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Ranked: Dillian Whyte relives top five wins as heavyweight star prepares for boxing return vs. Jermaine Franklin

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EXCLUSIVE — Dillian Whyte returns to action against unbeaten American Jermaine Franklin on Saturday, and seven months on from his knockout loss to WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury at Wembley, the Body Snatcher is in an uncompromising mood.

“Jermaine Franklin is going to get knocked out, man,” he told The Sporting News. “He says he’ll knock me out and do all this and all of that. 

“I’m being calm, but Jermaine Franklin is going to get f****d up. He can say he’s a hood warrior and all of this s**t. 989 Assassin, what the f**k does that mean? Whatever, man.”

With queries over Franklin’s choice of nickname duly aired, it was time to turn our attention towards Whyte’s career so far as he plots his latest assault towards the summit of boxing’s glamour division.

Now 35, Whyte has amassed an impressive body of work. Over the course of 28 wins (19 KOs) and three defeats, he has established himself as one of the most entertaining heavyweights in the sport.

MORE: Join DAZN to watch Dillian Whyte vs. Jermaine Franklin

TSN picked Whyte’s five best wins and asked for his recollections. “It’s very hard for me to [rank them in order] because they were all very important wins for me,” he said. “I’ll leave it up to you guys.”

Okay then, Dillian, if you insist…

5) Dillian Whyte vs. Lucas Browne: KO 6 (March 24, 2018 at O2 Arena)

Almost two-and-a-half years on from his first career defeat to Anthony Joshua, Whyte was back at the O2 Arena as a headliner in his own right, taking on Browne for the WBC Silver title.

There were ugly undertones to the build-up, when Whyte claimed the Australian branded him an “orangutan” on Twitter, something his opponent insisted was was “poor taste on my part” rather than outright racism. The episode gave Whyte extra motivation and he spectacularly stopped a battered and bloodied Brown before his celebration in front of a live television audience almost went spectacularly wrong.

Dillian Whyte: “I remember wanting to hurt him because he was being a little bit racist and stuff. He made some monkey remarks.

“Obviously he was a dangerous guy, a big puncher who knocked out [Ruslan] Chagaev to get the title. I was the underdog in that fight but I knew that I could knock him out. I set about him from the first round.

“I knew that he’d got cut in fights, I knew I had to keep hitting him with the jab and he’d get cut sooner or later. That’s more for him to worry about and one less thing for me to worry about. 

“On the celebration, I kicked the wrong rope. I felt like an idiot. I meant to kick the lower rope but I was going so mad I ended up kicking the one above and I almost fell over. That would have been funny if I’d fell over, it would have been great TV.”

4) Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin 2: KO 5 (March 27, 2021 at Europa Point, Gibraltar)

Whyte’s interminable wait for a shot at the WBC title went off the rails when veteran Russian slugger Povetkin climbed off the canvas to knock him out with a chilling left uppercut in August 2022. In the rematch, staged in Gibraltar at a COVID-secure location, Whyte made sure to dish out a repeat performance but without the unwanted sting in the tail.

DW: “I was battering him [in the first fight] and then I got clipped. That’s heavyweight boxing. The rematch happened and I showed him what was what. I battered him and the fight was so easy.

“The first fight was so easy that I switched off and then in the second fight I battered him to the point where I had to go and get my own stool for him. He wouldn’t have done that for me because, after the fight, I got to realise he was a bit of an a***hole. 

“I was like ‘bro, I done you in and looked after you’. When he was out of it and collapsed his team was confused. Heavyweight boxing, you win some, you lose some. 

“It wasn’t too strange in Gibraltar. I’m one of the most adaptable people you’ll ever meet. We had the fight, there was a lot on the line and I needed to shut Povetkin and his team up to get my belt back.”

