Heavyweight Jermaine Franklin on fight with Whyte: ‘I’m here to spoil his party’

Undefeated heavyweight contender Jermaine Franklin sent a stern warning to Dillian Whyte as he looks to stamp his credentials as a future world champion in their headlining clash this Saturday night taking place at Wembley Arena in London and streaming live on DAZN.

“This is my chance to show that I can go toe-to-toe with any heavyweight in the world,” said Franklin, who owns a perfect 21-0 record with 14 knockouts. “I’ve had a great training camp and I’m super motivated to be in the U.K. and win on my opponent’s home turf. I’m coming to finish him, so he better not be looking past me.”

Franklin has worked his way into heavyweight contention with 2019 triumphs over Rydell Booker, Jerry Forrest and Pavel Sour, before most recently stopping Rodney Moore in May. Saginaw, Michigan’s Franklin has been one of many fighters from Michigan, including women’s boxing superstar Claressa Shields. With a victory on Saturday night, Franklin’s promoter, Dmitriy Salita, believes he can solidify himself as one of the standouts from the area.

“Everybody knows that Jermaine has tremendous skill and heart, but they’re going to see him take it to another level against Dillian Whyte,” said Salita. “He’s been a big part of the comeback for boxing in Michigan and I truly believe that after Saturday night, he’s going to be one of the first guys you have to mention when talking about boxing in and around the area. The sky is the limit for him and I know that he’s doing everything possible to put on the best performance of his career in this fight.”

The 29-year-old Franklin will be looking to hand Whyte his second-straight loss after the London-resident dropped an April bout against WBC heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury. Although Franklin has made it clear that his focus is squarely on Whyte, he and his promoter both know that a triumph on Saturday could lead to a blockbuster clash against another notable U.K. heavyweight, former two-time unified champion Anthony Joshua.

“I’ve never looked past any fighter and I’m not going to start with Dillian Whyte,” said Franklin. “I know that nothing I want happens unless I go in there and be the fighter that I know I am. Anthony Joshua is another big name and everyone knows that’s who Whyte wants next. But I’m here to spoil his party and step right in there to add Joshua’s name to my resume as well. No one can deny me my shot after that.”

Fury: ‘I’m one of the greatest heavyweights of all time’

After not having fought in his native land for almost four years, Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) returned home with a spectacular sixth-round knockout in front of a record-breaking 94,000 fans Saturday evening at Wembley Stadium in London.

The WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion defended his crown against former training partner Dillian Whyte with a vicious right uppercut that immediately ended matters at 2:59 of the sixth row. Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) has now won four of his last five fights via stoppage.

To start the bout, both men attempted to engage in a bit of mind games, with Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) entering the first round by working from a southpaw stance. The roles reversed in the following round with Fury commencing his attack from a left-handed position. But by the third round, none of that even mattered as Fury, now orthodox again, began snapping his jab, finding his rhythm and even smiling at Whyte as he began lunging with shots in the fourth and fifth rounds.

Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte - Heavyweight Fight
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 23: Tyson Fury (L) knocks-down Dillian Whyte (R) during their WBC heavyweight championship fight at Wembley Stadium on April 23, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

By this point, Fury had seen what kind of openings could be made when leading with his left hand as Whyte often used a cross-armed defense to evade shots. That’s when the “Gypsy King” circled in on his target to touch Whyte with a left hand before landing a fight-finishing uppercut that knocked the “Body Snatcher” down and out.

“I’m overwhelmed with the support,” Fury said. “I can’t believe that my 94,000 countrymen and women have come here tonight to see my perform. I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much to every single person who bought a ticket here tonight or stayed up late to watch it on TV.

“Dillian Whyte is a warrior. And I believe that Dillian will be a world champion. But tonight, he met a great in the sport. I’m one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. And unfortunately for Dillian Whyte, he had to face me here tonight. There’s no disgrace. He’s a tough, game man. He’s as strong as a bull. He’s got the heart of a lion. But you’re not messing with a mediocre heavyweight. You’re messing with the best man on the planet. And you saw that tonight with what happened.

“I think Lennox Lewis could even be proud of the right uppercut tonight.”

 

Whyte on fight with Fury: ‘I just need to go in there and do my thing’

The drama surrounding whether Dillian Whyte would show up for Wednesday’s press conference was much ado about nothing. The WBC Interim heavyweight champion arrived on time, and he and WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Tyson Fury exchanged more pleasantries than trash talk three days out from their showdown at Wembley Stadium (ESPN+ PPV, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT).

