Anything can happen in heavyweight boxing.
We know that. But every now and then something happens that sends shockwaves through the fight world.
And we saw that on Sunday (AEST), as Alexander Povetkin pulled a knockout from nowhere to defeat Dillian Whyte in a hugely consequential battle of the heavyweights in London.
Fighting for the interim WBC crown and the chance to fight the winner of the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder trilogy, Whyte looked in total control through four rounds; having dropped Povetkin twice in the fourth.
But in the fifth round, Povetkin delivered a left uppercut that came with such power and violence that Whyte stood no chance of getting back up.
The lights were out, and while there weren’t any fans in attendance, the silence was still something to behold.
Povetkin, the former WBA world champion, had looked every bit a 40-year-old as Whyte controlled things early, but the British star, who was on track to finally get his shot at the WBC belt, ate one punch that stopped the fight.
It was Whyte’s second career defeat after a 2015 loss to Anthony Joshua.
The boxing world couldn’t quite comprehend what they’d just seen. Whyte, 32, had been the WBC’s number-one contender for over two years.
“That is extraordinary,” Sky Sports’ Adam Smith said in commentary. “Unbelievable. And when Alexander Povetkin had lost every single round, he’d been down twice, he finds one, huge shot that lays out Whyte.
Smith added: “I cannot believe what I’ve just witnessed.”
“I didn’t feel I would finish the fight like this. I was confident in the fourth round even after going down twice,” Povetkin said post-fight.
Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn, who promised a rematch, 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.”
Noel Galang – Kamao TV