Dillian Whyte Wins! Really?..

Finally, Dillian Whyte got the chance to fight for the title. The big match. He had been waiting for years and there was good feeling for him, having waited so long.

Still, here it was, a big time fight against the biggest Heavyweight in the world at the moment, Tyson Fury. It was his right, he should have revelled in the hoopla, adding to that good feeling.

And yet, in the leadup, there were issues. Whyte didn’t really engage early on, eventually there was more of what we might expect, but early on he wasn’t around – this might have been an angle, a way to keep the fight on people’s lips, that thought can’t be discounted and yet the general coverage was a frown of misunderstanding at the lack of engagement.

Whyte floored by Fury
Credit: BBC

But the fight, surely Whyte had nothing to lose? It was going to be a tough ask, with Fury being so preeminent in his weight class, but this massive opportunity was surely not going to be wasted.

It was, sort of. Watching the fight, he seemed tentative, flat, not really throwing many punches, not really taking it to Fury.

Yes, it’s easy for me to write this sitting on my well upholstered sofa, Fury is an extraordinary talent with a very long reach differential, but…

Whyte had waited so long for a fight he saw as his right.

Whyte had nothing to lose and everything to gain from having a good go, few expected him to win, but the more he did, the more he would burnish his rep for any future fights

So it didn’t deliver in the ring, Fury got Whyte out of there half way through the bout, and there were competing views around how many Pay Per View buys it did, from pretty acceptable claims to doom-laced tellings.

And so…

This Fight: Dillian Whyte Vs Jermaine Franklin

It was played as Dillian Whyte starting again. Climbing up the mountain for another assault at a title. And the choice of Jermaine Franklin to begin again is a tough one, but well done, he seems like a KO king, 14 in his 21 wins, but he’s coming up, no one huge in his fight card yet – there’s Jerry Forrest on there and Whyte would surely be his biggest name yet.

Whyte v Forrest Press
Credit; DAZN

And Franklin came to fight. And to win.

I reckon he did.

The scorecards didn’t agree.

Even though Whyte smoothly manipulated Franklin early on, which was lovely to see, Franklin suddenly ending up in the corner, they traded from early on, Whyte landing a body shot and Franklin returning a combo up top.

Whyte v Franklin
Credit; The Independent

Increasingly though, it seemed that Frankn was doing more work, hitting combos to the body, digging them in, his punches had pep and in the 6th round his work drew a smile of acknowledgement from Whyte.

I’ll accept that this was close, they each had answers, a clubbing right from Whyte in the 9th but Franklin won’t leave it alone, even though Whyte might have been getting the upper hand.

It was going that way, the last round was his, what with a crunching right hook and then we cuffing overhand left which caught Franklin hight in the temple and caused discombobulation, a certain sagging on the ropes and commentators to assert that he was saved by the bell.

For me, Franklin’s engine was running low, but the work he did earlier on was pretty fine.

Result and What’s Next

One judge had it even, 115-115. The other 2 had it 115-112 for Whyte. What? Which 3 rounds were they? OK, the 12th, but was Franklin’s busy work, his peppy punches, his success throughout the match not regarded?

One of those things, scorecards are sometimes one of those things. BBC Sport reported Franklin’s reaction;

‘As Whyte exchanged a few cordial words with Joshua at ringside, Franklin expressed discontent with the scorecards and called for a rematch.

“I felt like I got robbed on the decision, I felt like a did enough,” the 29-year-old said.’

For Franklin, even in defeat, this shows he can hang with a world title contender and make a really good fist of it. His chances are burnished.

Even Dillian Whyte seemed to agree, reported by BBC Sport;

“He’s undefeated and he’s got a lot of beans in his body. His stock rose tonight.

“I could’ve probably been a bit more active and let off a few more big shots.”

What about for Whyte? Well, Anthony Joshua was there watching on and although he carries more interest, their situations are similar.

Both men have lost recently
Both men have had their performances questioned
Both men need a big win

Joshua Watches Whyte
Credit: PA Media

As reported by Boxing Scene;

‘Dillian Whyte says he would have had no choice but to retire if he was not able to pull out a victory over Jermaine Franklin.’

And perhaps if Dillian Whyte wants a fight with Anthony Joshua, this strangely safe performance will persuade him that Whyte is just the opponent he needs.

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