Sneaky old Eddie hid a rematch clause in the contract that now forces Alexander Povetkin to re-knockout Dillian Whyte if he wishes to progress down the WBC path.

Matchroom: Povetkin vs Whyte II Predictions & Results

Main Event

Heavyweight (200+)

WBC Interim World Heavyweight Title

Alexander Povetkin (36-2-1, 25KO) vs Dillian Whyte (27-2, 18KO)

There has been many different takes on the Povetkin Whyte I fight, and none more stupid than the claim that Povetkin landed a lucky punch. The wily Russian veteran certainly struggled in the fourth round, a round in which Whyte should have turned the screw and finished his opponent, but he had performed solidly otherwise. Tucked behind his high guard, Povetkin defended well against Whyte’s lethal left hook and attempted to make Whyte pay when he targeted the body. At range, Povetkin struggled to win the jabbing war, but on the inside, Povetkin tagged Whyte with his typically vicious hooks to the liver and head. After Povetkin has spent all four previous rounds visibly dipping to his left to fire off liver shots, it was no wonder then why Whyte was utterly destroyed by a thunderous uppercut masked by Povetkin’s sway to the left. Catching Whyte so cleanly was perhaps fortunate, but lucky? Ridiculous. Povetkin had simply out-foxed the bigger, stronger man – a common theme throughout Povetkin’s career.

Enduring a bout of COVID, which some conspiracy nuts may draw up to potential PEDs avoidance, will only benefit Whyte. Scandalously, Whyte was cleared by the commissions to fight Povetkin as early as the New Year 2021 – leaving him almost no time to recover from such a destructive knockout. Instead, Whyte has had the full time to recover and train while poor old elderly Povetkin may have suffered unseen effects from COVID. Moreover, after Whyte’s strange body transformation post-UKAD case, he finally seems to be back at optimal weight around 248lbs. Although only 4lbs lighter than last time out, Whyte’s mid-rift is visibly trimmer and may indicate a game plan to take the fight late.

Despite the result of the first fight, this is still a fight that Whyte really should win. Michael Hunter gave Povetkin fits with volume early that completely drained the Russian by the final four rounds. Although Whyte doesn’t exactly match the speed or quantity of blown-up LHW Hunter, he could do with pressing the action more than the first bout. Sitting on the back-foot had already started to create problems for Whyte by the third round against Povetkin, who was able to pepper the Brit to the body before the lumbersome Brixton boy could react. Moreover, the success that Whyte found in Round 4 stemmed from his decision to meet Povetkin at the mid-range and clobber the Russian with hard straight shots to open up the opportunity of a left hook. For Povetkin to win, he would need Whyte to fight almost identically to their past fight. For Whyte to win, he would only need to change certain aspects of range and pacing.

Predicted Result: Whyte TKO Round 8

Despite the decisive ending to their first encounter, many of the same questions linger around their rematch. While there remains foolish takes that Povetkin should have been withdrawn after the fourth round, or worse yet, his uppercut was a lucky punch – reviewing the tape shows the Russian had far more success than previously thought. As Whyte strangely fought off of the back-foot, Povetkin was able to land regularly to the body and eventually set up the lead uppercut after mimicking the same movement as his previous liver shots. Still, it would take Whyte to fight an identical fight for Povetkin to secure a similarly emphatic knockout. After Povetkin enduring a bout of COVID, and scheduling issues allowing Whyte to fully recover from the damaging KO, external factors only serve to benefit the Brit. Moreover, if Whyte continues to press on the front-foot earlier with his jab, he can more safely guide the fight to the later rounds where the Russian has recently trailed hard (i.e. Hunter). Finally, will Whyte just once use his size advantage to tie up Povetkin when stranded up close and weigh down on Povetkin? It is dangerous with Povetkin’s fabulous inside game, but the forty-one-year-old doesn’t have the tank to keep all 248lbs of Whyte held up for twelve rounds.

Don’t blink, Whyte Povetkin I was a tumultuous five-round affair in which ultimately the fans watching won.

