Dillyan Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) attempts to avenge the devastating knockout loss he suffered to Alexander Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) and to reposition himself for a big money fight on Saturday in Gibraltar.
In their first meeting last August, Whyte sent Povetkin to the canvas twice in the fourth round but got brutally laid out by a left uppercut in the fifth. Numerous questions surround the rematch, as Povetkin suffered from covid 19 which led to two hospital stints and caused the rematch, originally planned for November, to be postponed twice. Povetkin will turn 42 this year and is already at an age where a fighter can fall off a cliff from one fight to the next. When you add covid to the mix, the type of form he will be in is a real question mark. If he is still the fighter he was last year, he stands a good shot. He is a devastating puncher and still has a speed advantage over most heavyweights. He was able to find his way past Whyte’s jab well in the first fight and work the body nicely with his left hook on the inside. However he also got dropped twice there and his durability might not be what it once was.
For Whyte, despite those two knockdowns, the strategy should be to keep away and work behind the jab at least until Povetkin’s cardio is tested. He could knock him out if he chose to stand toe to toe but why roll the dice against a power puncher with faster hands? If Povetkin has recovered from covid and Whyte from the KO loss, this should be a fun, competitive fight that puts the winner in the wings as a potential opponent for the winner of Joshua vs Fury.
In the co-main event, Ted Cheeseman (16-2-1, 9 KOs) and James Metcalf (21-0, 13 KOs) battle it out for the british superwelterweight title. Metcalf is a flashy boxer with a nice lead hand and bouncy footwork. He’s also stopped his last seven opponents. The catch is that he’s fought mostly dreadful competition. 15 of his 21 victims sported losing records when he fought them and two more have dipped below .500 since their fight. He clearly has some talent but having fought just 4 winning fighters at 32 after a nearly decade long career is dysmal. Cheeseman, on the other hand, is the furthest thing from a cutie in the ring. He will put his hands up, walk his man down and try to bully him on the inside with his size and relentless pace and he’s done it against a much higher standard of opposition than Metcalf.
Predictions are hard to make when a fighter is as untested as Metcalf. Some moments of his fights against his best opposition make me think he could struggle to keep the Big Cheese off of him and I tend to side with the more proven quantity in those type of match ups especially if they’re also 7 years younger. Anyway this shakes out it is be a fun clash of styles and a must win for Metcalf if he’s to make anything at all of his talent in the time he has left in the sport.
Povetkin vs Whyte II airs on DAZN on Saturday March 27th at 2:00pm ET / 11:00am PT.