Fury will defend his crown on the world-famous football pitch Saturday in front of a UK-record crowd of approximately 94,000.

This is what Fury and Whyte had to say:

Tyson Fury

Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

“We’ve had a great preparation. There are never any complaints from me. We always do what we can do in training camps and do the best that we can do on the night. I’m sure Dillian Whyte’s had a great training camp as well. He’s a good fighting man. The fans are in for a real treat. I know Dillian. I know him personally, and he knows me. And we’re going to rock n’ roll on fight night. We’re ready to throw down and treat us all to a hell of a barnstorm.”

“It’s been an amazing journey. From where I started all those years ago to the ups and downs and being away from boxing and being fat as f**k, 28 stone. To coming back and being mentally out, a druggie and an alcoholic—all of the rest of the stuff—I’m not ashamed of it. It’s a part of who I am. To coming back and getting back to the top of the world and having three big fights with Deontay Wilder over there in the U.S., and now being back in England after all these years, four years away, and now I’m fighting my old pal Dillian Whyte back at home for all the glory and all the belts. Who would have thought it? We’re looking forward to an awesome, memorable night. This will break all records.”

“Dillian Whyte is a good fighter. He is a good, strong, solid man. He’s big. He’s strong. He’s tough. He’s game. He’s got good power. He’s knocked out a lot of men. He’s had a good learning career as well. He’s got a lot of experience in the fight game. He’s definitely a man that needs a lot of respect. And that’s why I’ve given all this training camp we’ve had. I’ve had everything I can possibly do to train for this. I’ve haven’t left any stones unturned. I’ve trained as hard for Dillian as I have for Wilder or Klitschko

Dillian Whyte

“It means everything to me to be fighting in my home country, and especially because it’s for the world title at Wembley. It’s not too far from where I’m from. It means everything. It’s massive. It’s a moment I’ve been waiting for. It’s a big fight. Like Tyson said, we didn’t expect to be here. But I’m here, but I’ve taken risks time and time again. I’ve had a couple slipups along the way, but I’m here and I’m ready to go. You won’t hear any bullsh*t from me. I’m ready to go.”

On Not Showing Up to Promotional Events:

“There was no strategy. There are two sides to his story. You only hear one side of the story because one side says a lot of things. Because I didn’t say anything, everyone was saying ‘you’re scared’ and ‘you’re hiding.’ I ain’t scared of sh*t. I ain’t hiding from sh*t. Stuff needed to get done. Obviously, the fight was signed.  But there were other things behind the scenes that needed to get signed. Me and Frank got together. Credit due to him as me and my team were trying to pick up the phone for a long time to get stuff done.”

“This is one of those fights where I’ve been working on being adaptable. I’m going to have to adapt, make smart decisions, when I need to do what and how I need to do it, and how I need to approach what I’m doing. So that’s it. There’s no strategy here. That’s it. I just need to go in there and do my thing.”

Fury: ‘I think it’s gonna be real for {Whyte)’

WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury is comfortable as a solo artist. After Dillian Whyte did not show up to Tuesday’s open workout in London, Fury thrilled the home fans on his own. Fury, who will battle Whyte on ESPN+ PPV this Saturday at Wembley Stadium (2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT), turned southpaw and went through the fight week paces with his head trainer, SugarHill Steward.

A crowd of more than 94,000 is expected for this all-UK showdown, which would be one of the largest audiences in combat sports history.

Without Whyte to share the spotlight, this is some of what Fury had to say.

 
“Frank Warren and the boys have done a fantastic job. It’s been a great promotion. Looking forward to a fantastic event.”

“I think it’s gonna be real for {Whyte}. If not today or tomorrow or this week, then as soon as I hit him in the mouth on Saturday night. Then, he knows it’s real!”

“I’ve been boxing quite a bit as a southpaw in camp. We’ll see. Whatever works. If that don’t work, we’ll switch off to orthodox. If that don’t work, we’ll switch back up. I might just go square on!”

On Whyte not showing up to the workout:

“That’s Dillian’s concern. That’s none of my business. Dillian Whyte, I’m sure he’s got his reasons why he’s not here today. Whatever they are, good luck to him, and I’ll see him on the fight night.”

“I’ve said this is my last fight, and it will be.”

