It appears that British heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte (14-0,11 Ko’s) has experienced yet more heartache in his quest to get relevant fights, announcing that his proposed appearance on 24th April in Corby, Northants, UK is in jeopardy after experienced Russian contender Dennis Bakhtov (39-10,26ko) pulled out of fighting him.
Whyte announced on his twitter, above a picture of Bakhtov: “I was meant to fight this guy on the 24th in Corby. He said yes to the fight, then bottled it! #jokers..”
It’s a familiar situation for the South London heavyweight, who spoke to me just last month about his struggle to get relevant competitive, fights on the domestic and European scene as he continues his journey towards the world title he one day dreams of winning.
Whyte has been incredibly active since returning from an enforced 2 year ban (for unknowingly consuming stimulant MHA in a perfectly legal over-the-counter supplement) last November, fighting five times since. He most recently appeared on the televised undercard of Carl Frampton’s sizzling dismantling of American Chris Avalos on ITV in the UK, scoring a 4th round stoppage of Georgian Beka Lobjanidze.
Currently a free agent, Whyte also spoke to me about the assistance a regular promoter will be able to give him in terms of forcing the issue of getting guys in the ring. Also just recently, Scotland’s heavyweight contender Gary Cornish (20-0,11ko) pulled out of a British title eliminator with him. English champion, the inactive John McDermott, who hasn’t fought in 2 years, is the current English champion and Whyte has had similar struggles in getting him to fight and defend that title.
In stark contrast, Whyte has watched Anthony Joshua (11-0, 11ko) the man he holds a famous amateur victory over, create a perfect storm as he blitzes out opposition under the slick promotional machine of Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport.
If Whyte can ink a deal with a promoter who will promote his interests ahead of another heavyweight boxer, then the Joshua fight will happen sooner rather than later. In the eyes of many UK fans, it’s the match-up of prospects we all want to see. There is obviously some worth in allowing it to simmer for a while, but the question really will be how long can Joshua and Hearn ignore Whyte for? Whyte himself believes if they don’t get in the ring soon, then somebody else is going to take Joshua’s “0” before him and that will take the shine off slightly of the proposed fight between them.
Durable American Kevin Johnson has that chance on May 30th at Londons O2, yet as far as Whyte is concerned, the wait for an opponent, and his own chance at beating Joshua, goes on……