Whyte will lose to Povetkin predicts Michael Hunter

By Boxing News - 08/20/2020 - Comments

By Max Seitelman: Michael Hunter is predicting trouble for interim WBC heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte in his 12-round match against Alexander Povetkin this Saturday night at the Matchroom Fight Camp, in Brentwood, England.

Povetkin, 40, is the opponent that #1 WBC ranking Whyte wanted for his August 22 contest on DAZN and Sky Box Office, as he’s highly ranked and well-known by the hardcore boxing fans.

The former WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) has a lot of experience going for him as noted by Hunter, and he’s only lost to Anthony Joshua in 2018 and Wladimir Klitschko in 2013.

It appears that Whyte, 32, has taken Povetkin seriously as an opponent based on the excellent condition he’s coming into this fight. Compared to Whyte’s flabby physique last December in his contest against Mariusz Wach in Saudi Arabia, he now looks like body beautiful.

For the boxing fans that don’t remember, Whyte looked in similarly excellent condition for his contest against Oscar Rivas last year in July 2019, and he was dropped in that fight.

Rivas also had Whyte hurt and ready to be knocked down a second time in the 10th round, but the British referee Victor Loughlin blew a call when he stopped the action from giving Dillian a rest break after a body shot hurt him.

Image: Whyte will lose to Povetkin predicts Michael Hunter

Loughlin thought it was a low blow that Whyte had been hit by Rivas. In fact, it was a body shot, and by stopping the action and giving Dillian a timeout to recover, he might have unwittingly saved Dillian being knocked out. At the very least, Loughlin prevented Whyte from being dropped. Hopefully, we don’t see mistakes of this kind marring Saturday’s Whyte vs. Povetkin clash.

Povetkin can end Dillian’s dreams

A loss for Whyte on Saturday would mean that he would need to face Povetkin in an immediate rematch, and that would upset his plans to try and force WBC champion, Tyson Fury, to meet him.

Whyte would no longer be the WBC mandatory to Fury if he loses to Povetkin, and the Russian fighter wouldn’t likely want to fight him straightaway. If Povetkin wins, his promoters at World of Boxing will push for a title shot against the 6’9″ Fury. Povetkin would be Fury’s new WBC mandatory, and it an excellent payday opportunity.

Even if Fury chooses not to fight Povetkin, he’ll likely be made the new WBC heavyweight champion outside of the ring by the World Boxing Council. Povetkin would then face the next available contender designated by the WBC, which could be anybody.

Based on the rankings, Povetkin should face Luis Ortiz, but Matchroom would likely push for an immediate rematch between Povetkin and Whyte. It’s hard to see the WBC saying no to them.

Image: Whyte will lose to Povetkin predicts Michael Hunter

Hunter: Whyte will have trouble

Whyte (27-1, 8 KOs) isn’t in the same class as Klitschko or Joshua, and he could be in for a surprise when he gets inside the ring with the 15-year professional Povetkin.

In Povetkin’s last fight, he fought to a 10 round draw against the 32-year-old Hunter on December 7 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Povetkin was clipped by a hard right hand from Hunter in the opening round that hurt him, but he was able to stay calm and collected to come back from that to dominate most of the remaining rounds.

There was a lot of holding initiated by Hunter throughout the fight, especially in the second half that made it hard to score the rounds.

Image: Whyte will lose to Povetkin predicts Michael Hunter

Povetkin was still landing the better shots before being tied up by Hunter, but it was a close contender. It would have been nice to see how the fight would have ended up if Hunter didn’t grab so much.

“I think Dillian Whyte is going to lose. I think Dillian Whyte is going to take an L,” said Hunter to Sky Sports.

“Povetkin will be there to get him. The fight will be at a decent pace. I think it’s going to be an interesting fight to see because the pace is going to be very similar, so I’m probably going to lean towards Povetkin.”

It would be a significant shock to Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn and his company if Whyte were to lose to Povetkin. They’ve been counting on using him as a piece in the puzzle to match against the likes of Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, and Anthony Joshua for many years now.

While it wouldn’t be the end of the road for Whyte, if he were to get beaten decisively by Povetkin, it would put his career in a station where it could be the beginning of the end for him.

In real terms, a defeat for Whyte on Saturday night would make it necessary for him to face Povetkin again unless it were a controversial loss.

What excuses will there be?

You can believe that Whyte and Hearn will try and undermine Povetkin’s victory any way they can by creating doubt by talking conspiracy theories and saying that it was a robbery. But if Whyte does get knocked out, it’ll make it tougher to come up with a sufficient excuse to explain away the loss,

Whyte won’t be able to blame the judges or the referee if he’s knocked cold by Povetkin. It would have to be another excuse based on Whyte’s training and body size like we saw after his close 10 round decision win over journeyman Mariusz Wach last December.

Whyte won the fight over the 39-year-old Wach, but he took a real beating from the 6’7″ Polish fighter on the night, and he didn’t look like a world-class level guy.

Dillian came into the fight at 271 pounds, and he looked like he’d been training on donuts and cream cakes during camp. As such, Whyte’s weight turned out to be the perfect excuse for him to blame his horrible performance on the night, and the boxing public willingly bought into it.

Hearn was one of the first to start with the excuses on Whyte’s behalf immediately after the contest, blaming his conditioning for him struggling against Wach.

The result was Wach getting no credit for fighting his heart out, showing excellent power and toughness to give Whyte the fight of his life. In looking back at that fight, Wach would still give Whyte just as many issues now as he did again then.

Image: Whyte will lose to Povetkin predicts Michael Hunter

Wach gave Dillian problems

Whyte had problems with Wach not because of his conditioning, but rather because the guy is enormous, has a great chin, and he can dish out punishment against anybody.

Any fighter can be tough if you can’t get rid of them and need to go the full 12 rounds to get the win. We’ve seen that in Vasiliy Lomachenko’s matches against Jose Pedraza and Luke Campbell.

Although Lomachenko won both fights, he had to go the distance to get the victories, and he took punishment along the way. Those were fights. Whyte had the same problem against Wach, and he likely would have a similar problem if they fought again.

“I think it’s [knockout win for Povetkin] very possible,” continued Hunter. “The percentage is high and that’s why I think this is a good fight because people want to see explosions and I think they’re going to get it here, even if it’s for two minutes, or it might be for the whole fight.

Hunter (18-1-1, 12 KOs) was at his best in the first four rounds against Povetkin last December, but he quickly tailed off after that. The judges scored it 115-113 for Hunter, 115-113 for Povetkin at 114-114.