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

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Tyson Fury might be the world’s most qualified pundit to offer up a prediction on Dillian Whyte’s upcoming clash with American Jermaine Franklin. Not only did he knockout Whyte back in April, he’s been sparring with Franklin in the run-up to Saturday’s heavyweight in London.

There’s no denying that Whyte represents a massive step up in class for Franklin.

Yes, the American’s record is impressive. He’s won all 21 of his fights, fourteen of them inside the distance and nine in the opening round. However, despite being unbeaten, the quality of Franklin’s opposition has been largely undistinguished. For that reason, the jury is still out on his ability to compete at the highest level.

For better or worse, the fight with Whyte should set the record straight on where the 29-year-old sits within the heavyweight ranks.

MORE: Join DAZN to watch Whyte-Franklin

Franklin landed in the U.K. almost a month ago and was lucky enough to secure some sparring with reigning WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. “The Gypsy King” estimates that he completed between forty and fifty rounds with the Michigan-based boxer-puncher at his training headquarters in Morecambe, England.

If you’re looking for an honest assessment of Franklin’s chances against Whyte, then you can stop looking.

“Jermaine’s a good fighter, but he’s like a lot of other American heavyweights in that he’s lazy,” offered Fury during a recent interview with The Sporting News. “He works hard, he trains hard, he’s being pushed by his trainer and his nutritionist — they’re all pushing him to the brink. But if you unleash me in a gym, you don’t need to push me to work hard because I’m going to give you 250 percent every single time.

“When Franklin opens up, he’s a very talented lad. He puts his punches in bunches, very quick, and he’s a strong man — about 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds. As soon as he came into camp with me, he was already doing eight rounds [sparring]. It’s just to beat someone like Dillian Whyte, it’s got to be the be-all and end-all of your life. It’s got to be your number one concern. It’s not about money and all the rest of it, it’s about ‘do or die.’ You shouldn’t need to be encouraged.”

The oddsmakers list Franklin as an 8-1 long shot. Those numbers suggest that the visitor has a snowball’s chance in hell of beating Whyte. However, despite Franklin having had just one fight in three years due to management issues, Fury insists that all may not be lost if he goes into the fight with the correct attitude and game plan.

“He’s a two-time Golden Gloves champion and if you’re winning the Golden Gloves in America, then you’re not s___, are you?” reasoned Fury, who faces Derek Chisora on December 3. “He’s from Michigan, and they can all fight out of Michigan.

MORE: Tyson Fury vs. Derek Chisora 3 PPV price, undercard and more

“I don’t think it’s a mismatch, it’s just that Dillian Whyte is a good fighter. He’s a top-five, top-six-rated heavyweight, even though he has been in a lot of tough fights. Franklin is definitely the fresher fighter, so if he gets busy with the punches, puts a good work rate in, and moves his head, then I think it could be a difficult night for Dillian.”

In terms of signature wins, Franklin’s standout triumphs came against Rydell Booker (UD 10) and Jerry Forrest (SD10) in 2019. The fact that the early knockouts stopped when he moved up a level might be telling. Four of Franklin’s last five contests have gone the 10-round distance.

However, promoter Dimitry Salita insists that the boxing world is sleeping on his man and that a seismic upset is on the horizon.

MORE: All you need to know about Whyte-Franklin

“If you have not heard of Jermaine Franklin you’re about to discover a fighter who is destined for big things, we have a future heavyweight champion on our hands,” Salita told Lord Ping.

“Jermaine is young, hungry, skilled, and has waited patiently for his opportunity. I believe there is no better opponent for him to face than Whyte at this stage of his career.

“We respect Whyte, he’s experienced and his left hook is one of the best in the business. He’s also in the last chance saloon, so that makes him dangerous.”


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