 19 KOs) on December 7 last year in Saudi Arabia. Wach used his 6’7″ size to walk Whyte down and hammer him with shots to the head and body.
Will Dillian’s lack of professionalism hurt him?
It was a case of Wach being willing to take Whyte’s punches to land his own, which proved to be very damaging. Dillian didn’t help himself by coming into the clash with Wach borderline obese at 271. It was interesting to compare the well-conditioned 270-pound Wach, who is just a fringe contender, and against the fat highly ranked Whyte.
Something was wrong with this picture in terms of the lack of professionalism on Whyte’s part. When a fringe contender like Wach takes his career more seriously than Whyte, it tells you something.
Whyte has become a prima donna, and gone soft due to all the pay-per-view matches his promoter Eddie Hearn has put him on Sky Box Office.
Povetkin is going to take advantage of Whyte’s habit of slugging at close quarters by banging him to the head and body with hooks. What we’re going to see is Whyte taking a beating, losing his cool, and then resorting to roughhouse tactics as he did against Chisora and Joseph Parker.
Those were fights in which Whyte begin to rough up Chisora and Parker when the struggles weren’t going his way. The referees that worked those matches failed to lift a finger to control Whyte’s fouling, and it was like watching an MMA fight.
What was troubling about the Whyte-Chisor 2 match was how the referee repeatedly took points off from Chisora even though it was Whyte that was doing the
Roughhouse tactics won’t work
What has worked for Dillian in the past to help him win fights is for him to rough up his opponents and get away with it without being penalized by the referees.
The reason it worked for Whyte is that many of his opponents either retaliated and left themselves open, or they were penalized. Povetkin is from the old Soviet system of fighting, and he’s been taught not to lose his cool when he’s fouled repeatedly.
As such, if Whyte chooses to turn the match into an MMA affair rather than a boxing match, then Povetkin will stay composed and will stick to his game plan.
For Whyte’s sake, you would hope that he has a better game plan than to just rough up Povetkin and hope for the best. I don’t think that’s going to work to Whyte in this fight because Povetkin is too highly skilled.
Povetkin wins this fight by an 8th round knockout after catching an exhausted Whyte with several left hooks to the head that puts him down face-first on the canvas.
The loss for Whyte will be deeply upsetting for Hearn, who will walk around the Matchroom Fight Camp grounds in a daze afterward, wondering what went wrong.
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