“I’m overwhelmed with the support I’ve had over the years. It’s been fantastic. 94,000 people, it’s unbelievable, it’s amazing stuff.”

Photo/Courtesy: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)
 

Fury on Whyte: ‘If I can’t look like Muhammad Ali against this guy, then I’m in the wrong {profession}’

Two men will fight, but only one showed up for the press conference. WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury made it a solo act Tuesday to promote his April 23 showdown against Dillian Whyte at London’s Wembley Stadium connected by EE. Fury-Whyte will be broadcast live on Pay-Per-View in the U.S.

Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) has been the lineal champion since November 2015 and will fight on English soil for the first time since June 2018. Since then, he’s fought Deontay Wilder three times, cemented his status as the world’s best heavyweight, and has served as an inspiration for mental health sufferers around the world. Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) is a consensus top-five heavyweight who knocked out Alexander Povetkin in a rematch last year to regain the WBC interim title.

Fury-Whyte marks the third time in boxing history that a pair of Brits are fighting for the heavyweight title. Fury managed without his counterpart at the press conference, lobbing insults and promising a memorable evening in front of an expected crowd of nearly 100,000.

Here is what Fury had to say at Tuesday’s press conference:

Tyson Fury

http://www.shaunsmithphotography.co.uk

“It’s been a roller coaster of a ride, across the Atlantic Ocean in the exotic venues of MGM Grand, T-Mobile, Staples Center. I just feel like the song {by} Thin Lizzy, ‘The Boys Are Back in Town.’ Four years away, and I get to come back and showcase on the world’s biggest stage at Wembley Stadium, 100,000 people there. I’m just putting it on so the fans can come, the people who traveled to Las Vegas… not everyone was able to come. For the people who stayed up to five in the morning to see those fights on BT Sport, now they can come and enjoy an event on home soil and be a part of history. People will be talking about this event and saying, ‘Where were you when this happened?’”

“I know Dillian Whyte is going to come in prepared. He’s going to come in rugged and rough and game and aggressive. And he’s got a big left hook and a big right hand. Who knows? It could be me chinned on the night. I think both fighters are going for the knockout on the night. I just think when I land a ‘Lancaster Bomber’ on his jaw, it’s going to be over. That could be in round one, or it could be in round six. I don’t see it going past that. I’m looking to put on an excellent {fight} and showcase knockout boxing for the UK fans and then sing a load of songs afterwards and have a good time. Party on down in the big smoke!’”

“”If I can’t look like Muhammad Ali against this guy, then I’m in the wrong {profession}. I will chop him to bits. Not a problem. I will smash his face right in. You’re going to see a boxing masterclass. You’re going to see the difference in levels.”

“This man is a big old strong fellow who swings a big old punch in and knocks a man spark out if he connects. But if I’m daft enough to get hit off him and knocked out, then I don’t deserve to be heavyweight world champion.”

“I don’t blame him for not being here today because if he were here, I’d have probably stretched him at the press conference. It’s good he’s not here, otherwise I’d be remanded in a London jail cell somewhere. The buildup to this fight will be fantastic because Tyson Fury versus his own shadow sells for sure. I will make sure people are entertained.”

“My personal message to Dillian Whyte today is this: I will win this fight for England and for St. George on St. George’s Day. There we go.”

“He should be here promoting the fight. That’s my opinion, and I think it’s tough luck for him and his family and his legacy going forward.”

Whyte: ‘Anybody on the planet that gets hit with that left hook, they’re going down’

Dillian Whyte(28-2, 19 KOs) flattened Alexander Povetkin(36-3-1) with a huge left hook to drop and earn a fourth-round TKO in their rematch at the Europa Point Sports Complex in Gibraltar on Saturday.

The rematch was originally scheduled to take place in November, but Povetkin tested positive for COVID-19.

The 32-year-old Whyte had Povetkin on the brink of a knockout throughout their second heavyweight battle and closed the show dramatically, returning the favor after he lost to the Russian last year.

“I was so close, and then one lapse in concentration, and I made a mistake,” Whyte said. “Tonight, I was like ‘yo’, I’m looking to beat some a** tonight. I was trying to get it done in the first round, but then I had to relax. Anybody on the planet that gets hit with that left hook they’re going down. Some of them might get up, but most will stay down. He was kind of badly hurt. Now I feel bad. I want him to go home to his family healthy. 

