Dillian Whyte was ready to go to war with the WBC to get his world title shot.
Now he is facing a battle to save his career after he was knocked out cold by Russian veteran Alexander Povetkin in the fifth round on Saturday night.
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn insists the Brixton bruiser has a rematch clause he intends to trigger but he should take time to consider walking straight into it.
Povetkin can enjoy new life being injected into his career despite two knockdowns which looked set to end it just over a week before his 41st birthday.
But Whyte, 32, will struggle to brush off the second defeat of his career after a clinical left uppercut turn his world upside down in Hearn's back garden.
“Can we get the rematch in December?” was Whyte's message to Hearn as he departed the grounds of the Brentwood mansion.
“I'm good, I'm good,” he added. “It's just one of those things where it just landed didn't it.”
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Whyte was in control of the bout between two men who were brutally knocked out by Anthony Joshua and, when he floored the ageing former world champion twice in the fourth, it looked over.
Finally, it seemed that Povetkin's punch resistance had departed him as he crumbled to a left hook and then again to a left uppercut.
But with age comes experience and there seemed to be little panic in the Russian corner at the end of a disastrous round.
Whyte may say what happened next in the fifth “just landed didn't it” but that doesn't tell the story of one of the knockouts of the year.
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Many knockout blows don't just land. They're set up either by another shot or a movement and Povetkin's finishing blow was set up beautifully.
The 2004 Olympic gold medallist had success early in the bout with left hooks to the body even if they weren't as eye catching as Whyte's work.
So when he dipped to the left again to avoid a right hand, Whyte's instinct was to lean over his front foot to move away from the incoming hook.
But the wily old fox must have spotted that in earlier moves so switched it to a left uppercut at the last second to turn Whyte's lights out and darken the mood in the Essex countryside.
“We were trading and he landed,” said Whyte.
“He is a good fighter and he is still hungry and motivated.
“But I know, one million per cent I can beat him. In the rematch I will handle business.
“Obviously there are other fights going on, but this is a big fight.
“The time to strike is now, there is no point waiting until next year. I’m in shape, let’s get it on.”
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told Daily Star Sport on Sunday that he is confident the sanctioning body will approve the rematch.
Eddie Hearn confirms Dillian Whyte rematch clause after brutal defeat to Alexander Povetkin
But, crucially for Whyte, the February 2021 date which he had been promised a shot of the winner of Tyson Fury against Deontay Wilder is gone for now.
Even if he beat Povetkin in a rematch in December, Fury will be free to make a voluntary defence should he beat Wilder.
Whyte may have grown angry at being made to wait for his WBC title shot and, at 32, may feel that time isn't plentiful
But he should be be wary of rushing into a rematch with Povetkin.
The Jamaican-born boxer's supporters will say he was winning the fight comfortably and close to finishing it off.
But what they may ignore is that the first time Povetkin landed cleanly on his chin he went down and couldn't get up.
“It is not like I am old or I am beaten up and I’m still learning,” he added. “I learnt a harsh lesson.”
If he makes the same mistake again then his career could be over.
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