Whyte vs. Rivas Sells 289,000 PPVs
By: Shane Willoughby
Earlier this year Barry Hearn said at the press conference for Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas “these fighters have to get paid and if you don’t like it, don’t watch.” Insinuating if you don’t want to pay for the fight, don’t buy it.
Normally when the Hearn family speak fans don’t pay much attention. Unfortunately for Matchroom, this time the fans took Barry Hearns comments seriously. In fact, that statement was put into practice.
Whyte vs Rivas reportedly sold only 289,000 pay-per-views. Which is probably much less than what was expected. Whyte’s last two PPV’s with Parker and Chisora done over 400,000 buys. How is that Whyte’s star power is increasing but his PPV’s have reduced dramatically.
With all due respect to the body-snatcher the lack of box office buys are because of Rivas’ lack of exposure in the UK. With that said, Whyte vs parker sold 474,000. So just under 200,000 people decided that they were not going pay for this fight.
That is a large amount of people. To put that blame solely on the fact that Rivas isn’t a big name in England is quite unfair. Especially when you consider the fact that Eddie Hearn by his own admission put together a ‘monster card’.
And for those who still believe that this is a decent amount of PPV buys. This is the lowest amount of buys Sky Sports have done since 2017. And when you consider the fact that Bellew and Usyk, who is far from a household name in the UK done over 500,000 sells, 289,000 is poor.
So why has Whyte vs Rivas done such bad numbers? Is it because former “slave trader” Barry Hearn gave fans permission to not buy? Maybe, but a more plausible explanation is, the British fans have turned their backs on Matchroom.
Eddie Hearn has clearly prioritised his new American family and has received heavy criticism for abandoning the brits; leaving them with below-par fight nights.
Whyte vs Rivas was Matchroom and Sky Sports first big fight night this year which was staged in the UK. British fans had to wait until July to finally get a card that they had a chance to pay for. Unfortunately, 200,000 people chose not to pay.
With all this on the table, it does evoke quite a few fascinating thoughts. Earlier this year it was released that Whyte was offered a deal from ESPN. And if Furys deal is anything to go by the sum of money was more than appealing. Why did the Brixton man turn it down?
When you realise that the entire card on 27th July grossed under 6 million, Whyte couldn’t have been paid much, relatively speaking. Especially when you have to subsidise a ‘monster card’. Maybe, Whyte should have signed with ESPN after all.
Dillian Whyte’s B Sample Wasn’t Opened
By: Shane Willoughby
There has been a desperate quest by boxing fans for the results of Dillian Whyte’s B sample. As most fans are under the impression that his B sample has been taken and opened by UKAD or the BBBOC.
However, it wasn’t opened before the bout, after the bout or to this day, for testing.
Eddie Hearn was asked in an IFL TV interview the week after Whyte’s bout with Rivas, about Dillian Whyte’s B sample and his response was far from convincing.
“People say that there is a B sample being tested next week, I am not aware of that.” He added, “all I’m aware of is that there was a hearing and he was cleared to fight.”
In another interview, Hearn also spoke about the situation leading up to the fight, after the adverse findings.
“I found out about it [Whyte’s adverse findings] and we were told that he would have to open a B sample or have a hearing.” Hearn added, “this was like a day before the fight, it’s impossible to open a b sample get that done, get that tested etc.”
It appears as if Dillian Whyte never had a B sample opened at all or at least to his promoters knowledge. Instead, Whyte had the option to pick between having a B sample tested or present evidence to a panel and due to how close it was to the fight, opening a B sample wasn’t possible. According to Hearn.
When you look at the fact that it only takes 3 days maximum to get the findings back and it’s been over 3 weeks since the Whyte vs Rivas fight and there still is no further information on the subject. If you also match the fact that with Eddie Hearn stating that he isn’t aware of the sample being opened. It’s fair to assume that Whyte’s B sample has never and may never get tested.
So if the B sample isn’t getting tested, is there even an investigation going on. Because if Whyte passed all VADA’s tests and UKAD and the BBBO also cleared Whyte to fight, who is conducting this investigation, and is there even a chance of Whyte receiving a ban because it appears this situation has met its conclusion.
Scandalous Overview: Heavyweight Dillian Whyte’s “B” Sample Still Under Question
By: Jesse Donathan
Perhaps the biggest scandal of 2019 in professional boxing is currently unfolding as heavyweight Dillian Whyte tested positive for metabolites of the prohibited performance enhancing drug Dianabol prior to his most recent decision victory over Oscar Rivas. The United Kingdom’s own government oversight bodies, United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) and the British Board of Boxing Control (BBBofC), failed to take action or even notify the Rivas’ camp of their findings prior to the fight in an unconscionable decision that may haunt the oversight bodies for long to come in the future.
According to an August 1, 2019 frankwarren.com article titled, “Where’s the B Sample?” author Frank Warren writes, “The silence surrounding the failed drug test of Dillian Whyte – and the subsequent permission given for him to fight – continues to hold firm.” Warren, a fight manager and promoter to some of the biggest names in the industry including Tyson Fury would go on to write:
“Whatever has taken place in this case and whether there has been “procedural issues”, lawyers have written to most of the media claiming Whyte’s privacy is being invaded, despite the fact he has gone on record himself on a number of occasions accusing some fighters, including Anthony Joshua, of being “Juicers” without providing any proof.”
The Warren report goes on to state, “After making such accusations, I believe he forfeits any right to privacy after he was informed that he himself had tested positive.” The overall tone and focus of Warren’s article being that of one in defense of the circumstances that lead to the news of Whyte’s flagged test result becoming public knowledge in an interesting picture to consider.