Result: Whyte def. Povetkin // TKO Round 4 2:39

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

Co-Main Event

Super Welterweight (154)

vacant British Super Welterweight Title

Ted Cheeseman (16-2-1, 9KO) vs James Metcalf (21-0, 13KO)

Cheeseman should really find himself on a four-fight slide, if not for VERY kind scorecards from notorious clowns (Ian John-Lewis, Howard Foster, etc). Of course, the Keiron Conway and Sam Eggington fights are debatable, but I remember scoring them against ‘The Big Cheese’. It is strange to say about a twenty-five-year-old, but Cheeseman may be close to peaking – having already endured a ridiculous amount of punishment in his nineteen fight career. Exposed by Sergio Garcia at the European level, Cheeseman has done little to change his game up.

Cheeseman still operates behind a high guard that eventually becomes his only defensive means after he tires by the sixth round onwards. While his offensive volume remains potent throughout the full twelve, he tends to rest his head on opponents on the inside and is open to punishing uppercuts and bodywork. Worse yet, Cheeseman has a horrible habit of dropping his hands after eating a body shot, allowing opponents to then strike his chin clean. While the durability of Cheeseman is rarely in doubt, he kills himself on the scorecards because of his reckless defence. While Cheeseman has gained vast experience against very strong fighters in his last four fights, his sheer athleticism hasn’t been enough to bail him out. Being beaten to the jab by Eggington is not a good look.

Metcalf has been out of the ring for almost two years, three if you consider his last fight was a tune-up against a 15-49 opponent. If Cheeseman is to ever defeat Metcalf, this would be the best time. Regardless of Eddie’s devilish matchmaking, Metcalf is a slippery range boxer who tries to keep opponents on the end of his jab. Worryingly, Metcalf was forced to shell up often by Jason Welborn early on in their Commonwealth bout. Whenever Welborn was able to slip the jab, he was able to close the distance and catch Metcalf with short uppercuts and hooks. Cheeseman is a nightmare during the early rounds who can cause Metcalf to unravel against the ropes. Metcalf is durable, however, and was able to grind his way through the opening rounds against Welborn to eventually dictate the pace of the fight and stop Welborn.

Predicted Result: Cheeseman Decision

As much as it pains me to back Cheeseman and his ridiculously woeful striking defence post-sixth round, he appears to be a stylistic nightmare for James Metcalf. With almost three years out of the ring since his last meaningful fight, the ring rust will be real for former Commonwealth champ, James Metcalf. Although the scouser can find great success with his jab at range, more-so because Cheeseman refuses to move his head off the centre line, eventually The Big Cheese will drag Metcalf into a dog-fight on the inside. While Metcalf was eventually able to out-tough Jason Welborn, a war on the inside will favour the ridiculous durability of Cheeseman. Metcalf’s sustained attacks to the body are brutal, but by dropping his hands he will be wide open for Cheeseman’s clubbing combinations – combos that will catch the scorers eyes and lead him to victory. Expect an ugly but entertaining fight, it’s just a shame that Metcalf will be entering the ring out of practice.

In a bloody battle to be crowned the most handsome man in boxing, the egg got cracked but the cheese got grated.

Result: Cheeseman def. Metcalf // TKO Round 11 3:10

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Rest of the Card

Welterweight (147)

WBO Global Welterweight Title

Chris Kongo (12-0, 7KO) vs Michael McKinson (19-0, 2KO)

Chris Kongo looked like a new man last time out against Luther Clay. Previously, Kongo had proved himself to be a powerful puncher that starts with fast feet used to explode into range and catch opponents off-guard. The major issue Kongo faced was his tendency to fall into his shots and leave himself stranded in the pocket – which I expected Luther Clay to capitalise upon. Instead, Congo seemed far more balanced with his shots and educated with his punch selection. Operating behind his jab, Kongo broke Clay down over nine rounds and managed the distance well against relentless forward pressure and bodywork. There are still issues with Kongo’s limp efforts in the clinch, easily bullied by the much smaller Clay, but this is an area that can be resolved over the coming years.

