Dillian Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) and Jermaine Franklin (21-0, 14 KOs) both looked good, weighing in on Friday for their 12 round bout this Saturday night on DAZN at the OVO Arena in London, UK.
The 6’4″ Whyte weighed 251 lbs and towered over his 6’2″ American opponent Franklin during the face-off. For his part, the 29-year-old Franklin weighed 257 lbs.
According to promoter Eddie Hearn, the Whyte-Franklin winner will face Anthony Joshua in a stadium fight next year at some point.
We’ll see if that turns out to be the case because if Franklin defeats Whyte tomorrow night, there won’t be much interest in a fight between him and Joshua in the UK.
Whyte looks pretty well shot, having lost two out of his last three fights, and dodged a third loss after his opponent Alexander Povetkin came back from COVID-19. A healthy Povetkin probably would have knocked Whyte out a second time because he has no defense against an uppercut.
“Yeah, for sure,” said David Haye to iFL TV when asked if Jermaine Franklin is a risky fight for Dillian Whyte on Saturday night. “A heavyweight that is 21-0, who is unknown. Nobody knows too much about him.
“He’s had a couple of fringe-level heavyweights on his resume, and that’s it. I don’t know too much about him as an amateur. So yeah, a massive banana skin.
“If Dillian hasn’t taken him 100% seriously and goes in there like it’s a tune-up, crazy things happen in this heavyweight division. But Dillian is experienced enough to know that losing two out of his last three fights; he needs to make a statement.
“He needs to do something special. He needs to go out there against an undefeated American heavyweight who has been in the UK for three or four weeks. He’s been here. He’s not turning up like the usual American opponents do four or five days before the fight.
“He’s been acclimatizing, and he’s been sparring with [Tyson] Fury in camp. He’s been, by all accounts, a bit of a handful, and Dillian is going to need to ensure that uppercut doesn’t land on him again.
“That shot has done him two times in a row. I hope he’s been working on preventing that shot from landing on him from his opponent. It’s an intriguing fight. I’m looking forward to it.
“More importantly, the winner of that fight gets the potential Anthony Joshua mega-fight. That fight is huge, absolutely massive. An all-British fight. That fight is a football stadium fight; it’s massive.
“There’s a lot at stake, a hell of a lot at stake, and I think Dillian is professional enough to tick this box. I don’t think he needs to rebuild anything,” said Haye about Whyte, who is coming off a loss to Tyson Fury.
“He is who he is. The energy he brings to his fights and his press conferences. He doesn’t stand for no foolishness. I’ve always liked that energy from him,” said Haye.