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Povetkin knocks out Whyte to become WBC interim champion


Russia’s former heavyweight world champion Alexander Povetkin defeated Britain’s Dillian Whyte in the fifth round via a technical knockout on Saturday night to win the WBC interim heavyweight champion title.

The inaugural WBC Diamond heavyweight belt was also on the line during the bout, held at Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex, England.

Despite two knockdowns in the fourth round, Povetkin managed to knock out his opponent with a left uppercut in the fifth.

“After the fourth round I was feeling normally. Although there were knockdowns, I was fine. I was lucky, I had an opportunity to strike,” Povetkin told Russia’s Ren-TV. “It was a good hit, maybe the best knockout in my career. I’m ready to box with anyone, I just want to keep boxing.”

The interim title will allow Povetkin to pursue the WBC heavyweight title. The title is currently held by UK’s Tyson Fury, who is to face Deontay Wilder of the United States in December. Povetkin is to face the winner of this fight.

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The Povetkin-Whyte bout was initially scheduled to be held on May 2 in Manchester. However, the fight was postponed indefinitely because of the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus.

In late May, various sports media reported that a mandatory challenge bout for the World Boxing Council (WBC) belt between Russian heavyweight boxer Alexander Povetkin and Britain’s Dillian Whyte would be organized either on August 8 or 15 without spectators in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte, 31, has a personal record of 27 wins (18 by KOs) and two defeats throughout his professional boxing career.

Povetkin is known to the fans as the ‘Russian Vityaz,’ and boasts a personal record of 36 wins (25 KOs), two defeats and one draw throughout his career. The Russian boxer also won the gold at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens.

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Povetkin fought last time in December 2019 against US heavyweight Michael ‘The Bounty’ Hunter. Povetkin and Hunter fought to a draw on December 7, 2019 in Saudi Arabia in the WBA (the World Boxing Association) Heavyweight Title Eliminator bout. The judges’ scorecards read 115-113 for Povetkin, 115-113 for Hunter and 114-114.

Povetkin celebrated his 40th birthday on September 2, 2019, two days after his win over Britain’s Hughie Fury. Late last year, Povetkin underwent a surgery on his elbows and then he announced that he was “not thinking about wrapping up his sports career.”.