Dillian Whyte is expecting to rematch Alexander Povetkin before the end of 2020 – and says he has no regrets about facing the Russian.
The 32-year-old Brixton heavyweight was on the end of a stunning knockout on Saturday night.
Whyte had floored Povetkin twice in the fourth round but was poleaxed by the Russian early in the fifth round – a huge left uppercut dropping him to the canvas.
It means the South Londoner has lost his WBC world interim belt and his chances of a shot at Tyson Fury – who holds the full version of that governing body’s world title – early in 2021.
Whyte had been mandatory contender with the WBC for more than 1,000 days.
But now he needs to defeat Povetkin to move back to the top of the rankings. Even then there will not be the same kind of time pressure for him to get a crack at Fury, who is contractually obliged to complete his trilogy against Deontay Wilder. The path is clear for him to now also take on Anthony Joshua without fear of being stripped of his belt.
Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that Whyte has a rematch clause which will be activated to face Povetkin again.
“I was bossing the fight, I was winning the fight and then I got caught,” Whyte told Sky Sports News on Sunday.
“It’s not like I got beat up round after round. I just got clocked.
“The main thing is we’ve got a rematch. We’re going to try and exercise the rematch and get it done by the end of the year.
“I’ll have a couple of weeks rest and then get straight back in the gym. It’s not like I need to improve on anything – I just need to be a bit more switched on at certain stages.
“It’s a simple adjustment to make.
“I have no regrets. It was a great fight. I know I can beat him and I showed that from round one, I was getting on to him. His corner were on the verge of pulling him out and he pulled out one of the best punches of his career.
“That’s heavyweight boxing – it’s full of drama, ups and downs. I didn’t want to rush him in the fourth because he’s dangerous when he’s hurt. He swings big hooks and stuff.
“It’s a silly mistake. I block the punch a hundred times in training. The one time it needed to be blocked I decided to counter. He was on his last legs.
“I’m still one of the top heavyweights around. I learned a harsh mistake. I’m still upbeat and ready to go.
“I know one million per cent I can beat him. In the rematch I will handle business.
“It’s the story of my life – setback after setback.
“I’ll spend some time with my family and then get straight back into training. I’m already in good shape. I had a good camp – 10-12 weeks and I’m good to go.
“I had a little chat to Eddie [Hearn] this morning [Sunday]. This is a big fight. There’s no point waiting until next year. I’m in shape and he’s in shape – let’s get it on.”
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