Michael McKinson represents a big step-up for Kongo, despite the lack of power from the Portsmouth man’s feather dusters. Only twenty-six years old, McKinson has already succeeded at an international level with dominant decision victories over Luis Alberto Veron and Evgeny Pavko. Moreover, McKinson has also successfully overcome tough domestic operators in Ryan Kelly and Martin Harkin. While the name value isn’t much to inspire the masses, McKinson has exhibited sharp upper body movement with an accurate counter-punching game. Although difficult to hit in his awkward Philly shell, McKinson’s lack of footwork leaves him stranded in awkward positions. Moreover, even after landing crisp counters, none of McKinson’s opponents have been swayed from continuing their front-foot advances.

Predicted Result: Kongo Decision

McKinson is a sharp counter-puncher operating out of an awkward Philly shell that will cause Kongo a few technical issues in the early rounds. Stylistically and aesthetically, there is a lot to like about McKinson. A complete lack of footwork and power in the hands though, will allow Kongo to continually prod forward with his jab, however. While Kongo wasn’t able to fire many clean significant shots during the Clay fight, his jab frequently landed and secured rounds on the scorecards. McKinson isn’t a fighter who will expose Kongo’s weakness in a messy clinch affair, and his sharp head movement won’t protect his exposed body. Eventually, Kongo will break McKinson with his laser-accurate jab and find an opportunity to land the winning blow.

Result: McKinson def. Kongo // Decision (unanimous – 95-94, 96-94, 97-93)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Heavyweight (200+)

Fabio Wardley (10-0, 9KO) vs Eric Molina (27-6, 19KO)

Aside from his demolition job over Simon Vallily, there hasn’t been a standout performance by Fabio Wardley over any Heavyweight yet. Richard Lartey rocked up looking for a payday if we are to go off of his dramatic fall in the second round. This isn’t Wardley’s fault, and there is a lot to like in Wardley’s slick boxing. Mixing the weight behind his jab, Wardley has so far caused opponent’s nightmares as they struggle to time their entries into striking range. Moreover, the risky shoulder rolls come with great rewards as Wardley is in a prime position to land swift counters to his overextended opponent. By keeping his left-hand low, the unorthodox angle of Wardley’s left hook tags opponents unaware and was most apparent in the knockout over Simon Vallily.

Eric Molina seems to be doing the rounds these days solely looking for a payday. Although he gave Dominic Breazeale a decent workout back in 2017, Molina was toppled with strange ease by Filip Hrgovic just a couple of years ago. What was once a power-punching world title contender, is now a ring rusty thirty-eight year old who has suffered three big knockout losses in his last five fights. Molina attempts to rope-a-dope these days but his leaky defence means he just gets tagged then stopped early. The man tries to rugby tackle his opponents too lol.

Predicted Result: Wardley TKO Round 4

What was once a power-punching world title contender, Eric Molina now does the rounds looking for a payday. Suffering three knockout losses in his last five fights, and adopting a rope-a-dope strategy that doesn’t work due to his leaky striking defence, Molina offers at best a good name on your record. Wardley’s jab has been developed nicely over the past few fights, and it won’t take much to move Molina onto the ropes. From there, it is just a matter of time before Wardley finds the finish.

Result: Wardley def. Molina // KO Round 5 0:52

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Heavyweight (200+)

Erik Pfeifer (7-0, 5KO) vs Nick Webb (16-2, 12KO)

Erik Pfeifer is another Dillian Whyte signing featuring on his undercard (including Kongo), pitted against a tough power puncher in Nick Webb. As an amateur, Pfeifer defeated Olympic Champion, Tony Yoka, twice and is no doubt setting up for a big future bout. The thirty-four-year-old doesn’t have time to waste and must overcome Webb decisively if he wants to throw his name in the mix for bigger fights. Last beating Adnan Redzovic over five rounds, Pfiefer tripled up his jab often before launching hurtful body straights and rear uppercuts. Moreover, Pfeifer’s hand fighting meant he parried most of Redzovic’s attacks before they could land.

