Some fighters live by the unwritten code: what happens in sparring stays in sparring, what happens in the gym stays in the gym. Yet Dillian Whyte has spoken out on what he says he saw happen in Austria way back when. It was when the all-conquering Wladimir Klitschko was heavyweight king and on top of his game that it happened, according to Whyte, who spoke with Sky Sports.
Klitschko, sparring with a young, largely unknown Deontay Wilder, showed zero mercy and, after being “roughed up” by the future WBC heavyweight king, “knocked him out cold.”
“I’ve seen him getting knocked out,” Whyte said of Wilder, the man he wants so much to fight himself. “Wladimir knocked him out. He knew what happened. He had his hands up. He was roughing Wlad up, bringing the smoke, and he was going wild. It wasn’t no knockdown, he was knocked cold. Properly twitching as well.”
It would be great to get more details: like when the spar took place exactly, if the two were wearing head-guards (they almost certainly were, surely) and what size of gloves the two fighters were wearing. Still, even if what Whyte says is in fact true (and there’s really no reason for him to make this stuff up, is there?), does it mean anything at all today? Wilder the relative novice got carried away, got reckless and was put in his place by a primed and peaking word heavyweight champion. And?
It does’t mean anyone around today can do what Klitschko is supposed to have done. The sport of boxing is littered with stories of a great fighter (either past, present or future) getting iced in a sparring match. Greats such as Ali, Tyson, Leonard and many others were said to have been manhandled in sparring at one time or another. It’s what happens in the ring that counts, and thus far, no-one has been able to knock Wilder out.
Whyte says the reason Klitschko and Wilder never fought at pros is likely due to what happened inside that Austrian training camp:
“That’s why they probably didn’t want him to fight Wlad, because Wlad was going to fight him as a pro and Wilder never fancied it the whole time,” Whyte said.
Who knows the reason Wilder never got it on with Klitscko. Maybe the two were at opposite ends of their careers when the fight could have taken place. Wilder became WBC champ in January of 2015, and at this time Klitschko was close to the end; being beaten by Tyson Fury later that year. Either way, we have to place a Klitschko-Wilder fight in thre Dream Fight vault now.
Whyte has an interesting tale, for sure, and it would be even more interesting if Wilder were to give his take on what happened. Or what didn’t happen.