Whyte, an intelligent man who is not afraid to speak his mind, had previously summed up former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s troubles in the ring against Andy Ruiz Jr. as being the result of fighting in the United States under the stringent Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) testing program where obtaining therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) is markedly more difficult to achieve than in the United Kingdom.
Warren, not lost for words on the subject, went on to write, “Thomas Hauser, one of the most respected journalists in the sport has rightly reported on this matter is now being discredited by Eddie Hearn. Yet he fails to elaborate on which points are supposedly wrong.”
According to Warren, “As a leading boxing writer and lawyer, is it right that Hauser has to endure having his reputation trashed for doing his job and bringing this serious matter to the public’s attention and more importantly, to the man most affected by this sorry situation, Rivas?” Indeed, if not for Thomas Hauser, his sources and subsequent reporting, one has to wonder at what point if ever any of this information would have ever come to light.
In the original July 24, 2019 boxingscene.com article titled, “Dillian Whyte Tests Positive for Banned Substance,” author Thomas Hauser writes, “Under VADA protocols, the positive test result would been reported to the World Boxing Council and Rivas camp. That appears to have not been the case in this instance with UKAD.”
You read that right, UKAD not only allowed the fight to proceed after a positive test from Whyte but failed to notify his opponent who was literally stepping into the ring with his life on the line against a potentially doped fighter.
Referencing an August 1, 2019 boxingscene.com article titled, “Whyte Completes VADA Testing Program – But Not Yet in Clear,” author Jake Donovan writes that both Rivas and Whyte had pre-fight VADA samples collected on July 17 and post-fight samples on July 21, approximately a day after the bout. According to Donovan, VADA had announced the fighters had entered the testing pool on April 26, 2019 and that United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD), a separate government body from the prestigious Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) conducted their own distinct drug test from that of the VADA testing program.
Donovan goes on to write, “The remaining question is how his late-June test with UKAD produced the lone adverse finding through 12 weeks of testing with two different agencies. Any such cleared test from either agency would also have to fall within the timeframe the substances in question remain in the human system, which would support Whyte’s case.”
Whyte reportedly tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic steroid Dianabol, a banned performance enhancing drug with a half-life of 3 to 5 hours according to a January 17, 2017 anabolic-bible.org article titled, “Dianabol -Methandrostenone.” According to author Jay Nichols, “The half-life of Dianabol is only about 3 to 5 hours, a relatively short time. This means a single daily dosage schedule will produce a varying blood level, with ups and downs throughout the day. The user likewise has a choice, to either split up the tablets during the day or to take them all at one time.”
Nichols goes on to write, “The usual recommendation has been to divide them and try to regulate the concentration in your blood. This however, will produce a lower peak blood level than if the tablets were taken all at once, so there may be a trade off with this option.” One such technique in particular, known a micro-dosing, is a methodology of taking small, barely detectable amounts of performance enhancing drugs in order to reap their rewards while minimizing the potential punitive risks and consequences associated with more commonly used administrative schedules.
Google defines the term half-life as, “The time required for any specified property (e.g. the concentration of a substance in the body) to decrease by half.” So that means if Whyte was theoretically dividing his dosages of Dianabol up in micro-dosages to regulate the concentration in his blood it would take 3-5 hours for that concentration to decrease by half until the concentration halves itself into undetectable levels.
A February 12, 2018 BusinessInsider.com article titled, “Olympians may be taking cues from Silicon Valley’s favorite way to do drugs,” author Eric Brodwin writes, “Testosterone micro-doses may escape regulators’ radar because they only stay in the system for minutes or hours.” Dianabol is of course a modified form of testosterone.
This may be the answer to Donovan’s remaining question, simply put, it’s all a matter of the timing of the test in relation to the amount and last ingestion of the Dianabol itself. With such a short half-life, athletes may be able to pass random tests simply based upon the nature of the drug itself in relation to the timing of the testing. Unless caught within the timeframe it takes for the drug to half itself out of detectable levels through micro-dosing, its theoretically possible to avoid detection altogether under the currently standing conditions.
Both VADA and UKAD would use World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited testing facilities, which means the testing procedures for both individual, separate agencies would be dependent on laboratories that adhere to the same WADA Code of scientific testing procedures and protocols. The adverse finding was not from the prestigious Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) but from the sore thumb in the crowd United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD), which may or may not bring into question the sample chain of custody with UKAD’s Doping Control Officers (DCOs), Blood Collection Officers (BCOs) and Chaperones.
In an August 12 2019 skysports.com article titled, “Dillian Whyte remains determined to clear his name over drug allegations, says Eddie Hearn,” Whyte passed the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) tests both before and after his latest addition to the win column. According to the report, “The British heavyweight faced allegations of a failed UK Anti-Doping A sample following his points win over Oscar Rivas at The O2 in July, but has declared his innocence. The B sample results have not been disclosed.” Whyte, an unusually candid man who is not prone to tell tall tales often may be telling the truth in professing his innocence and there is more going on here than initially meets the eye, but only his team of lawyers and time will ultimately see to how the tale is ultimately told.
According to a July 30, 2019 talksport.com article titled, “Frank Warren slams ‘totally wrong’ handling of Dillian Whyte positive drugs test and says Oscar Rivas should have been told,” author Michael Benson writes that Dillian Whyte had appeared before an “independent panel hearing on fight day and was allowed to compete.”
