FILE – Russia’s Alexander Povetkin takes part in a joint press conference with Britain’s Anthony Joshua at Wembley stadium in London on September 20, 2018 ahead of the title defence boxing match on Saturday. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

Dillian Whyte’s hopes of a world heavyweight title fight suffered a major setback when former Olympic champion Alexander Povetkin twice came back off the canvas to knock out the British fighter.

Whyte, 32, had been the WBC’s number-one contender for over two years and was hoping victory behind closed doors on Saturday would pave the way for a world title shot at either defending champion Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.

Whyte twice put Russian 40-year-old Povetkin down in the fourth round but was then knocked out in fifth by the former WBA world champion.

“I didn’t feel I would finish the fight like this. I was confident in the fourth round even after going down twice,” Povetkin told Sky Sports after winning the bout courtesy of a devastating left hook.

Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “When the punch landed, I thought it was a dream. I can’t believe it.

“Two heavy knockdowns from Whyte – people felt it was over. This is the drama of heavyweight boxing. One punch completely changed the fight.

“It is a shock. He wasn’t that much of an outsider – we knew how good Povetkin was. It was a thrilling knockout on a thrilling night.”


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