Dillian Whyte gained revenge over Alexander Povetkin in Gibraltar on Saturday night, stopping the Russian in spectacular fashion in the ‘Rumble on the Rock’.
Whyte entered the ring with a robe dedicated to one of his idols, the great Marvin Hagler, and the legendary middleweight would have been impressed with how the Brixton fighter performed throughout the night.
Whyte nearly stopped his 41-year-old opponent inside the first 60 seconds, coming at him like a man possessed and throwing a flurry of bombs, including a vicious body shot that put Povetkin on wobbly legs. Povetkin regained his composure but it was Whyte who was firmly in the driving seat, with no sign of showing any demons from that surprise knockout defeat in their first fight last August.
Povetkin found himself on unsteady legs again in the second and third rounds, after taking some hefty punishment from Whyte’s excellent work with his jabs and right hands at long-range. It all came to an end in the fourth round when a huge hook from Whyte sent Povetkin to the canvas. He rose to his feet but was waved off by the referee.
After the fight, Whyte said, "He's a tough guy and I had to be careful. But I could have finished it early.
"I'm ready to run it back again. I shouldn't have lost the first time. From the first round, I was on to him.
"I still believe I can be a world champion and I can beat anyone.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn stated that he wants Whyte to fight again this summer, potentially in America. He added that he sees Whyte vs Deontay Wilder as a "colossal fight" that could fill up a stadium in the future.
"He wanted the energy and his world championship dreams were on the line tonight,” Hearn said.
"We called for Deontay Wilder for a long time. He DM'd Dillian and said he wouldn't give him that fight.”
Elsewhere on the card, Ted Cheeseman regained the British super-welterweight title after stopping JJ Metcalf in a thrilling British Fight of the Year contender. With just seconds remaining in the eleventh round, Cheeseman launched a stunning left hook that sent Metcalf, who was tough as old boots tonight, flying backwards. He bravely tried to get back on his feet but couldn’t beat the ref’s count.
Ipswich heavyweight Fabio Wardley, a protege of Whyte, came through a tough test against veteran Eric Molina, stopping two-time world title challenger in the fourth round. Molina badly hurt Wardley in that final stanza but the 26-year-old, who is now 11-0 (10), countered with a vicious shot that sent the Texan to the canvas and unable to get back up.
Campbell Hatton, son of Ricky, got his professional career off to a winning start with a unanimous points victory over Jesus Ruiz.