London, August 23: Dillian Whyte's hopes of landing a mandatory shot at the WBC championship were halted as he suffered a knock-out defeat to Alexander Povetkin in a thrilling heavyweight clash.
In a fight that Whyte had dominated for the opening four rounds, the Briton, who would have been entitled to a fight with Tyson Fury had he defeated Povetkin, was downed in the fifth by a stunning uppercut from the 40-year-old Russian.
Povetkin had been downed twice in the fourth round after Whyte's fast start at 'Fight Camp', yet the latter was ultimately no match for Povetkin's power.
And with Anthony Joshua – who had publicly doubted his compatriot before the fight – watching on as a pundit, Whyte was left to congratulate Povetkin as his hopes of a title bout faded.
Having lost almost one-and-a-half stone since his previous fight, Whyte looked sharp in the opening exchanges, landing some swift early jabs, though Povetkin responded with blows to the body.
Povetkin could not prevent Whyte landing more sharp shots to his frame in the second, and the Russian's legs dipped in the third when he was clubbed with two hefty hooks.
Whyte refused to let up the pressure and had Povetkin downed with a brilliant punch early in round four, yet the veteran fighter was quickly back to his feet.
The assault continued and Povetkin was dropped again in the closing stages of the same round by a venomous left-hand uppercut.
Yet, in a stunning turnaround, the fight was ended by one huge Povetkin punch moments into the fifth.
The 16-stone former WBA heavyweight champion landed a brilliant uppercut with his left, clubbing Whyte to the floor.
Whyte recovered quickly, but the damage was done as Povetkin celebrated a remarkable triumph.