Dillian Whyte exacted brilliantly brutal and poetic revenge on Alexander Povetkin to get his world title charge back on track.
Seven months after he dropped the Russian twice in the fourth round but let him off the hook to be savagely KO’ed in the fifth, Whyte iced his rival in that same fourth round in Gibraltar.
It was everything the Body Snatcher said it would be – and now he can prepare to pounce as soon as old rivals Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury need a dance partner.
Whyte leaped and howled his way into the ring dressed in a beautiful new robe to honour Marvelous Marvin Hagler, the middleweight legend he so admired who sadly died earlier this month.
And the Brixton man’s shaved head and no-nonsense approach to fight week were straight out of Hagler’s playbook.
The 500 Covid-free fans booed Povetkin into the ring, the 41-year-old veteran draped in the same old robe and shorts that look like they were doing the rounds in Hagler’s iconic 80s pomp.
The Soviet slugger’s fashion makes no-frills look fancy but he proved in the ring last August that he’s still all about substance over style.
Incredibly, after a seven-month wait, Whyte almost won it with his first real punch. A right hook to Povetkin’s body wobbled him and a follow-up to his blond head had him staggering and baffled.
But the Brit refused to rush in and make the same mistake so the former world and Olympic champ recovered and reached the second.
A textbook one-two spanked Povetkin’s face early in the second but he swallowed when well and as the stanza ended both giant men lopped wild shots and missed.