Povetkin vs. Whyte II: Rumble on the Rock Preview

By Martin Green26 March 2021
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Povetkin celebrates

Dillian Whyte has been named the heavy favourite to prevail when he takes on Alexander Povetkin in an eagerly anticipated rematch on Saturday night.

The British fighter went into their first bout with a 27-1-0 record and he was widely expected to cruise to victory. Whyte was priced as short as 1/4 (1.25) with some bookmakers before the fight began, and he dominated the first four rounds.

Povetkin was sent crashing to the canvas twice in the fourth round, and it seemed like only a matter of time before Whyte finished him off. However, Povetkin produced a ferocious uppercut in the fifth to knock The Bodysnatcher out cold in the middle of the ring.

It was a stunning shot, which ended Whyte’s dreams of earning a world title fight against Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua. Now the London fighter must head back into the ring with the dangerous Russian in order to reclaim his status as a leading contender for a title shot in the heavyweight division.

Whyte Expected to Avenge Defeat

Once again, Whyte is the heavy favourite to triumph. He is priced at 1/4 again with various bookies, but you can find 3/10 (1.30) on him winning the fight with Unibet and Betway. Povetkin is the clear underdog, best priced at 3/1 (4.00) with 888 Sport.

Slightly more money has gone on Povetkin at the longer odds, but punters are generally divided over which man to bet on. The fight takes place in Gibraltar at around 10.30pm GMT on Saturday, following an action-packed undercard, and the Rumble on the Rock promises to be a gripping battle between two experienced heavyweights.

The Bodysnatcher is now 24 pounds lighter than he was during the first fight back in August. Povetkin has added 4 pounds since then, so the weight difference between the two men is now negligible. Whyte is 2 inches taller than Povetkin, with a slightly longer reach, and he could be more mobile after shedding some weight.

He has been training hard at a camp in Portugal, and he is determined to make amends for last year’s defeat.

Method of Victory?

Dereck Chisora believes Whyte will prevail, but he is unsure how it will transpire. For more value on Whyte, you can either bet on him to win via a knockout at 4/6 (1.67) with William Hill or via a decision at 4/1 (5.00) with Paddy Power and Betfair.

“Dillian will be in a Catch-22, because first of all he talks like he’s going to bring maximum violence,” Chisora told The Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast. “He will want to go violent on this guy and in the back of his mind he’ll remember the knockout, and then he’s going to try and play safe. I see Dillian winning it, but how he wins it, I don’t know yet.”

If you agree that Whyte will avenge the defeat he suffered last year, a knockout seems the most likely method of victory. He knocked Povetkin down twice in the opening four rounds in their first bout, and 18 of his 27 wins have come via a knockout.

Povetkin is 41 years of age now, having celebrated a birthday after beating Whyte, which puts him firmly in the veteran camp. He also suffered from a bout of Covid-19 towards the end of 2020, and he may not have enough gas in the tank to go the distance.

In fact, you can find a best price of 7/2 (3.50) on the fight going the distance, and just 2/7 (1.29) on it not going the distance. That suggests one fighter will be knocked out. If you think Povetkin will stop Whyte again, you can take odds of 3/1, or go for the 4/6 on Whyte winning via that method. That could provide a good opportunity to hedge your bets and make a profit regardless of which man is ultimately knocked out. It is very hard to see Povetkin winning this by decision, so you can even put a small stake on Whyte via a decision at 4/1 (5.00) to cover another base.