Nelson apologizes to Povetkin over “lucky punch” comment about victory over Whyte

By Boxing News - 09/10/2020 - Comments

By Charles Brun: Johnny Nelson is doing a bit of groveling now in apologizing to Alexander Povetkin for saying that the left uppercut that he used to knockout Dillian Whyte on August 22 was a “lucky punch.”

In watching the fight back, the former cruiserweight champion Nelson realizes that is a punch that Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) had in his artillery. He used against Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs), who has proven to be vulnerable to uppercuts in the past in fights against Anthony Joshua and Oscar Rivas.

Both of those fighters had Dillian on the deck after smashing him with uppercuts. Whyte was fortunate not to be knocked out in the 12th round by Rivas after being hurt by a body shot in their fight in July of 2019.

The referee made the mistake of thinking that Whyte was hurt by a low blow rather than a body shot. Subsequently, Whyte was given a timeout to recover from the body shot, which he shouldn’t have. The fight took place in London, England.

Nelson freely admits that he was emotionally invested in Whyte, his fellow countryman from the UK.

Image: Nelson apologizes to Povetkin over "lucky punch" comment about victory over Whyte

Nelson was emotionally invested in Whyte

“Because I was so emotionally invested in our boy, I didn’t give Povetkin credit,” said Nelson to IFL TV about Alexander’s win over Whyte. “Looking at the fight again, it was a wicked shot. Dillian made a mistake, and that was the same shot that he got caught against Anthony Joshua.

“Dillian was lifting his boys [afterward] because we were all gutted, but you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Povetkin did a wicked shot. He was catching a beating, and he still pulled it out of the bag. So my apologies are there for Povetkin,” Nelson said.

If Nelson had watched any of Povetkin’s fights, he would have known that he sets up his knockout shots. Povetkin waits until the perfect moment to unload with his best power punches, and that’s how he’s been able to score a lot of knockouts.

Alexander, 40, doesn’t crudely go out there, putting everything into each punch the way that Dillian does. Povetkin is more strategic and lulls his opponents to sleep by throwing with low to moderate power. When Povetkin finally gets them in the perfect position, he unloads with a massive punch, which they’re not ready for.

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Johnny: Dillian won’t make the same mistake

“So I’ve got to give Povetkin credit,” Nelson continued with his apologetic tone. “He had the wisdom to know that he still has that in his artillery. Dillian made a mistake, a mistake that he’ll never make again.

“Fortunately, he has a rematch clause. Good on Povetkin for saying, ‘Let’s do this again,’ even though he was taking a beating before that point. He thinks he can catch him again,” Nelson said.

As you can see, Nelson believes that Whyte won’t make the same mistake again and get caught by another KO punch from the wily fox Povetkin. Well, if that was that’s the case, then why didn’t Dillian learn from his matches against Joshua and Rivas?

The fact that Whyte keeps getting hurt by the same uppercut punch suggests that he’s NOT learning from his mistakes, is he? For Nelson to say that Whyte won’t make the same mistake against Povetkin, that makes him out to be a fortunate teller.

It doesn’t work like that in life. If you’re in a job and you keep making the same mistake repeatedly, then that’s a sign that you’re not learning. In Whyte’s case, all we can do is judge him from the past when trying to extrapolate what will happen in the future.

Given that Whyte has proven to be a sucker for an uppercut, it’s safe to assume that flaw will endure. Unfortunately, Nelson is hoping that Whyte will finally learn from his mistake and get it right, but history doesn’t show us that. Nelson is ignoring the past when making his prediction about what Whyte WON’T do in the rematch with Povetkin.

Image: Nelson apologizes to Povetkin over "lucky punch" comment about victory over Whyte

Can Whyte handle another uppercut?

The only thing we can accurately predict with Whyte is, he’ll keep getting hit with uppercuts for the remainder of his career, including his rematch with Povetkin.

The real question is, will Whyte be able to take the uppercut shots from Povetkin? We know Whyte is going to get hit with that shot, but can he take it? That’s the only real question going into their rematch, which is expected to take place in November in the UK.

At this point, Povetkin knows Whyte like a book, and it’s only going to be a matter of time before he nails him with an uppercut similar to the one he scorched him with last August.

There’s a perfect chance that Whyte’s punch resistance won’t allow him to take that uppercut blast from Povetkin, and we’ll see him get knocked out once again. Where Dillian goes from there is anyone’s guess. His career will be in tatters, needless to say.