By Barry Holbrook: Dillian Whyte showed class on Monday in sending a positive message to Alexander Povetkin following his retirement announcement last weekend.
Former WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin (36-3-1, 25 KOs) said he was hanging up his gloves because of his numerous unhealed injuries that he’s still dealing with.
Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs), who is coming off of a fourth-round knockout win over the 41-year-old Povetkin last March in Gibraltar, wishes him happiness in the next chapter of his life.
Povetkin beat Whyte last year by a fifth-round knockout on August 22nd at the Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex.
The victory was a last hoorah for Povetkin, who had come into the match as the underdog, expecting to get beaten by the younger 32-year-old Whyte.
Whyte wishes Povetkin a happy retirement
Happy retirement to one of the best modern day heavyweight and a great champion god bless you enjoy your next chapter and thank your for two great fights @povetkinalexandr #truewarrior #respect pic.twitter.com/KLSL5hnduc
— Dillian Whyte (@DillianWhyte) June 13, 2021
However, the Russian fighter showed that he still had a little bit of magic left in him, as he knocked Whyte out with a sparking left uppercut to the head in the fifth round.
The rematch came a little too soon for Povetkin, considering he was coming off a bad illness from having contracted COVID 19 in late last year.
Some boxing fans believe that Povetkin was pressured into taking the fight too soon after recently recovering from COVID 19.
We know that Whyte didn’t believe that Povetkin had been sick, but he sure didn’t look like the same fighter physically in the rematch.
Ideally, it would have been better for Povetkin to wait eight to 12 months to recover from his illness before fighting Whyte again, as he basically started training camp right after recovering. That’s not the ideal way to prepare for a huge fight like the rematch with Whyte.
When Povetkin did fight Whyte for the second time in March, he didn’t look sharp as he had in their first fight.
Was Povetkin rushed into the rematch?
Whyte took full advantage of Povetkin’s conditioning by dominating him and scoring a fourth-round knockout to win back his interim WBC heavyweight title.
It’s too bad Whyte and Eddie Hearn didn’t give Povetkin more time to recover from his illness before staging the rematch. The way it went down, Povetkin looked like he literally climbed out of the hospital bed into the ring to face Dillian for the second fight.
Povetkin and Whyte are now 1-1 after two fights. If Povetkin wished to continue on with his career, there would be interest in the third fight between them at some point.
Unfortunately, Povetkin sounds like he’s dealing with too many injuries for him to continue his career, so he’s going to walk away.
Povetkin did himself proud, winning the WBA heavyweight title and holding it from 2011 to 2013. He lost the belt to Wladimir Klitschko, who was one of the longest-reigning heavyweight champions during his career.