The fourth and final show of Matchroom Boxing’s summer season, titled ‘Matchroom Fight Camp’, is set to be the grand finale of four weeks of boxing events, televised live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The five-fight card on August 22 will be headlined by WBC Interim heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte as he defends the title to former world champion Alexander Povetkin
BBN previewed the entire five-fight card that will take place behind closed doors at the Matchroom Boxing HQ:
Dillian Whyte (27-1, 8KOs) puts his WBC Interim World heavyweight title and mandatory position on the line against Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1, 24KOs). The World Boxing Council added the WBC Diamond belt to the prize fund on fight week.
When the championship contest was originally announced back in March, the first thoughts were that 32-year-old Whyte would be too youthful for 40-year-old Povetkin.
Some betting sites still have Povetkin as a 3-1 underdog, and that could be worth the risk if you fancy a punt due to recent events that have unfolded. Sports betting is prolific in the UK and the industry is also highly regulated and controlled, so check out this UK gambling laws infographic to ensure you are aware of responsible gambling first.
The surprising revelation that the ‘Brixton Bodysnatcher’ split with long-term trainer Mark Tibbs, due to being based in Portugal for his training camp with new trainer Xavier Miller, was a shock for most.
Tibbs has a young family and is in the process of setting up a new gym, so couldn’t remain in Portugal with his heavyweight charge for the entire duration of lockdown. The pair had worked together for four years and it was down to Tibbs’ expertise and guidance that Whyte became the world class fighter he is today.
It’s unclear if Miller, co-founder of IQ Boxing who has worked with Dereck Chisora amongst others, will be in the corner for Whyte on fight night. This is quite a big disruption ahead of such a must-win fight.
However, the Jamaican-born Londoner has been abroad training for a long time and should be in very good shape by the time fight week rolls around.
At the advanced age of 40 and over 15 years in professional boxing, Alexander Povetkin is still dangerously producing the goods to mix it at the very top level of the sport.
The ‘Russian Vityaz’ has had two 12-round contests since his defeat to Anthony Joshua in 2018, which included a unanimous decision win over Briton Hughie Fury (23-2), 15 years his junior, in August 2019, followed by a fantastic see-saw fight with Michael Hunter (18-1) last December, which ended as a draw.
Despite taking his second loss and first ever stoppage as a pro against Anthony Joshua in their fight, he dominated the opening rounds and gave the Brit plenty of trouble until the clinical seventh-round knockout.
His overhand right lands a lot and his right and left hooks are powerful, plus his handspeed is still as quick as ever.
In his last fight, he was hurt early but weathered the storm to come back into the fight to dominate the middle rounds where he would have scored a knockdown if it wasn’t for the ropes holding up ‘The Bounty’ Hunter in the fifth. The pair ended the contest in a shootout where Povetkin was hurt again and the decision was reached as a draw.
He is on the small side for a heavyweight at 6’2”, giving away two inches in height and possibly around 25 to 30 pounds in weight against the 6’4” Whyte.
If Whyte wants to box, then he will possess the advantage in reach and size, but will also meet his match when in against such a seasoned fighter, who has reached higher heights in both amateur and pro codes than him. If he gets caught up in a brawl, then he will be throwing caution to the wind and could end up like Michael Hunter, who was sent reeling backwards and just escaped defeat when he went toe to toe with the former world ruler.
Both boxers can be hurt, both can be stopped. They share the same special shot, with their favoured left hooks, so it’s likely that one or both will go down during the 12-round contest. If it goes to the cards, Whyte would be favoured for the decision. This is a fight that looks unlikely to reach the final bell, however.
Dillian Whyte’s quest for a world title shot has been a long time coming, and Povetkin may just be the man to ruin it all.
Undefeated Bermondsey boxer Chris '2Slick' Kongo (11-0, 6KOs) challenges WBO #11 Luther Clay (13-1, 5KOs) for his WBO Global welterweight title.
This even match-up should provide fans with value for money. Even the odds can barely split them apart, with Kongo at 4/6 and Clay at 5/4.