One has to question the efficacy of such a panel hearing on of all days, fight night, after television and pay-per-view rights had already been negotiated, venues booked, tickets purchased etc. For a main event fight to be cancelled at the very last second would literally mean tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, in lost revenue and likely lawsuits for some time to come into the future. In other words, it would have been a disastrous turn of events and thus one not likely to have occurred as a result.
According to Talksport.com, “There was a hearing, if you have a problem with that hearing, speak to the national UKAD government agency or whatever, Hearn said.”
With Dillian Whyte in the spotlight, all eyes are on UKAD and the BBBofC as UKAD, the less prestigious of the two agencies actively monitoring Dillian Whyte’s performance enhancing drug use produced the lone positive result yet sanctioned the fight anyway. With UKAD for all intents and purposes being the long arm of the BBBofC, the government agencies are two pigs in a blanket in this growing controversy.
Subsequently, news of Whyte’s flagged test result managed to leak out to the press through multiple unknown sources with direct knowledge to the situation according to Hauser’s original report with a short list of potential suspects who could have been privileged to that information. The B sample results, which would either confirm or bring into question the results of the original A sample are being withheld, leaving many to question the motives behind the lack of transparency, perhaps even striking at the very integrity of the governing bodies themselves.
Whyte was allowed to compete despite a flagged test result for performance enhancing drugs by government bodies whose responsibility it is to protect the health and safety of its athletes. With boxers Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Santillan recently dying within a week of each other as a result of injuries sustained in the ring, the fact UKAD and BBBofC allowed this fight to commence without informing the Rivas camp prior to the fight is an unconscionable decision that is now under intense scrutiny. And the subsequent refusal to release Whyte’s B sample is only adding fuel to the fire in what may very well prove to be 2019’s most scandalous report in professional boxing.
About the author: Jesse Donathan is the UFC correspondent for BoxingInsider.com and contributing editor to MMAPressRoom.com. A longtime fan of both boxing and mixed martial arts, Jesse’s first published combat sport reports were in 2009 and he was written for a number of outlets to include most recently BoxingInsider.com, Boxing.com and Fightpost.co.uk. Follow Jesse on Twitter @the_mmapress and @MMAPressRoom for up-to-date news and current events in combat sports.
Heavyweight Dillian Whyte Tests Positive for Dianabol Metabolites
By: Jesse Donathan
Not long after a full moon lit up the surrounding landscape here in the United States, the mass hysteria has once again returned to the combat sports community upon the news of yet another heavyweight testing positive for banned performance enhancing drug (PED) use. A habitual problem transcending sports, somehow the narrative is still perpetuated that the vast majority of athletes are clean and its only a few evil doers ruining the sport for everybody else. Yet, time and time again athletes repeatedly test positive on a near monthly basis for banned prohibited substances.
As of July 24, 2019, Boxingscene.com is reporting that an “A-sample” extracted from heavyweight boxer Dillian Whyte by United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) prior to Whyte’s scheduled July 20th bout with Oscar Rivas resulted in a positive test for metabolites of the banned performance enhancing drug Dianabol. An anabolic steroid with androgenic effects, Dianabol is also known as “DBol” on the streets.
According to a July 25th, 2019 article titled, “Dillian Whyte tested positive for two metabolites of Dianabol,” author Thomas Hauser writes that, “The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) was advised by UKAD prior to Whyte-Rivas that Whyte had tested positive for epimethandienone and hydroxymethandienone. However, it allowed the fight to proceed as scheduled without notifying the Rivas Camp of the finding.” The report went on to note that Whyte’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, released the following statement:
“Further to reports, I can confirm that both Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas were subject to extensive VADA and UKAD testing for their bout. Both fighters were cleared to fight by both bodies and the BBBofC.”
Whyte, also known as the “Body Snatcher,” is an unusually candid pugilist, who famously quipped that the reason why former champion Anthony Joshua wasn’t feeling himself in the ring the night he lost to champion Andy Ruiz Jr. was because he was competing in the United States under stricter anti-doping testing procedures than that of the United Kingdom.
“It is because you’re in America with the VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) testing and you’re not on the juice, that’s why,” said Whyte. Continuing, Dillian went on to insinuate that, “It’s harder to get therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) in American than the UK.”
Back in March, heavyweight Jarrell Miller infamously ran into problems with VADA himself according to an April 20, 2019 ESPN article titled, “Sources: ‘Big Baby’ Miller failed three drug tests,” by author Dan Raphael. Miller reportedly tested positive for the banned prohibited substances GW1516, EPO and human growth hormone (HGH) according to reports. Hearn, who famously had a lot to say to iFL TV following news of Miller’s flagged test results, appears less chatty at the moment as the curtain is pulled back revealing the inner workings of an inept system of governance in boxing.
News of Whyte’s positive test couldn’t have come at a worse time either, boxers Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Santillan both died earlier this week as a result of an accumulation of blows received inside the squared circle. A fact which may or may not exacerbate any consequences sure to come Whyte’s way from the very same people who turned a blind eye to his flagged test results to begin with, allowing him to step into the ring in the first place despite the fact they had advanced knowledge of his positive test results. Which is the real story here, the fight was allowed to continue despite the BBBC being notified by UKAD in conjunction with VADA that Whyte had flagged positive for performance enhancing drug use.
They had prior knowledge, yet unlike in the case of Jarrell Miller who was pulled by the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) after his positive tests, astonishingly, the British boxing authorities allowed the fight to move forward as planned despite the flagged test results. In Millers wake, in stepped Andy Ruiz Jr. on short notice to face the seemingly unbeatable Anthony Joshua, and the rest is history as they say, as Ruiz Jr. shocked the world in route to upsetting the statue-esk British champion.
