Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) came out with a miracle 12-round majority decision victory over the speedy Jermaine Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) on Saturday night in their lottery fight to earn a mega-payday against Anthony Joshua at the OVO Arena in London, England.
Franklin fought better and appeared to win 9 of the 12 rounds, but two judges still gave it to Whyte.
Whyte, 34, finished strong in the 12th, landing a big right hand to the head of Franklin that sent him back against the ropes. However, Franklin immediately went on the attack, landing some shots in return as the fight ended.
Interestingly, the commentators on DAZN said that Franklin was lucky because he was on the verge of being knocked out. It didn’t look that way, though. It appeared that he was the one attacking a tired-looking Whyte as the fight ended.
The crowd booed after the fight when Whyte was announced as the winner.
Franklin feels he was robbed
“I feel like I got robbed,” said Franklin when interviewed. “I feel like I done enough to get the decision. I feel like I won the earlier rounds. I just feel like I got robbed on the decision.
“I had a seven-week camp. I did what I could. I’m down for a rematch if they give it to me, but like I said, I feel like I won. I feel like I got robbed on the decision.
“I proved a lot of people wrong. I prove people wrong every day. That’s what we do. A lot of people just look, and they judge, but a lot of people don’t have the heart to step in here and fight me,” said Franklin.
Unfortunately, the chances of Franklin getting a rematch with Whyte are slim & none, as promoter Eddie Hearn revealed after the fight that his plans are to set up a mega-bout between Dillian and Anthony Joshua next in early 2023 in a stadium in England.
Franklin, 29, looked younger, faster, and the better overall fighter, but the judges gave it to the hometown fighter Whyte, scoring it 116-112, 116-112, and 115-115.
The pair of 8-4 scores that were turned in by two of the judges in favor of Whyte, as they didn’t match the fight that took place inside the ring tonight.
Whyte was beaten to the punch the entire fight by the faster Franklin and did a lot of fouling with low blows and shoving his shorter opponent.
Dillians’t trainer Buddy McGirt wanted him to throw jabs, but he largely ignored his advice, choosing instead to throw left hooks to the body and wild looping right hands that frequently missed their target.
Franklin staggered Whyte in the ninth round after tagging him with a right hand to the head and teeing off on him against the ropes.
With the Joshua fight at stake, it wasn’t surprising that Whyte was given the victory because it was a bigger match between him and AJ than if Franklin was given the win.
Still, with the way Whyte fought tonight, he’s too old & faded looking to give Joshua a good fight, and the fans might not be interested in seeing a rematch between those two next.
After the way Whyte performed tonight, there won’t be a lot of interest in a rematch between him and AJ. Joshua would do better to find a better heavyweight like Deontay Wilder to face next than Whyte.
Dillian looked shot tonight
The wars that Whyte had with Derek Chisora, Alexander Povetkin, and Joseph Parker have taken a lot out of him, leaving the shell that we saw tonight and in his previous fight with Tyson Fury.
Promoter Eddie Hearn would be doing the British public a disservice by putting together a rematch between Joshua and Whyte at this point.
The fans won’t get their money’s worth in a mismatch like that. It would be better to match Joshua with an in-shape Andy Ruiz Jr or Deontay Wilder than having Whyte be his opponent.
Wardley defeats Gorman
In the chief support bout, heavyweight Fabio Wardley (15-0, 14 KOs) defeated Nathan Gorman (19-2, 13 KOs) by a third round knockout in an exciting fight.
Wardley was hurt in round two but came back to drop Gorman twice with headshots and then another time in the third round.
Gorman’s corner inexplicably threw in the towel in the third round during the middle of the action. To say that it was a bizarre move was an understatement.
The time of the stoppage was at 2:33 of round three. With the win, Wardley, 27, captures the British heavyweight title.
Wardley’s shakey performance showed that he’s nowhere near ready to take on any of the top 10 heavyweights in the division. He’s too flawed still to mix it with more experienced fighters like Andy Ruiz Jr, Joe Joyce, Daniel Dubois, or Deontay Wilder.