There was no replay of his formidable UK elimination against Dillian Whyte when Alexander Povetkin was rocked in Gibraltar by the Briton’s revenge mission, raising concerns that the tough man would go out of line with a four-round loss.

Russian hero Povetkin had a slugfest during the fast, high-speed fight with Whyte. The unusually torn Londoner wanted revenge on the shuddering end that narrowed his title hopes in the fifth round of his first fight in August.

While he’s not known for his show manners, Povetkin seemed a little lagging from the start, and many fans on social media suggested that he wasn’t as handsome as he was.

The referee finally ended the bout within seconds when a swaying povetkin absorbed a series of dangerous shots from Whyte and did admirable efforts to keep himself on his feet while looking increasingly insecure before sinking against the ropes.

The result earned the long-running Povetkin only the second TKO defeat of his celebrated 40-fight career and meant he lost the WBC intermediate belt he received from beating Whyte.

His only premature loss came to a man who also defeated Whyte and lost to multi-belt champion Anthony Joshua in 2018.

At 41, there will be inevitable questions about his future in sport as well as whether he was affected by the Covid-19 infection that hospitalized him late last year and delayed the rematch that Whyte longed for.

“I’m just sad that I didn’t make it in the first round,” Whyte said afterwards to Sky Sports and spoke at the makeshift venue, where around 500 fans were allowed to watch with restrictions due to the pandemic.

It’s such a strange fight. Doesn’t Povetkin seem quite there for anyone? Maybe just me boxing # whytepovetkin2 #

– 🇲🇽DomoArigatoMrRenato🇲🇽 (@RenatoPaniagua) March 27, 2021

Well done Dillian Whyte, Povetkin’s fights always seem exciting, but I would prefer not to see him hit hard again. Warrior.

– Ed Draper (@ eddraper81) March 27, 2021

“I could have done it. I tried, but he’s a tough guy. Of course you have to be careful because I put him down twice last time but I thought I could finish early.”

Many expect Whyte to turn his attention to the likes of Joshua now, but he’s open to a trilogy fight with Povetkin.

Ahhhh Povetkin. What a guy. Great fight from Dillian 🥊

– Danny Boy⚒ # GSBOUT (@ Hammer_Dan3) March 27, 2021

No he did `nt. A lot of people say the same thing as me, Povetkin looked damn sick. He obviously has not recovered from COVID. I think his trainer said he fell into the cruiser weight limit at some point (in an interview before this fight).

– Carl Froch (parody) (@OnionRingsFroch) March 27, 2021

“I’m ready to run it back if he wants it again,” he said. “If he wants the rematch … for the right money, I’ll fight him again because I shouldn’t have lost the first time.

“I’m just annoyed: It’s one of those things, I’m mad at myself because I shouldn’t have lost the first time.

As is well known, it can affect people in the long term, not to mention the fact that he was hospitalized twice and had a shortened camp. I think Whyte would have won anyway, but there’s no denying that Povetkin wasn’t in the best nick.

– Jake (@ JM99__) March 28, 2021

Everyone in this fight will talk about Povetkin looking the other way. But if he came back and won, people would easily overlook his slow start. I try to focus on the bottom line and give credit to the man who wins. Just like the first fight.

– Quinton D. Lilley ™ (@writeon_Q) March 28, 2021

“I just had to be a little smarter. I made a stupid mistake and paid for it. From the first lap on [tonight] I was on top of him.

“I was tempted to go hell for leather but he’s an Olympic gold medalist, a former world champion and he only got to Joshua and lost [former champion Wladimir] Klitschko. “

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