“Under rules in place in the United Kingdom, Whyte has a right of appeal,” writes Thomas Hauser in his July 24, 2019 Boxingscene.com article titled, “Dillian Whyte Tests Positive for Banned Substance.” According to the report, “UKAD takes the position that, until the adjudication process is over and due process is complete, there has not been a finding that a fighter is in breach of its PED protocols and no sanctions can be put in place by the British Boxing Board of Control.”
Meaning, as far as the BBBC and UKAD are concerned until Whyte has exhausted his appeals process the matter is still as of yet unresolved. Which for those paying attention means the BBBC and UKAD are allowing fighters using performance enhancing drugs to compete against presumably clean fighters despite any concerns about the safety of the fighters or sanctity of sport coming into the bout.
“Ruiz Jr has consistently pushed for the second fight (with Joshua) to be held in New York again and news of Whyte’s reported failed drug test has riled the Mexican,” writes Coral Barry in her July 25, 2019 Metro article titled, “Andy Ruiz Jr will refuse to rematch Anthony Joshua in the UK amid Dillian Whyte doping allegations.” And who can blame him? After Whyte’s positive test, Whyte’s allegations about Joshua receiving a TUE in the UK and the UK’s own insane PED policies Ruiz Jr. would be a mad man himself to step foot in the UK under these current conditions.
The United States is not without its own problems in the world of performance enhancing drug use and sanctioning bodies that look the other way, with both the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) having licensed UFC fighter Jon Jones to fight despite a-typical drug test results according to reports. Famed boxing trainer and ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas has called for a national commission to combat the perceived impropriety in professional boxing, though after Dillian Whyte’s latest run in with UKAD and BBBC maybe its time to start thinking internationally.
Dillian Whyte: Patience is a Virtue
By: Hans Themistode
With 16 wins in his first 16 fights as a professional, British Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte was on the right track. His 17th pro fight however, did not go as planned.
Anthony Joshua, was being lined up as boxing’s next big star. Whyte, who was viewed as an underdog going into that contest owned a knockout victory over his rival in the amateurs. That proved too mean very little as Whyte was knocked out in the seventh round of their contest. Whyte did do a few good things in that contest but was clearly overmatched.
When a fighter losses for the first time in their career, often times they take several years of soft touches before elevating their level of competition. Dillian Whyte on the other hand, is not your typical fighter.
Following his loss to Joshua, he jumped right into the thick of things as he fought against, then undefeated David Allen, and the always competitive Dereck Chisora. By the way, he fought and defeated them in the same calendar year.
Whyte followed up those impressive wins with a victory over Robert Helenius and former champion Lucas Browne. The latter was stopped in the sixth round and given the first loss of his career. Whyte look on even more challenges as he came up against another former champion in Joseph Parker, Dereck Chisora once again and most recent Oscar Rivas.
While Whyte was defeating stiff challenge after stiff challenge, he began to call out every champion in the division, most notably, WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder. There have been fighters who have accomplished considerably less who have been given multiple cracks at a world title. Whyte has even gone the route of public shaming. Condemning the WBC for passing him up on his chance for gold.
His public cries were heard loud and clear as his last bout was sanctioned for the WBC interim title. He now will have his date with Wilder in just a few months. No one deserves it more than Whyte. After getting past a murderous row of competition, he finally has his chance once again.
When Whyte tasted defeat, he was a 27 year old boy with very little experience. Four years later he is a 31 year old man and wise beyond his years. Wilder, of course, has his own issues to deal with. A rematch with Luis Ortiz in the fall, followed by another rematch with Tyson Fury in the first half of 2020.
Provided he gets through those men, on the other side, Whyte will be awaiting him. He has earned his position, and will now look to prove to the world that he does have what it takes to become a world champion.
What’s Next for Dillian Whyte?
By: Shane Willoughby
With a shot at the WBC title basically guaranteed, what does Dillian Whyte do next?
After his impressive UD win over Oscar Rivas, Whyte is now mandatory for Wilder’s title and is due to fight for the belt in around about 10 to 12 months.
Naturally, we all think that he should sit tight and wait for the shot. However, we have seen fighters like Sterverne and Breazeale sit around, inactive until the mandatory is called and they both got the same treatment. Not to say they would have won if they were active, but I can’t see how going into a Wilder fight with ring rust is beneficial.
With that said we have seen Whyte take some really big gambles with his number 1 position in his past 5 fights which could have been to his detriment.
Whyte was seriously hurt by Helenius, dropped by Parker in the last round, down on the cards against Chisora in the 11th and dropped by Rivas in the 9th.
The body snatcher is constantly taking risky fights which he doesn’t need to do. And by his own admission when you fight good fighters you’re going to lose.
So, with all of that in mind, does he take a risky fight before he gets his shot next year? The most common answer is probably no.
Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn has spoken about getting him out again in November or December, but against what kind of opponent?
Whilst many say Whyte shouldn’t take another risk, as the Brit loves to remind us, he only had 7 amateur fights and it’s been these risky fights that have made him so battle-hardened and it’s really propelled his progress.
It’s very difficult to learn from an easy fight so maybe the WBC interim champion decides to test his metal again. As the saying goes, steel sharpens steel.
However, it would be extremely naive for Whyte to into another 50/50. However, I do agree with Hearn, when he says he wants to get Whyte out again. But against Who?
As it stands, Whyte is most likely going to be fighting Wilder however, there is a chance it also could be Fury or Ortiz, depending on results. With this in mind, it would be fantastic to see Whyte fight someone tall again.
