By: Sean Crose
“It’s a must-win fight on Saturday,” said promoter Eddie Hearn at the final press conference for the Dillian Whyte -Jermaine Franklin heavyweight bout, which goes down this weekend in London. Hearn’s fighter, Whyte, was last spotted getting knocked out in brutally memorable fashion last spring by WBC and lineal heavyweight kingpin Tyson Fury. Should he lose to Franklin, a largely unknown yet undefeated American, it might be time for Whyte to consider retirement. Whyte, however, exuded confidence during Thursday’s press conference. “One thing you’ve got to know is I can fight,” he told the media, “and I can f—–g fight. It’s as simple as that. Whichever way it is, I’ll get it done. Simple as that.”
Whyte indicated that he sees Franklin as a serious opponent. “We know what’s in front of us,” Whyte said of his opponent. “He’s young and he’s dangerous. Obviously he’s undefeated and he’s full of beans as we say here in the UK. It’s up to me to beat them out of him one by one. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.” While there’s no doubt that the now 34 year old Whyte has been a top contender in the post-Klitschko era of boxing, he has come up short against the likes of Fury and Anthony Joshua.
Meanwhile, Whyte seems keenly aware of the fact that he is being considered damaged goods at this point of his career. “At the moment people are thinking I’m a wounded lion.” he said. “All of these hyenas are looking to move in and have a little nibble here and a nibble there. What they’ve got to remember is I’m still a predator at the end of the day, and what predators do is they kill.” To prepare for this weekend’s hunt, Whyte has teamed up with famed American trainer Buddy McGirt.
“Dillian has more than just punch power,” McGirt said. “After being with him for a couple of weeks you see this guy has a very good boxing IQ. He does a lot of different moves, it’s awkward and it’s crazy but it works for him. If I ever ask him something like why did you do that, he explains to me why. I’m like alright cool let’s make it a little better so we don’t get countered, or make it a little more effective. It was a great training camp so I have no complaints at all.”
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