Bracknell's 24-year-old 'Luth' defends the WBO strap for a second time, having won it with a wide points win in September 2019 against experienced Italian Dario Morello (15-0); then he defended it successfully with another wide unanimous decision over former Southern Area and WBO European titlist Freddy Kiwitt (17-2) in December last year.
His sole career defeat came at the hands of Russian Vazir Tamoyan (9-1-1) over in Georgia in his sixth fight and first eight-rounder.
His latest challenger, 27-year-old Londoner Kongo, has an unblemished record but has only fought two winning fighters compared to Clay's eight. The champion's last three opponents' record combines to 36-3; whereas Kongo's previous trio of rivals totals to an unimpressive 40-111-3.
Experience favours the champion, Clay, especially with three 10-round fights behind him, all resulting in victory - two UDs and one TKO 7. However, in many of his contests preceding that, he hasn't won convincingly, with scores of 77-75; 78-75; 58-57 in his quartet of fights in 2018, with the only other contest ending in TKO 8.
In this respect, Kongo has the upper hand in form, being able to boast that he has never lost a single round yet. Aside from his six knockouts, he has won five fights on shutout points victories, only ever sharing a round on one occasion in March 2018 against gatekeeper Serge Ambomo (6-5).
Kongo has a swift jab that he utilises often, good footwork and sharp reflexes. Clay is very mobile, with a jerky style, he has a powerful right hand, but it's not devastatingly powerful, like his opponent's.
This is an intruiging matchup, one for the fans to debate about until the first bell sounds. Kongo's higher output, superior size, and slightly better boxing ability should see him secure another victory and his first ever title.
Irish boxing superstar Katie Taylor (15-0, 6KOs) was due to defend her WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO Female lightweight world titles to Amanda Serrano but after many bizarre and confusing complications surrounding the contracts, it led to a collapse in talks.
Instead, a rematch with rival Delfine Persoon (44-2, 18KOs) has been confirmed, much to the delight of boxing fans worldwide.
The 35-year-old from Bray defeated the long-reigning Belgian in June 2019 narrowly via mixed decision at New York’s Madison Square Garden on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr.
Many spectators believed that the 35-year-old, who was defending her green and gold belt for the 10th time, did more than enough to get the decision against the victor, Taylor.
The 10-round undisputed contest was a fast and furious boxing match filled with drama from the opening bell to the last bell. A rematch should promise the same, but this time, with an element of revenge to it.
KT was dragged into Persoon's fight and abandon her boxing skills at times to engage in a war. Second time around, with all the belts around her waist, she will have learnt from her mistakes.
Jack Cullen (18-2, 9KOs) and Zak Chelli (7-1, 3KOs) will meet over 10-rounds in a super-middleweight contest, which many onlookers view as straight down the middle 50-50 fight.
Londoner Chelli has won seven from eight bouts and collected a Southern Area super-middleweight title, all by the age of 22. His last fight, he started brightly by decking then-unbeaten Kody Davies (9-0) in round two of their English title eliminator last September.
'Little Lever's Meat Cleaver' is a former Enlish middleweight champion that recently lost to Commonwealth titlist Felix Cash (11-0) - TKO8 - in what was a 'Fight of the Year' contender.
Both these boxers are skilful and spiteful. There's little doubt that matching these two together won't end in an all-out war. This fight will be exciting and explosive and may not go the 10-round distance.
Explosive Croatian heavyweight Alen Babic (3-0, 3KOs) steps up to face KO artist Shawndell Winters (13-3, 12KOs).
The American has stopped 12 of his 13 victims and is the current NABA heavyweight champion. In his last fight, in February this year, the 39-year-old from Illinois was stopped in five rounds by former WBO World heavyweight champion Joseph PArker (26-2).
Babic, 29 from Zagreb, has stopped all three opponents he has faced - two in round-two and one in round-one.
His ring rivals haven't been up to much, none of them with winning records, so an American champion with a 92% KO rate will be a huge step up in levels.
With this pair's knockout history, there is no way this contest will reach the final bell.