Other than Helenius, who he fought in 2017, the Body-snatcher hasn’t come up against anyone over 6ft 4. Which isn’t great preparation for a Wilder or Fury who both stand excess of 6ft 7.
So a fight against a tall heavyweight will be a good test. If I was Eddie Hearn the person I’ll be pushing for the most is Gerald Washington.
Washington is 6ft 6, one inch shorter than Wilder and is coming off a knockout win against one of Whyte’s previous opponents Robert Helenius. Also, the American has been in the ring with some top fighters and given them some really good work, including Wilder.
Not only is Washington the right dimensions and a very good mover across the ground like Fury and the Bronze Bomber, but if Whyte can beat him in better fashion than the current WBC champion did it could give him a psychological boost.
To top it off Washington is somewhat of a known quantity to the American boxing public so it could be a good coming out fight for Whyte in the States. He shouldn’t cause Whyte any major upsets but could be good prep.
Whyte Picks Up a Wide Points Victory of Rivas
By: Shane Willoughby
It’s becoming a regular occurrence; if you put Dillian Whyte in a fight at the O2 expect fireworks. The Oscar Rivas fight was no exception.
Both men came to bring it and so long as they had energy, they had intent. It was clear to see that both men came to win and had 100% confidence in their ability.
However, the first round was really a weird one, because throughout the entire 3 minutes Whyte looked extremely disinterested. Which gave Rivas a lot of confidence to come forward and throw punches, and the Colombian was relentless in the opener.
But come round 2, the body-snatcher showed how much he has learnt in his career. Whenever someone is coming forward continuously you have to get their respect, and the only way you do that is by landing something big. Which is exactly what he did.
Whyte landed a powerful right hand on the top of Rivas left eye which had him rocked to his boots. Despite going for the KO, he couldn’t find the one punch to land flush and finish the job.
With that said, it was enough to shape the rest of the fight. From then on Rivas was coming forward but with much more caution. It was clear to see he didn’t want to get hit like that again.
This gave the Brit the space to throw the jab and move around – really dictating the fight behind a really strong jab. Rivas couldn’t find a way to get inside and whenever he did he walked into a big right hand or barrage of body punches.
Whyte really lived up to his name ‘the body-snatcher’ because the bodywork was fantastic – picking off nice and clean combinations which really slowed Rivas down.
Come round 9 it appeared as if Whyte was under control, and whilst Rivas still had the spirit it looked as if he was running out of ideas. But, Rivas found a way to get on the inside past Whyte’s jab, and he landed flush with a fantastic uppercut which sent his opponent to the canvas.
It looked to be more of a loss of balance rather than Whyte being hurt, but it was a genuine knockdown. But like we know, Whyte is probably the most battle-hardened fighter in the division. We have seen Whyte hurt before, so once he got up after the count there was no need to panic.
Although Kaboom Rivas is a great finisher, you just got the sense that Whyte still had everything under control. The Jamaican born heavyweight just knows what to do in these situations.
Whyte continued his dominance throughout the rest of the fight, and the bodywork he was putting together earlier really took its toll on Rivas who couldn’t find enough to sustain any significant attacks.
One thing that was quite alarming for Rivas was his eyes. It was worrying to see how quickly Rivas’ eyes swelled up and it was definitely something his cornermen were working on vigorously in between rounds.
Despite that, it was still a really solid performance from both men, and Dillian Whyte is now the WBC interim champion and mandatory for Deontay Wilder.
Dillian Whyte Suggests Joshua Couldn’t ‘juice’ Due to VADA Testing
By: Michael Kane
Dillian Whyte has had his say on former opponent Anthony Joshua’s defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday night in New York.
Many observers felt Joshua was out of sorts with reports that Joshua’s father wanted him to pull out of the fight beforehand.
Joshua also seemed overly gracious in defeat, in what some have construed as a relief that the pressure of being champion was now gone.
It seems Whyte picked up on this.
“He seemed scared, not bothered, he was running, he was jabbing out of range, he was retreating, he had his left hand down,” he said on his official YouTube channel.
“When he got hurt he didn’t know whether to hold or tie up. He seemed like he wasn’t bothered, like he didn’t want to be there.
“Maybe he couldn’t deal with the pressure anymore, he just seemed like he was there to collect his money. He said he was the landlord but he failed to collect the rent.”
Whyte then suggested an all together different theory that due to Joshua fighting in America and VADA testing in place he couldn’t use Therapeutic Use Exception (TUE) and that was in fact the reason he didnt show up.
“He said to his coach ‘why do I feel like this?’, because you’re in America with the VADA testing and you’re not on the juice that’s why,” Whyte said.
“It’s harder to get therapeutic use exemptions in America than the UK, that’s why.”
Whyte feels Joshua will ultimately come back and will avenge his defeat against Ruiz Jr.
“He’ll live and learn, at the end of the day I’ve had a loss, he’s big and strong enough to come back, he’s an olympic champion, former world champion, he’ll be back bigger and stronger,” Whyte said.
“I still believe he will beat Andy Ruiz Jr in the rematch, you need to look at his camp, he needs to look at what he did wrong, where he went wrong.
“He’s got a very experienced camp with Rob McCracken behind him. Maybe he should have gone to America two months or a month before the fight, you don’t know.”
Photo credit Dillian Whyte Twitter account
WBC Wants Fury to Face Whyte in Final Eliminator, Whyte Says He Will Face Anyone
By: Michael Kane
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is interested in making a final eliminator bout between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte.
Sulaiman said in a recent interview with Tha Boxing Voice that Whyte’s team have rejected that proposal.