“One loss, two-loss so what. It was a good learning fight for me because I had to think in there. I was rushing him, but I had to think also. He’s still very heavy-handed, and he’s still very good. I’m going to spend some time with my family and just relax. I’ll probably call Eddie tomorrow and ask him what we’re doing next. I want to make the most of it now and retire good and healthy.”

Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn would like to see him fight former WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder.

“For me, we called for the Deontay Wilder fight for a long, long time,” Hearn said. “He actually DMed and said I’ll never give you that fight. Now he’s calling for that fight. To me, that’s a stadium fight. I’d like to get him back out again quickly in the summer. But the goal has always been to get Dillian Whyte a world title.”

It should be interesting to see what’s next for Whyte, who regained the WBC interim title with the victory over the 41-year-old Povetkin. A fight with Wilder would be fun. He’s also in line to face WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, but he’ll be fighting unified champion Anthony Joshua next, so who knows what will happen with Whyte, but he’s sure happy to get his hand raised once again. 

Photo: Mark Robinson/Dave Thompson/Matchroom Boxing

Povetkin-Whyte rematch moved to March 27

Dillian Whyte’s eagerly anticipated rematch with Alexander Povetkin is heading to Gibraltar on a new date of Saturday March 27, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all other markets excluding the UK and Ireland.

The British Heavyweight contender was set to face Povetkin on March 6, but travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic have meant the fight has been pushed back three weeks.

Brixton’s Whyte will be attempting to avenge his shock knockout defeat to Povetkin last summer, with an announcement on a venue to be made in due course.

Matchroom Sport Managing Director Eddie Hearn said: “In the current environment we are always having to think on our feet. We did everything to try and make March 6 happen, but with the new travel restrictions it was impossible. Now we have something outside the box, compelling, and a unique setting for one of the Heavyweight Fights of the Year – roll on the Rumble on the Rock!”

Potvetkin-Whyte 2, other fights announced by Matchroom Boxing for the early part of 2021

Eddie Hearn and Matchroom announced details of their upcoming UK schedule on Friday following the British Boxing Board of Control’s confirmation earlier this week that Boxing tournaments under its jurisdiction will resume in the middle of February. All of the action will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories, with Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte 2 shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all other markets excluding the UK and Ireland.
 
Matchroom’s 2021 schedule launches with a bang on Saturday February 13 as Josh Warrington (30-0, 7 KOs) faces Mexico’s Mauricio Lara (21-2, 14 KOs) as he waits for a huge fight later in the year, Manchester Super-Featherweight contender Zelfa Barrett (24-1, 15 KOs) defends his IBF Intercontinental Title against Spain’s former Super-Bantamweight World Champion Kiko Martinez (41-9-2, 29 KOs) in the chief support bout, Nottingham’s Leigh Wood (23-2, 13 KOs) clashes with unbeaten Doncaster man Reece Mould (13-0, 6 KOs) for the vacant British Featherweight Title, fast-rising Sheffield Super-Lightweight talent Dalton Smith (6-0, 5 KOs) takes on Rotherham’s Lee Appleyard (16-5-1, 5 KOs) and Leeds Featherweight Hopey Price (3-0, 1 KO) looks to build on his win over Jonny Phillips at Fight Camp last summer. 
 
Russia’s European Welterweight Champion David Avanesyan (26-3-1, 14 KOs) makes his long-awaited Title defence against Josh Kelly (10-0-1, 6 KOs) at the top of the bill the following week on Saturday February 20, undefeated Welterweights Florian Marku (7-0-1, 5 KOs) and Rylan Charlton (6-0-1, 3 KOs) meet in what promises to be an explosive ten-round battle, Liverpool Super-Welterweight Anthony Fowler (13-1, 10 KOs) returns against Spain’s Jorge Fortea (21-2-1, 7 KOs) following his win over Adam Harper at Fight Camp, Amy Timlin (4-0-1) and Carly Skelly (3-0-1) rematch for the vacant Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight Title after their split draw on the Oleksandr Usyk vs. Derek Chisora undercard last October and explosive Romford Heavyweight Johnny Fisher makes his highly anticipated professional debut. 
 
