Dillian Whyte Claims Injury/Illness During Franklin Win
Saturday night in London heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte got a less than impressive decision win over unbeaten American Jermaine Franklin. Now, he’s claiming that part of the struggles were due to injury and illness.
In an interview with boxing reporter/personality Michelle Phelps that she posted Sunday night, Whyte says that he was dealing with a biceps injury and also a chest infection prior to headlining for Matchroom Boxing’s main event,
“I never get no credit. I fought a young undefeated fighter (Franklin). I went into the fight with a biceps injury, a rotten chest infection that I picked up. That’s neither here nor there. The main thing for me was mental…it wasn’t easy. If you lose tonight, it could’ve ended here,” Whyte told Phelps.
However, Whyte, now 29-3, 19 KOs, did do enough to win 116-112 on two cards with the third judge scoring the bout a draw at 114-114.
Whyte Had His Hands Full
But, as our Dan Rafael wrote in the recap, the decision was probably closer to the draw than a four point Whyte win,
“The fight was often a battle of body shots as Whyte and Franklin went downstairs throughout the fight. But it was Franklin, especially in the first half of the fight, who put his punches together better than Whyte and landed stiff jabs.
Referee John Latham warned Whyte for a low blow in the fifth round but it did not deter him from a continued body attack. But they also each landed plenty of shots to the head.
Franklin really let his hands go in the eighth round, landing an uppercut among his connects. He hurt Whyte with a right hand in the ninth round, after which Whyte, working with trainer Buddy McGirt for the first time, seemed to have much more urgency.
Whyte, 35 years old, picked up the pace and had a big 10th round. He had Franklin on the ropes late in the round and landed a hard right hand at the bell.
Latham warned Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs), 29, of Saginaw, Michigan, for head butting in the 11th round and Whyte finished strong in a dramatic 12th round. He landed an uppercut on Franklin in the early going and another excellent uppercut midway through the round.
Both fighters looked exhausted in the final minute, but Whyte landed a left hook that rattled Franklin and forced him to hold on and in the final seconds of the fight he nailed Franklin with another left that sent him reeling into the ropes as the fight ended.”
What’s Next For Whyte?
In the end, Whyte gets a needed win off the Fury loss and after the bout it’s been suggested that a rematch with former unified heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua (who knocked Whyte out in May 2015) might be next. They are both promoted by Matchroom and Eddie Hearn suggested an announcement of Joshua’s next fight off his second straight loss to Oleksandr Usyk will be coming soon. However, he conceded that Joshua might fight someone else and then, meet Whyte in the late Summer months.
For his part, Whyte said post-fight, “I’m ready for whatever. Right now I want to relax. Go home to my family, see my dogs and take it easy.”