Dillian Whyte leveled Alexander Povetkin with a huge left hook after an inspired rescue performance in their crucial rematch in Gibraltar on Saturday night.
Whyte had Povetkin on the brink of knockout during their second heavyweight bout and dramatically closed the show, returning the favor after losing to the Russians last year.
The fight that balanced the destruction and discipline from Whyte took him back to the front row of candidates in the division where Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury will decide the undisputed champion.
World title dreams of Whyte would have been thwarted had he lost again, seeing his WBC bondage status after a 1,000-day wait evaporated when he was previously knocked out by Povetkin.
But he achieved the best result in his career accompanied by a vicious conclusion after the trademark left the hook.
Whyte injured Povetkin and rolled over in the first minute, an exciting start when both heavyweights stood within the danger zones and shot kicks designed to end the fight immediately.
Povetkin was bloodied and unstable until the moment Whyte hit him with his other right hand, still within the opening round.
Povetkin’s attempt to respectfully touch the glove before the second round was ignored by Whyte who drove home a flat right hand that left a trail of swelling.
Whyteu as important as his precise attack was his defensive ability to avoid Povetkin’s trademark left hook.
“Hold the jab,” his new coach Harold ‘The Shadow’ Knight, recruited for his expertise in winning a rematch after a role with Lennox Lewis, told Whyte.
Whyte then brutally outscored the right in the third round.
Whyte unclogged another injured right arm in the fourth, which had Povetka stunning, but, learning from their first fight last year, was careful with his tracking.
But Povetkin’s resistance was finally broken 30 seconds from the end of the fourth round, when Whyte broke him with his left hook.
The Russian, who previously lost only to Joshua and Vladimir Klitschko in 39 fights, fell and the judge waved his hand.
Whyte immediately found a chair for his opponent to sit on, and when the brave Povetkin got up, they hugged.
The WBC interim heavyweight champion went home with Whyte, who entered the ring in honor of boxing legend Marvin Hagler.
He mentioned after that the third fight with Povetkin, who is now 41 years old, while the world titles will be tied with Joshua and Fury.
Deontaya Wilder was again nominated for the next opponent by promoter Eddie Hearn.
Watch reruns of Povetkin and Whyte 2 on Sunday, live at the Sky Sports box office, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Book it with your Sky remote or book here online. Even if you are not a Sky TV subscriber, you can book and watch here.