Nick Webb is a big lump who is still stuck in domestic purgatory. Supposed to have his breakout fight against David Allen, the White Rhino on short notice delivered an overhand right that would kickstart his career while forcibly stripping Webb out of the limelight. To then be stopped by Kamil Sokolowski, the biggest banana skin journeyman in the Heavyweight division, Webb seemed finished. Cue a successful night in the Ultimate Boxxer tournament that crowned Webb the champion over decent regional opponents. Having been out the ring for two years, though, this is a monumental task for the limited power puncher.

Predicted Result: Pfiefer TKO Round 6

Unfortunately for Webb, he has been forced to sit on the sidelines rather than ride the wave of form he found upon winning the Ultimate Boxxer tournament back at the end of 2019. Webb is a big unit with heavy hands, but Pfiefer’s long amateur pedigree and seemingly smooth transition to the professional ranks heavily points towards Pfiefer finishing this in the mid/late rounds. Pfeifer is a nightmare at the mid-range, Webb’s strongest area, and is sharp enough to evade Webb’s telegraphed shots.

Result: Webb def. Pfeifer // TKO Round 2 1:51

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

Super Featherweight (130)

Youssef Khoumari (11-0-1, 4KO) vs Kane Baker (14-7)

Twenty-four-year-old prospect, Youssef Khoumari, struggled in his English Title dust-up with the front-foot aggression of Liam Dillon. Dillon, a limited pressure fighter, ground Khoumari down against the ropes. Although Khoumari was able to catch most of the shots on the guard, he spent almost all of the fight on the ropes and as a result, unnecessarily bled on the scorecards. In the centre of the ring, Khoumari has a beautiful variety of shots – especially the body uppercuts that mean he rarely misses the mark.

Kane Baker is an underdog that is easy to get behind. Having been forced to give rounds to top prospects, Baker always brings the same aggression and tenacity from the opening bell to the end. Roughing Aqib Fiaz across eight rounds, Baker was unfortunate not to have earned himself at least a draw for his performance. Not to be held back, just a fortnight later, Baker defeated prospect, Meshech Speare, in a dominant six-round performance despite sustaining a bad cut.

Predicted Result: Khoumari Decision

If the same Youssef Khoumari who fought against Liam Dillon enters the ring, he is in for a world of trouble. Too easily pressured onto the ropes, although Khoumari took little damage, he bled rounds by refusing to move back to the centre. Khoumari, though, has likely learnt a great deal since his English title bout and will keep the fight at a mid-range where he excels. Baker is a ferocious pressure fighter who has tightened his jab in recent years and owns vast experience over top prospects. His offence is telegraphed, however, and against opponents moving laterally he struggles to effectively cut off the ring.

Result: Khoumari def. Baker // TKO Round 5 2:22

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Super Featherweight (130)

Campbell Hatton (DEBUT) vs Jesus Ruiz (0-10)

Son of Ricky Hatton, who needs no introduction, Campbell is a twenty-year-old prospect who won a few regional North West Titles in the amateurs. Despite not spending enough time in the amateurs to claim bigger crowns, Campbell has a long career ahead with the support of Matthew and Ricky Hatton – two Brits who know the professional ranks better than anyone.

Spaniard, Jesus Ruiz, is a last-minute opponent who Hearn has likely just pulled out the crowd. With only one stoppage loss on his record, Ruiz is a man who offers rounds to prospects.

Predicted Result: Hatton Decision

While Ruiz won’t offer too much in the way of damage, Campbell will gain vital rounds under the lights as he begins his professional career. While Campbell didn’t exactly set the amateur scene alight, Campbell has great tutorship under Matthew and Ricky Hatton and seems to fight in a similar bodywork-heavy vein as his family.

Result: Hatton def. Ruiz // Decision (referee’s scorecard – 40-36)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Prediction Accuracy

Matchroom: Povetkin vs Whyte II

Winner: 5/7

Method: 4/7

Round: 2/7

2021 Boxing Season

Winner: 22/31

Method: 17/31

Round: 12/31

Overall Boxing

Winner: 82/105

Method: 63/105

Round: 51/105

Takeaway comments: Nick Webb vs Dave Allen II, a Hearn matchmaking masterclass coming to your TV screens soon!

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