Boxing: Brit Dillian Whyte resurrects world heavyweight aspirations with victory over Alexander Povetkin

Brit Dillian Whyte has reclaimed his spot on the boxing's heavyweight pecking order, with a fourth-round knockout of Russian Alexander Povetkin at Gibraltar.

In a rematch billed as 'Rumble on the Rock', Whyte exacted payback on the man who scored a sensational KO in their first meeting last August.

On that occasion, the Povektin hit the canvas twice in the same round - the fourth - before landing the telling blow in the next.

This time, Whyte held the upper hand from the start, while the Russian, who had recovered from COVID-19 in the meantime, appeared unsteady on his feet, stumbling three times in the opening seconds.

In the fourth, the Brit - who remains the only fighter to deck Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker - caught Povetkin with a straight right that rocked him back onto the ropes.

Povetkin regained his feet, but walked into a left-right combination that had him in trouble, before Whyte finished the fight with a vicious left to the head.

The Russian tried to continue, but his corner tossed a towel into the ring, rather than continue the carnage. 

To his credit, Whyte immediately showed concern for the welfare of his opponent, fetching a stool from his own corner to support his slumped rival. 

"I'm upset it didn't get finished in the first round," says Whyte. "I shouldn't have lost the first time.

"I'm just annoyed, but it's one of those things. I just need to be a bit smarter - I made a silly mistake and paid for it.

"I was tempted to go hell for leather in the first round, but then thought that wasn't the smartest thing. He's an Olympic gold medallist, and lost to me, Joshua and Kiltschko, so that shows how good the guy is."

By regaining the WBC interim belt, Whyte also becomes the next cab off the rank for the real thing, but must now wait for Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury to complete their two-fight series, timed to begin in June or July.

"I believe I can be world champion, I can beat anyone."