Dillian Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) won an unpopular 12-round majority decision over Jermaine Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) on Saturday night in their clash on DAZN at the OVO Arena in Wembley, London, England.
Franklin got the better of the action in most rounds, but Whyte finished strong, appearing to win two out of the last three rounds. The fans booed the fight’s outcome, as they felt that Franklin had done enough to win.
Boxing 247 had it 8-4 in Franklin’s favor. He was the better fighter tonight by a mile. Whyte looked so old and past it and nothing like the guy he once was.
In a thrilling contest, heavyweight Fabio Wardley (15-14 KOs) destroyed Nathan Gorman (19-2, 13 KOs) by a third round knockout to claim the British title. The time of the stoppage was at 2:33 of the third.
The chunky-looking Gorman was knocked down three times in the fight. Twice in round two and once in the third.
Surprisingly, out of nowhere, Gorman’s corner threw in the towel in the third round when he looked fine moments after getting up off the deck. It was a disappointing ending because Gorman was giving as good as he was getting.
Wardley was hurt in the first and second rounds after getting nailed by uppercuts from Gorman. He had no defense for that punch whatsoever.
However, after suffering a cut on the bridge of his nose in round two, Wardley came alive and hurt Gorman with a straight right to the head, resulting in him slipping to the canvas. The referee called it a knockdown, but it was a clear slip.
When the action resumed, Wardley landed a picture-perfect rabbit punch to the back of Gorman’s head that put him down. Again, the referee counted it, but it was clearly an illegal punch.
In the third round, Wardley dropped the tired-looking Gorman with a left to the head. Shortly after Gorman got back to his feet, his corner threw in the towel without him getting hit. It was very weird. It’s unclear what they were thinking, but it’s a sad way for a fight to end.
Welterweight Pat McCormack (3-0, 2 KOs) defeated Christian Nicolas Andino (16-6-2, 6 KOs) by a six-round points decision. The score was 60-54.
Sandy Ryan (5-1, 2 KOs) retained her WBC International female lightweight title with an impressive 10-round unanimous decision win over Anahi Ester Sanchez (21-6, 13 KOs). The judges scored it. 100-92, 99-91, and 98-92.
Cruiserweight Cheavon Clarke (4-0, 4 KOs) stopped the hapless Jose Ulrich (17-6, 6 KOs) in the second round. The 30-year-old Clarke knocked Ulrich in the 1st round. In the second, Clarke finished the job, knocking out Ulrich with an uppercut. The match was then halted at 0:32 of the round.
Middleweight prospect Mark Dickinson (4-0, 1 KO) defeated Gideon Onyenani (4-3) by a six-round decision. The score was 59-56.
Preview: The 34-year-old Dillian Whyte comes into tonight’s 12-round fight having been knocked out in two of his last three fights.
Like Derek Chisora, Whyte is still given opportunities for big money fights in the UK, and it’s hard to understand. Rather than allowing younger, more talented fighters to be given chances, old lions like Whyte & Chisora are continually trotted out and re-used.
Whyte (28-3,19 KOs) needs a win tonight to stay in the lottery for a big payday against Anthony Joshua in early 2023.
There are far better deserving contenders in the division that would be ideal for Joshua to fight, but the old-timer boxing fans following the sport back in 2015 when AJ blasted out Dillian in the seventh round will want to see the two run it back.
Maximum Violence Undercard
Fabio Wardley vs. Nathan Gorman
Pat McCormack vs. Christian Nicolas Andino
Sandy Ryan vs. Anahi Esther Sanchez
Cheavon Clarke vs. Jose Gregorio Ulrich
Mark Dickinson vs. Gideon Onyenani
George Liddard vs. Nikola Matic
Thomas Carty vs. Pavlo Krolenko
Whyte’s career is on the line
“I think he was someone that wasn’t supposed to make it. The fact that he boxed for the world title at Wembley in front of 90,000 people, boxed Anthony Joshua, beat Alexander Povetkin, beat Oscar Rivas, had two tremendous fights with Derek Chisora, he’s been a real fan favorite in British boxing history,” said Eddie Hearn to DAZN Boxing about Dillian Whyte.
“He’s a tough, tough man. His skills have become more improved as the years have gone on, but I feel he lost a little bit of that ruggedness in the Fury fight, and I think he’s going to need it in the Jermaine Franklin fight, who has a good pedigree, good amateur experience and he’s definitely here to win.
“I like that because I don’t think we saw that in the Fury fight,” said Hearn about Whyte showing some aggressiveness during the weigh-in by shoving Franklin’s promoter Dmitry Bivol.
“Fury’s very clever at the weigh-in, cuddle, and almost befriend you before the fight, whereas Jesse Addison, the trainer for Jermaine Franklin, did a good job of winding Dillian Whyte up, as did Dmitry Salita, who was ready to fight as well up there.
“We need that from Dillian Whyte because without that; he’s not the same fighter. He doesn’t necessarily have the natural skills of a Jermaine Franklin or these fighters that have won golden gloves with great pedigree, but he’s very tough.
“He punches very hard to the body, and when he’s in a dog fight, he’s very difficult to beat. We want to see a dog fight on Saturday night, and I think it’ll be difficult for Dillian Whyte, particularly if Jermaine Franklin can deal with the occasion and deal with the levels that are in front of him.
“I think Dillian Whyte wants to be in big fights. He wants to fight for a world title again. A defeat to Jermaine Franklin basically cancels both of those options out.
“So he can be relaxed and play it cool as he is, but the fact is his career is on the line on Saturday night, and it’s a must-win fight for him against a dangerous opponent because relatively unknown to people outside of the boxing world.
“Most people look at this and say, ‘Jermaine Franklin, that’s a Dillian Whyte win,’ whereas people in America are saying, ‘This kid can fight.’ He can punch. He’s got a good boxing IQ. A new trainer and Dillian Whyte coming off a knockout defeat.
“As Jesse Addison said, ‘You’re a wounded lion. We’re going to take you out on Saturday night.’ I think they’re trying to put it in the mind.
“I think that’s the decision if he wins,” said Hearn when asked if Whyte will face Anthony Joshua if he’s victorious against Franklin. “Firstly, whoever wins this fight on Saturday will be the frontrunner for the AJ fight.
“A lot will be decided by the training team that will be implemented by Anthony Joshua to start camp from January the first. Do you have a fight before Dillian Whyte, or do you go straight into the Dillian Whyte fight?
“It is a big stadium fight, which would lend itself to the summer. AJ looking to fight in March really, but he’ll be watching. He wants to fight Dillian Whyte. He thinks that’s a great fight. He really enjoyed it.”
Dillian Whyte will put his career on the line tonight against Jermaine Franklin in the main event at the OVO Arena in London, England.
As shot as Whyte has looked recently, he could lose tonight, even though Franklin has been well-picked.