Dillian Whyte suffered a shock defeat to Alexander Povetkin at Matchroom’s Fight Camp on Saturday night, which will now pave the way for Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury.
The British heavyweight looked to be in control against the Russian and had his opponent on the canvas twice in the fourth round.
That was until the fifth when Povetkin launched a devastating uppercut to knock Whyte out cold.
Dillian Whyte was knocked out cold by Alexander Povetkin
It ended his run of 11-straight wins and crucially means the 32-year-old is no longer the WBC’s mandatory challenger.
Whyte has been waiting more than 1,000 days to finally get his shot at the WBC belt after being named the number one contender in 2017.
The stunning defeat leaves his heavyweight title dreams in tatters, with promoter Eddie Hearn saying after the fight there is a rematch clause that they will enact.
Joshua is the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion of the world
Fury is the WBC and Ring Magazine heavyweight champion
Whyte’s defeat means a potential obstacle to the Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua has been cleared.
The WBC had ordered a fight between Whyte and the winner of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder’s trilogy fight later this year.
Now the challenger has lost, Povetkin takes over as the mandatory, but he will not get his shot at the title straight away.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman previously told Boxing Social: “Someone who wins that right to be mandatory takes the date from the time when he wins.
Derek Chisora reacts to Alexander Povetkin KO of Dillian Whyte
“It is something to be analysed in a specific situation, but usually if Povetkin was to win, he has earned the [mandatory] rights for within a year from that victory.”
The path appears to be clearing for a Fury vs Joshua showdown in 2021.
The Gypsy King first needs to see off Wilder in his trilogy fight while AJ has a fight against mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev – both fights look set to take place in December.