Whyte has replied saying he will fight anyone including Tyson Fury.
“I’m the ‘can man’ whoever wants it can get it,” Whyte told Talksport.
“I’ve been trying to fight Tyson Fury for a number of years now. We’ve made multiple attempts and it never happened.
“If Fury wants to fight, he knows where I am. But I can’t see the fight happening.
“If Tyson Fury can walk away from a rematch with Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight world title, why would he fight me for the ‘interim’ title? It doesn’t make sense.”
Whyte feels he has been harshly treated by the WBC having been expected to face Dominic Breazeale in a final eliminator for the ‘interim’ title. The plans for this fight were scrapped once Breazeale stepped in to face champion Deontay Wilder on May 18th.
Breazeale was deemed to be the mandatory after winning a final eliminator in 2017 against Eric Molina.
“There’s a lot of things going on with the WBC at the minute,” Whyte explained.
“Everyone knows I’m very angry at them and the way I’ve been treated.
“Everyone knows Deontay Wilder should’ve been fighting me and not Domonic Breazeale. But for some reason the WBC insist on protecting him.
“It’s a funny subject, I can’t really say too much, a lot of these boxing authorities are very touchy.
“The public can see what I’ve done, how many WBC title fights I’ve had, how many times I’ve defended my number one position. Its crazy, I don’t understand it.
“Now, with the WBC, I think it’s just delaying tactics by them. It’s frustrating, it’s stressful, it’s a but disheartening to be honest.
“Tyson Fury could’ve fought Oscar Rivas, he said no, Anthony Joshua could’ve fought Oscar Rivas, he said no, look who they’re fighting.
“It just goes to show there’s only one man who’s willing to fight anyone. I’m not losing faith in boxing because I know this sport I’d just full of nastiness, man.
“It’s part of the game, you’ve gotta take the ups and the downs. My time will come. I just keep working, they can’t hide forever.”
The Elite Boxers in the Heavyweight Division
By: Oliver McManus
Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora produced the two best performances of the night on Saturday at the O2 Arena and with that set up the potential for super fights across the heavyweight division, here we take a look at the five ‘elite’ heavyweights in the world and assess their credentials before a subsequent article next week will look at five ‘contenders’ –
Anthony Joshua – WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO Heavyweight Champion of the World
Where else to start but the face of heavyweight boxing? Anthony Joshua is capable of selling out Wembley Stadium with just the mere mention of his name and his record in the sport is simply remarkable – a gold medallist at his home Olympics in 2012, the pressure was always going to be on but, boy, has he handled the pressure supremely.
The 12th of December 2015 saw emotion seep into his fight-mentality for the first time as he let the rivalry between Dillian Whyte and himself get the better of his, previously, cool and calculated game plan with Joshua drawn into a firefight. Arguably that was the best thing that ever happened to him because it brought out a completely different animal within him, the killer instinct was born.
Wladimir Klitschko was legacy defining, there can be no other way of putting it, and whilst that clash highlighted the fact AJ was mortal – hard to believe, I know – you simply cannot knock the Watford-man for taking on and pulling off a feat of monumental proportions that many had previously tried and failed in, in only his 19th professional bout.
Oddly you could say his stock has fallen or, rather, the gap has got closer between himself and his closest competitors over the weekend with Chisora destroying Carlos Takam in a fashion far more convincing than Joshua and Dillian Whyte dropping Joseph Parker – once legitimately, once questionably – on the way to a unanimous decision.
Joshua is a rare breed of fighter in that he is seemingly willing to fight anyone and up against Alexander Povetkin in September he faces, previously, one of the most feared heavyweights in the world and, certainly, a huge puncher but someone that should be a relatively easy fight over Joshua’s last few tests.
2019, then, is the year for Anthony Joshua to continue in his pursuit of ever-lasting greatness.
Deontay Wilder – WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World
The ‘Punch’ to Anthony Joshua’s ‘Judy’ – a reference which anyone outside of the UK will need to Google – Deontay Wilder has a rather reasonable claim to being the hardest puncher in the current heavyweight division and is famed for his “windmill” shots which, when unloaded, signal a trademark finish to the fight.
Questions have, rightfully, been raised at the quality of Wilder’s recent opponents with the likes of Chris Arreola, Bermane Stiverne (the second time) and Artur Szpilka not exactly screaming “world class” but, having said that, Wilder has consistently dispatched the people put in front of him in a fashion you’d expect from the WBC Champion of the World.
Against ‘King Kong’ Luis Ortiz in March this year, the American was in the toughest fight of his career and took the best that Ortiz threw at him. Whilst the fight was a strong 50-50 prior to the stoppage that the Bronze Bomber managed to pull out of the bag, the contest showed that Wilder was capable of taking a shot to land a shot and that is the phrase that best defines his style.
Even when in with the best, genuine elite level fighters, he sticks to what he does well and that, very simply, is PUNCH. Now some may argue that shows a weakness in ability to adapt to the styles of challengers and whilst that is something that could be his downfall in the future, it’s worked with tremendous success thus far.
Not necessarily a household name in the United States – indeed you could say he’s more well-known on this side of the pond than in his own backyard – you can understand the strategy from those around him of building him up with all-American match-ups (Dominic Brezeale is rumoured to be the next defence) which enable him to gain profile and keep the belt with, relatively, easy fights.
BUT then comes the question of why on earth should a world champion need to have his profile built up? The fight with Anthony Joshua is a fight that NEEDS to happen in order for Deontay Wilder to be able to put to bed questions regarding the legitimacy of his reign and, for many, we’ve still yet to see the WBC champ fully tested.
