By: Jacob Tanswell
As it stands, Dillian Whyte is a massive player in the heavyweight picture. From a kickboxing background, with next to nothing ameteur pedigree, Dillian Whyte is on the unlikely verge of a world title challenge and a chance to catapult himself into British Boxing stardom.
Last saturday, on US network “Showtime” the WBC champion Deontay Wilder was interviewed after his sensational first round KO of Bermaine Stiverne. Before the inevitable “when are you gonna fight Joshua” question was asked, Jim Gray brought up the subject of fighting Dillian Whyte to Wilder. That, in itself, highlights how far the Brixton based fighter has come. From boxing obscurity, Dillian Whyte is now considered a tough test for anyone whether it’s from these shores or across the pond.
Unlike many champions, Whyte was never touted to be the next great heavyweight hope. Instead, that label was planted on others, with far more ametuer pedigree, such as David Price. Initially, with little recognition, Whyte began his professional career boxing on small hall shows, trying to earn himself a living, in order to provide for his children, at which he had at very young. Whilst all the hype was focussed on others, Whyte kept battling away, trying to get himself in the frame to earn himself a shot at the British Title.
After many trials and tribulations, including a drug ban, in 2015 Dillian Whyte was suddenly elevated into the big time, preparing to renew his rivalry with the country’s national treasure, Anthony Joshua and play the villain. Since fighting against one another in 2009, as fresh inexperienced amateurs, the pair built up a deep hatred for one another. Over the course of 6 years, that bad feeling between both never went away and was quietly simmering in the background. This was until, as professionals, they went head to head again, competing for the belt Whyte so badly craved, the famous Lonsdale Belt; along with the underlying jealousy that Joshua had been giving more respect and admiration from the public than himself, Whyte realised he had to seize this chance in order for him to fulfill his goals in this massive box office domestic showdown.
However, after a brave, valiant effort, Whyte was beaten.But he had given the heavy favourite his toughest test to date and his stock instantly grew. Since the fight, Whyte has received backing from Eddie Hearn and the Sky platform which has increased exposure and gave him the necessary fights to increase his profile. As we speak, he is arguably one of the most well known boxers in the UK and is on the cusp of securing a multi million pound deal to fight for a version of the heavyweight title, through the dealings of Hearn to secure a mega fight at the O2 on February the 3rd, which has already been pencilled in.
Through the combination of his rivalry with Joshua,his deeply extroverted personality and his underlying “street fighter” mentality, the Jamaican born heavyweight has thrusted himself into the elite, and is willing to fight anyone. The man who came from nothing is now in the big time. How far can this underdog story go? Contender? World Champion? Who knows, but one thing is for sure, Dillian Whyte will give himself the opportunity to achieve that.