MORE: Tyson Fury gives prediction for Dillian Whyte vs. Jermaine Franklin fight, explains why American sparring partner poses threat

3) Dillian Whyte vs. Derek Chisora 2: KO 11 (December 22, 2018 at O2 Arena)

Whyte claimed a split-decision win over Chisora in a December 2016 thriller in Manchester, leaving unfinished business between the pair. Two years later, they produced another barnburner, in which each man was hurt and Chisora was up on two of the cards when a thundering left hook from Whyte ensured the judges would not be required.

DW: “It’s difficult because you know how hard the person is to beat and the first fight wasn’t no easy fight. Me and Derek had also sparred loads of rounds so I knew how challenging it was to beat him.

“The second time I prepared even harder and I knew he was going to come with something different. He changed the way he was setting up the punches. The mindset was just to go harder in the gym. I had to prove I was better than this man and could beat him on any night of the week.

“I was winning the fight clearly but boxing is funny. It depends on how the judges are feeling and what style they like. Some like aggressive guys, some like boxers, it just depends. Judging is crazy in boxing. You’ve seen it before when a guy has clearly lost by five or six rounds and they give him the win. 

“It’s a hard one for him against Tyson Fury but he backed me to win so I’m backing him to win. I hope he does win because Derek is a bit of a folk hero. The guy has shown lot of heart, determination and courage, coming back from 12 defeats and winning his last fight. I hope he does win, I like seeing stories like that. It’d be a proper Rocky story if he knocks Fury out. That’d be nuts.”

2) Dillian Whyte vs. Oscar Rivas: UD 12 (July 20, 2019 at O2 Arena)

A dangerous fight at an immensely frustrating time for Whyte, with complications outside the ring threatening his career. His wait as the WBC’s No.1-ranked heavyweight had ticked past 1,000 days but he was still required to face undefeated Colombian Rivas for the organisation’s vacant title.

It came to light afterwards that Whyte returned an adverse analytical finding in a UKAD anti-doping test. After an investigation, UKAD’s charge of a violation was withdrawn after it concluded the presence of two metabolites of a steroid were consistent with an “isolated contamination event” and were “not suggestive of doping”.

In the fight itself, Whyte boxed superbly to open up a handy lead on the scorecards before being decked in round nine and forced to impressively ride out the storm over the championship rounds.

DW: “That night was a bit of hard night, the whole week was hard for me. That fight was a one-year fight for no reason, one-year fight to prove what I already knew and [the WBC] knew. Most people would have just lost their mind and given up and gone, ‘d’you know what, f*** this sport’. But, thank God, I’ve got the warrior spirit in me. I’m persistent and that’s why I’m here today.

“I didn’t even care about beating Rivas in the end. Sometimes there are things that are bigger than boxing that happen because of boxing. It was a crazy time. Now I don’t think about that time because that time almost drove me to madness.”

MORE: Dillian Whyte’s 1,634-day wait for a WBC heavyweight title shot: Knockouts, drugs controversy and legal action

1) Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker: UD 12 (July 28, 2018 at O2 Arena)

The performance that confirmed Whyte as a bonafide world-class operator. Parker, known for having one of the best chins in the heavyweight division, was on the canvas in rounds two and nine of a thrilling back-and-forth encounter. In the final session, Whyte’s thirst for the stoppage almost cost him as Parker put him down.

DW: “I was a massive underdog going into that fight. He’d been an undefeated guy, a world champion who’d just lost to [Anthony Joshua]. Obviously, AJ was the man at the time.

“Joseph Parker thought that was an easy fight. He thought I’ll just brush this guy off and get back. What he didn’t know was that he was in with a predator. I was on the hunt that day. I don’t really pay much attention to underdog or over-dog and whatever-dog. As long as I’m a dog, I’m good.

“The last round was my own fault. I wanted to knock him out. He’d never been down before, fought all these guys and no one had put him down. I’d had him down twice already, why can’t I be the first to knock him out? I was pressing the fight, pressing the fight and then ended up walking into a right hand I didn’t see.”

MORE: Join DAZN to watch Dillian Whyte vs. Jermaine Franklin


Credit: sportingnews.com

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