Dillian Whyte – WBC Number 1 ranked heavyweight contender
Whyte proved his doubters wrong on Saturday with a scintillating win over Joseph Parker, make no mistake, he was sincerely rocked and challenged by the former WBO Champion, dropped to the canvas at one point, but what was most impressive about taking the barrage of punches was that he proved his chin has developed far more than anything else since he faced Anthony Joshua in 2015 –we always knew he had the agility, the power, the energy, that was never in question.
It’s hard to believe that it’s 18 months since Whyte went to war with Dereck Chisora, winning a split decision, but that bout seems to be symbolic of the way he goes about every fight – with an attitude of “guts and glory”, leaving everything on the line, and that’s something you cannot criticise because it produces excitement galore.
Up against Robert Helenius, Whyte really failed to click into gear when in the ring with the Nordic Nightmare and whilst the fight wasn’t aesthetically pleasing it was a valuable lesson for the Brixton Bomber because it showed him that, sometimes, you can’t go all-out for a knockout and have to box around the opposition, out-working them and simply fatiguing them into defeat.
With Deontay Wilder having been offered a princely sum – a career high pay day – to face Whyte (in the United Kingdom) and turning it down, there can be no doubt as to the stature of Eddie Hearn’s fighter and the attributes he possess all point to him being a world-champion in waiting.
Mild controversy erupted when he, and his team, turned down fights with Luis Ortiz and Kubrat Pulev in world title eliminators with many saying he was ducking the respective fighters but the fight with Joseph Parker seems to have answered all the questions being lobbied at him because whilst Parker isn’t as explosive as Ortiz he is faster, he is more sprightly and he’s every bit as technical as Pulev so, in a way, he got the best of both worlds.
I wouldn’t have said it three years ago but Dillian Whyte has proved me, and many critics wrong, and I’m happy to hold my hands up with regards to that because it was never anything personal but, for me, Dillian Whyte is the best heavyweight outside of the world title holders.
AJ in April? Sounds like a plan.
Kubrat Pulev – IBF Number 2 ranked heavyweight contender
Pulev is an interesting character, vastly underrated by fans and extensively avoided by fellow fighters, his technical style of boxing is one that hasn’t exactly played into his hands because with him not being a HUGE puncher, his technical and defensive aspect are exponentially enhanced and it makes him one heck of a challenge for anyone brave enough to take him on.
Dillian Whyte opted not to travel to Bulgaria to face Pulev and Jarrell Miller is another to have avoided stepping into unknown territory for the fight – which the IBF sanctioned, in both cases, as a final eliminator – and it’s not the location that is the sticking point but rather the risk-reward factor which strayed significantly into the risk region.
As I’ve said, Pulev relies on the technical fundamentals not to blast his opponents out of the ring but rather to get the better of them in the longer run, over the scheduled distance, with calculated punch output, shot selection, and beautifully timed footwork culminating in style of fighting bordering on art but so under-appreciated.
Another fighter to have taken on Dereck Chisora, emerge from the fight win the win and be levied with headlines of “Chisora fails to perform” as opposed to “Pulev outclasses Chisora”, Pulev hasn’t been one to avoid fights for the duration of his career and as a former European champion the Bulgarian has produced convincing wins on the big stage for a long, long time with the likes of Alexander Dimitrenko, Alexander Ustinov and Tony Thompson all falling foul of The Cobra’s leathal bite.
A former world title challenger Pulev has the experience of that level and whilst he’s not looked as sharp as his previous years, since his loss to Klitschko (in 2014) he has looked mentally more prepared whenever he steps in the ring – albeit against lesser opposition – and many were expecting him to provide Anthony Joshua with a stern test when they were scheduled to face-off and with Pulev back in the world title scene, there could still be life in the ageing cobra yet.
Tyson Fury – Lineal heavyweight champion of the world
This isn’t wrote in any order so before anyone gets in a huff as to my positioning of Fury in this list – or indeed my inclusion of him at all – let me explain why the lineal champion is in this “elite” overview;
Whatever you think of his last opponent – Sefer Seferi – Tyson Fury was the man who beat the man and, in doing so, made Klitschko look average and that is an achievement that simply cannot be overstated, it was beyond unexpected and Fury produced the goods.
Further to that his mental strength is, for me, the best of anyone in the division. He has had several well documented struggles and, let’s be clear, earned more than enough money for him to afford to retire and live comfortably for the rest of his life. So there was no need for Fury to comeback, he had proved his doubters wrong, but it was his inner motivation to prove that he was better than Joshua, better than Wilder, better than everyone that pushed him to return and lose 8stone in the process. That’s super-human.
Fury himself is unconventional in fighting style with the ability to switch stances with ease combined with his freakish height and surprisingly lucid movement marking him out as one of the most unpredictable men in the ring – one second he’ll be staring out into the crowd and the next launching a furious flurry into the body of his opponent.
And that is what marks him out from the other guys on this list because whilst they are all exceptional fighters in their own right, they are distinctly predictable – you know what you’re getting with each of them – but with Fury you get the impression that not even he knows. He’s no stranger to being an underdog, either, and dealing with the pressure of fighting in the away corner so his ability to handle those situations are incredible.
Fighting Francesco Pianeta on August 18th, Fury is targeting two further fights by the end of 2018 before mounting a serious challenge to the belts he used to own and with discussions already being held about the potential for a fight with Deontay Wilder, you’d be inclined to suggest it’s only a matter of time before he’s back where he belongs.