Alexander Povetkin’s (36-2-1, 25 KOs) blockbuster Heavyweight rematch with Dillian Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) lands on Saturday March 6, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all other markets excluding the UK and Ireland, with details of the chief support bout to be announced shortly, Bermondsey’s Ted Cheeseman (16-2-1, 9 KOs) meets Liverpool’s James Metcalf (21-0, 13 KOs) for the vacant British Super-Welterweight Title, Ipswich Heavyweight talent Fabio Wardley (10-0, 9 KOs) steps-up again against USA’s former World Title challenger Eric Molina (27-6, 19 KOs), Manchester Super-Featherweight Campbell Hatton – son of British fight legend Ricky Hatton – makes his professional debut and Wembley Super-Featherweight Youssef Khoumari ( 11-0-1, 4 KOs) faces Birmingham’s Kane Baker (14-7).
 
Hackney Cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie (15-0, 12 KOs) attempts to become Britain’s next World Champion in just his sixteenth fight when he clashes with Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO crown on Saturday March 20, Northampton’s Chantelle Cameron (13-0, 7 KOs) makes the first defence of her WBC Super-Lightweight Word Title against Puerto Rico’s Melissa Hernandez (23-7-3, 7 KOs), Bournemouth’s Commonwealth Cruiserweight Champion Chris Billam-Smith (11-1, 10 KOs) takes on Chelsea’s English Champion Deion Jumah (13-0, 7 KOs) for the vacant British Title, Somali-British prospect Ramla Ali (1-0) steps through the ropes for a second time as a pro and Birmingham’s former Team GB standout Solomon Dacres makes his professional debut. 
 
On Saturday April 10 rising Welterweight star Conor Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) defends his WBA Continental Title against Samuel Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) following his career-best performance last time out against Sebastian Formella. ‘The Destroyer’ dominated Germany’s Formella over ten rounds, impressively outfighting and outboxing the former IBO World Champion to remain undefeated in the red hot 147lbs division. Vargas has shared the ring with current WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol Spence Jr, two-weight World Champion Danny Garcia and former Unified Super-Lightweight World Champion Amir Khan.

Also on the card, Aldridge’s Rachel Ball (7-1) and Watford’s Shannon Courtenay (6-1, 3 KOs) rematch with the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title on the line, Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall (9-0, 7 KOs) makes the first defense of her WBO Middleweight World Title after her emphatic win over Hannah Rankin in October, Commonwealth Middleweight Champion Felix Cash (13-0, 9 KOs) fights for the first time since his win over Jason Welborn and Glasgow Bantamweight Kash Farooq (14-1, 6 KOs) returns after his masterclass win over Angel Aviles. 

Povetkin tests positive for COVID-19, fight could be rescheduled in late January

Alexander Povetkin has been forced to withdraw from his Saturday November 21 contest with Dillian Whyte due to testing positive for COVID-19.

The pair were due to rematch at The SSE Arena, Wembley, live on Sky Sports Box Office but will now face each other on a later date to be confirmed soon.

Further details on the November 21 show will follow shortly.

“Firstly we want to wish Alexander Povetkin a speedy recovery,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “This is a challenging time for shows. There will be lots of ups and downs over the next few months. We look forward to the fight happening in late January.”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Whyte on Povetkin: ‘I’m coming to win and knock him out’

Dillian Whyte has an immediate opportunity to exact revenge over Alexander Povetkin on Saturday November 21 as the Heavyweight rivals collide in a blockbuster rematch, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.

Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) was sensationally knocked out by Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) as the Russian viciously halted ‘The Body Snatcher’s’ World Title ambitions in the finale of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex, last month.

Brixton’s Whyte had completely controlled the fight, flooring his opponent twice in the fourth round, but was smashed by a perfect left uppercut 30 seconds into the fifth that ended his hopes in a flash.

The 32-year-old will be hoping to regain his Mandatory position for the WBC Heavyweight World Title by levelling the score with Povetkin in what is the most important fight of his career to date.

“I’ve rested well, spent time with my family, and now that the date of the rematch is known, I will soon return to my training camp and prepare as thoroughly as I did for the first fight,” said Povetkin. “As I said before the first fight and after it too, Dillian Whyte is a good, strong boxer. I will be ready to enter the ring on November 21. I hope it will be another beautiful fight for the fans.”

“I’m over the moon to have the rematch,” said Whyte. “As soon as I got out of the ring, I was looking for confirmation that the fight would be on. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and get back what is rightfully mine. I’m looking to do what I said I would the first time and that’s beat Alexander Povetkin.

“There won’t be any major adjustments, but I just need to be more switched on and not get distracted. He was able to use his experience against me. I will be a lot more focused and sharper in the rematch. I’m coming to win and knock him out. I’m coming to even the score and the only way to do that is by knocking him out.”