The curtain comes down on Matchroom Fight Camp with an intriguing card on Saturday night, headlined by the heavyweight tussle between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin for the interim WBC title and the vacant WBC Diamond belt.
There may well be two belts on the line, but the real prize on offer here is the WBC mandatory position and a shot at the winner of WBC champion Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder scheduled for later this year.
Risky Fight for Whyte
Whyte has been number one contender for the WBC title for over 1000 days and is long overdue his shot at the champion, whether that be Fury or Wilder. He has everything to lose in this fight, most notably his mandatory position. Standing before him is a vastly more experienced opponent and a risk that many deem unnecessary.
40-year-old Povetkin has enjoyed a successful career spanning over 15 years, with only two blemishes on his record of 38 bouts – a points loss to Wladimir Klitschko back in 2013 and a defeat via seventh round stoppage to Anthony Joshua last year at Wembley Stadium.
Joshua was also able to avenge a defeat he suffered to Whyte in the amateur ranks with a win over Whyte back in 2015 – also by stoppage in the seventh round – in what is Whyte’s only career loss since turning professional in 2011.
Plenty of Legs Left in Povetkin
Despite his age, Povetkin remains a wily opponent who still has the legs to go the distance, as he has proved his last two fights against much younger opponents in Hughie Fury and Michael Hunter.
Renowned for being a fast starter, the Russian will look to get on top here early and win the first few rounds. No doubt Whyte, who boasts height, weight and reach advantages can work into the contest, but his durable opponent will take some stopping.
Four of the last six fights Povetkin has been involved in have gone the distance, with the final bell to be heard again here priced up at
Taylor Has Unfinished Business
The chief support on the card is the much-anticipated rematch between Ireland’s London 2012 gold medallist Katie Taylor and Belgian Delfine Persoon.
There was much controversy over the scoring of the first fight, which featured on the undercard of Joshua-Ruiz in New York last year, with many feeling that Persoon had done enough to snatch away the belts.
The technically-gifted Taylor was dragged into a dogfight by Persoon in the first bout. It’s unlikely she will engage as much here and is expected to be sharper defensively against the bigger and taller challenger.
This one is likely to go to the scorecards once again, with Taylor expected to come out on top at odds of
*All odds correct at time of writing