Boxing can be a tough sport. A very tough, heart-breaking sport. After being made to wait such a long time for a shot at a world heavyweight title, Dillian Whyte was badly outclassed before being knocked out by a Tyson Fury uppercut that seems certain to feature on Fury’s highlight reel. Now, just a couple of days after the fight at Wembley, fans are wondering what Whyte, 28-3(19) will do next. Has Whyte still got a career at elite level?
Whyte’s comments upon speaking with BBC Radio make it clear he himself feels he has indeed got lots left to offer. Whyte, speaking yesterday, referred to the 6th round KO loss as a “good learning experience.” And Whyte said the fight “was close” and that he “didn’t feel like I was being outclassed.”
Sad to say, but Whyte was outclassed, with Fury pitching a shut-out in the opinion of most observers (barring a certain judge from Mexico!). Whyte was to many a major disappointment, with his wild swings and his inability to get in close to do anything of any consequence hurting his chances big time. It was always going to be tough for Whyte, and Fury is so good he made Whyte look average. Maybe Whyte can come back stronger and, if matched with a less mobile heavyweight, one who has legs as slow as his own, maybe the 34 year old can rebuild. One thing though, Whyte has to work on avoiding the uppercut, this the shot that caused his demise in each of his three defeats.
“There wasn’t a lot in it – it was a close fight and I didn’t feel like I was being outclassed in there,” Whyte said of the Fury fight. “My game plan was to press him and start moving forward. I was trying to attack but one slip and I got caught with the shot. He’s a big awkward guy – I was expecting that. It was always going to be an awkward fight. It was a good learning experience.”
Again, maybe Whyte will have now learned that he must work hard on avoiding the uppercut. Whyte is still a big name, he is perhaps young enough to be able to come again and he has a fan following. Towards the end of the year, when he is permitted to come back, who should Whyte fight? Some careful matchmaking will be essential. Names like Otto Wallin could be in the frame for Whyte’s comeback (these two were set to fight before Whyte pulled out), or maybe Whyte will drop back down to domestic level.
Whyte faces a long road back to anything like as big a fight as the one he got on Saturday night, that much is clear. Whyte has now suffered three pretty nasty knockout defeats – to Anthony Joshua, to Alexander Povetkin, and to Fury. How badly Whyte’s remaining punch resistance will have been affected is just one question fans are asking about him in terms of Whyte’s chances of making it back.