Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Dillian Whyte insists 'I have no regrets' about Alexander Povetkin gamble after huge KO defeat
Whyte-Povetkin and Taylor-Persoon 2 repeats on Sunday at 1pm and 6pm
Last Updated: 23/08/20 6:15pm
Dillian Whyte defiantly insisted "I'm still one of the top heavyweights around" after losing to Alexander Povetkin and promised to avenge his knockout loss in a rematch.
Whyte had knocked Povetkin to the canvas twice and was firmly in control but was knocked out in an instant by a sudden uppercut in the fifth round, derailing his goal of challenging for Tyson Fury's WBC heavyweight title.
Asked if it was a mistake to fight Povetkin instead of waiting for his mandatory chance at Fury's belt, Whyte told Sky Sports News the morning after his defeat: "I have no regrets.
"It was a great fight and Povetkin did well. I know I can beat him, I showed that from round one. Obviously he is very experienced.
"His corner was on the verge of pulling him out. But he pulled out one of the best punches of his career. That's heavyweight boxing, full of drama, ups and downs.
"I didn't rush him in the fourth round because he is dangerous - when he's hurt he swings big punches."
On the knockout blow, Whyte said: "It was a silly mistake. I blocked that punch 100 times in training. The one time it needed to be blocked, I was too late.
"He was on his last legs and I was pressing him.
"But that's heavyweight boxing, man. That's what happens.
"I'm still one of the top heavyweights around. It's not like I'm old or beaten up. I'm still learning. I learned from a harsh mistake.
"I'm still the same me, ready to go, I can't wait to get back in there.
"He is a very dangerous guy. I was bossing it, winning the fight, but I got caught. It wasn't like I got beaten up round after round. I just got clocked!
"Fair play to him, he set it up and landed a punch. He's a good fighter who has beaten a lot of top guys.
"In the rematch, I will handle business.
"You have to strike while the iron is hot. The time is now. There's no point waiting into next year. He's in shape, I'm in shape, let's get it on. Immediate rematches are usually on fire."
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: "The first thing Dillian said was: 'Get me that rematch, get me that rematch'.
"Povetkin is mandatory now, but the only person who would get called to negotiate fighting the winner of Fury vs Deontay Wilder was Dillian Whyte.
"We'll exercise that rematch clause. We'll look to make that before the end of the year and it's a huge fight."
Anthony Joshua's verdict
IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Joshua, who has beaten both Whyte and Povetkin, said: "Does Dillian still have that instinct in him? Because the fight was called maximum violence.
"When he had the opportunity to take him out, I wanted to see that maximum violence.
"That's why for me, when I smell blood, I go in there to take someone out, but sometimes you can get caught in the exchange.
"But at the end of the day, if you leave it a round or two later, as we've seen there anything can happen.
"The tactic go out the window. You've just got to remember this is a fight, you've got to take the man out and move on to the next.
"This is just a blip in the career. People are going to talk all sorts of stuff about Dillian.
"Dillian is a fighter, I stick with him as fighter and say, 'dust yourself off, get back up, and go again.'"
'Go away and regroup'
Tony Bellew told Whyte: "The business side is looked after - you've got a rematch in place. You know the mistakes you have made - too anxious, a little bit greedy, and not paying attention.
"Povetkin showed that elite heavyweights recuperate and recover. When he got up, he still meant business."
Natasha Jonas added: "It is heart-breaking. You have to go away and regroup, come back and get on with it."
'The best punch of my career'
Watch Whyte-Povetkin and Taylor-Persoon 2 repeats on Sunday, at 8am, 1pm and 6pm, on Sky Sports Box Office. Book it via your Sky remote or book it online here. Even if you aren't a Sky TV subscriber you can book and watch it here.