By John “Gutterdandy” Walker
Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte, who was defeated in what appeared to be a one-sided bout against WBC champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury last Saturday in the UK, is now crying foul, blaming Fury for using dirty tactics and also slamming the referee for allowing Fury to push him to the mat and to rabbit punch him throughout the contest.
“I was trying to get my senses [after Fury connected with an uppercut] and he fully two-handed pushed me and I fell over and hit my head,” Whyte explains. “It was a terrible job from the referee. I should have had time to recover and have time to go back to my corner.”
Whyte contends that the contest with Fury was a very even, back and forth affair, with him giving as good as he was getting throughout the fight. Yet most boxing fans and analysts seemed to see it as a one-sided contest that Fury ended with a sixth round uppercut that the WBC champion’s team later admitted was inspired by now-retired Russian veteran Alexander Povetkin’s knockout of the year, detonating Whyte’s chin back in 2020.
Whyte mocked and derided former WBC champion Deontay Wilder when he made a series of ever more outlandish claims against Fury after being manhandled and stopped in the second of three matches with The Gypsy King. But now, Whyte himself is choosing to go the same route as Wilder did, making a series of complaints and demanding a rematch, though also realizing that he will need to beat another top heavyweight before that happens, if the WBC champion doesn’t decide to stick to his plans to retire.
Whyte may be trying to stay relevant in the heavyweight division by calling Fury a dirty fighter, and there is some historical truth to that claim. Earlier in his career, for instance, Fury employed a barrage of rabbit punches to the head of Canadian heavyweight champion Neven Pajkic after Pajkic had knocked him flat, and did the same to American Steve Cunningham, a former cruiserweight champion who also put Fury on the canvas in the Brit’s fighting debut at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.
But whether Fury employed dirty tactics sufficent to beat Whyte is another question entirely. Truth be told, since his victory over top contender Joseph Parker of New Zealand in 2018, Dillian Whyte’s career has been headed on a downward trajectory. Since that fight, Whyte has been embroiled in controversies and often looked less than impressive in the ring:
Whyte vs Oscar Rivas (2019): Whyte gets knocked down and edges Rivas with a UD under a cloud of suspicion: dianabol steroids are found in his blood and an accusation was made of Whyte using illegal gloves that were substituted for the agreed upon mitts just before the fight. Rivas’ trainer Russ Anber is furious and files a complaint with British Boxing Board of Control
Whyte vs Mariusz Wach (2019): Whyte goes life and death with the giant Polish journeyman Wach, taking a beating that actually leaves him looking like the loser of the match. The unanimous decision scores for Whyte seem not to accurately reflect what actually happened in the ring. At times an out of shape Whyte was literally hanging on.
Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin 1 (2020): Whyte is utterly destroyed by the KO of the year from the aging Povetkin. The Body Snatcher is knocked out cold on his feet by a masterfully delivered uppercut from the Russian veteran.
Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin 2 (2021): Povetkin is brought in fresh out of a Russian hospital and still suffering from long covid symptoms. He is stopped by Whyte in a rematch that shouldn’t have taken place at that time.
Whyte vs Otto Wallin (2021, cancelled): Whyte pulls out of the fight with 10 days left to go, in an incredibly shoddy move. He and promoter Eddie Hearn fail to provide any evidence of an “injured shoulder,” and Hearn is downright sneering and dismissive about it. Wallin, who gave Tyson Fury fits in their 2019 fight, is understandably livid. Whyte then disappears to await a title shot against Tyson Fury.
Whyte vs Tyson Fury (2022): Whyte seems off balance and struggles to make an impact. Fury takes him out with an uppercut that he later admits was modelled on the same punch Povetkin took “The Body Snatcher” out with. Helluva punch, but still not as powerful as Povetkin’s masterpiece, which was one of the greatest one-punch KO shots in boxing history.
The question thus arises: was Dillian Whyte prevented from achieving heavyweight glory by “dirty tactics” used by Tyson Fury, enabled by an inattentive referee?
Or had Dillian Whyte been going downhill for the last few years, and was sold to the public via hype from fighters like David Haye, Dereck Chisora, and to some extent Tyson Fury himself, all who went out of their way to elevate the reputation of a man they knew had little to no chance of dethroning the heavyweight champion?
No doubt Whyte will now try to convince the boxing public it’s the former answer, but a close look at Whyte’s recent record suggests it’s the latter.
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