AND THERE WE HAVE IT, a look at the heavyweight elite boxers and of course the use of the term elite is entirely subjective, it’s merely my top 5 and there are plenty of guys that could have warranted being featured but, hey, nobody said it was easy!
Dillian Whyte Withstands a Final Minute Storm to Solidify #1 Status
By: Ste Rowen
Dillian Whyte overcame a last-minute onslaught from Joseph Parker to win a unanimous 12-round decision and stamp down his status as the number one heavyweight challenger.
Now 24-1 (17KOs), Whyte was by far and away the more active of the two fighters. The former British champion was walking down the New Zealander for the majority of the fight. In the 2nd round the two heavyweights appeared to awkwardly clash heads, which forced Parker into losing his balance and hitting the canvas. The referee scored it a knockdown for Whyte, and whether it dented Joseph’s morale or really did affect him physically, the knockdown set the tone for the majority of the fight. Dillian piled on the pressure, and Parker appeared to be waiting for his arms to do something of their own accord.
The former WBO champ fired off a wayward combination here and there but the O2 arena crowd were not getting the performance they expected from the 24-1 (18KOs) fighter. Into the 9th and the ‘Body Snatcher’, Whyte, landed a brutal left hook, which sent Parker sprawling to the floor.
This time there was no doubt about it being a knockdown.
That 10-8 round appeared to make it conclusive in favour of Dillian. The question now seemed to be whether the Brixton fighter would push on for the stoppage or settle for a points win.
Joseph had other things in mind as a rally from him rattled Whyte in the penultimate round. Then in the 12th, Parker dropped the home fighter with a right hand, but it was just too little, too late. Whyte was in trouble, but he held on until the final bell, and both boxers looked as if they knew the result straight away.
The final scorecards were 113-111, 115-110, 114-111, all in favour of Whyte.
‘‘It was a good fight.’’ Said Dillian later. ‘‘Parker’s slick. We knew he was gonna cheat his way through and fight in the last couple of rounds. I’m just annoyed I messed up at the final hurdle… I got rocked, I took a knee. The referee started at 4, I thought he started at 2, he went ‘4’, I was like ‘s***’, I didn’t have time to get up, but I got up so I’m learning.’’
Parker was buoyant in defeat,
‘‘I got 12 rounds to fight, I gave it my best, the other man won but I’m always gonna come back stronger…This is just the beginning.’’
So, what’s next for arguably, the best heavyweight outside of the world title holders,
‘‘I’d like to fight Joshua again in the rematch but there’s still a lot of things to work on, but if he wants it he can have it. I’m the ‘Can-Man’…I might get out again in October, September. I don’t wanna wait that long (Until Joshua’s already scheduled April 2019 date). I’m still inexperienced, I still make a lot of mistakes. So, one more fight between then would be great.’’
Dereck Chisora vs. Carlos Takam
‘‘This was very tough.’’ The words of Dereck Chisora, now 29-8 (21KOs) after his come from behind, 8th round KO-victory over Carlos Takam.
The two African-born fighters went at it from the 1st minute, but it was the Cameroonian-born boxer in Takam, that established the upper hand in the early rounds. Chisora seemed to be stuck to the ropes the first 3 minutes as Carlos landed huge hooks that looked as if he was setting up an early finish.
Dereck survived though, and even strangely refused to sit down in between rounds when told to by trainer, Don Charles. But the former world title challenger continued to take heavy, accumulative punches. Then came the 8th round however, and despite continuing to be the dominant fighter, Takam, 35-4-1 (27KOs) heading into tonight, received a massive overhand right to the temple from the Brit. He was floored, got up and then took an almost identical second right hand which sent him back down and forced the referee into calling an end to the bout. Dereck Chisora is now the WBA ‘International’ heavyweight champion and officially, back in the mix.
‘‘I realised I couldn’t trade with him toe-to-toe. I knew the overhand right was gonna catch him but I could not chuck it in the early rounds cos I knew I’d be left open. So, on that round (Round 8) something in my mind just said ‘You know what? It’s time to send it home. ’’
‘‘I bet you any money I win fight of the year with this fight.’’
‘‘It’s up to these fans who they wanna see me fight. I’ll say names, but I know really and truly they come out and go the other way round. They don’t wanna fight me. I’m 34 but I feel 21 right now.’’
Nick Webb vs. David Allen
Dave Allen, now 14-4-2 (11KOs), surprised everyone with a 4th round, one-punch KO of the previously unbeaten, Nick Webb.
Webb was dominating the bout, even through to round 4, but Allen timed a devastating right hand to send Nick flying through the ropes and springboard Allen, who just a few weeks ago was contemplating retirement, into Lonsdale belt contention.
Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker Preview
On Saturday night, London’s O2 arena will once again hold host to a Dillian Whyte headline bout as the WBC’s number 1 challenger takes on former WBO heavyweight champion, Joseph Parker for the status of, ‘Best of the Rest’ and a future shot at the true heavyweight honours.
Whyte, 23-1 (17KOs) is fighting at the O2 for the 5th time in his career and the 3rd time as one half of the headline fight. Last time out, Dillian took just 6 rounds to KO the previously unbeaten, Lucas Browne of Australia in impressive fashion. Dominating from the first bell, Whyte seemed to know within the first few minutes that Browne had come to survive. The ‘Body Snatcher’ held his punches a lot better than in previous bouts and, in stark contrast to his awkward encounter with Robert Helenius in 2017, the Jamaican-born heavyweight timed his attacks well, and didn’t throw desperately, when Browne occasionally avoided his assaults. It all culminated in an evil left hook, arguably the best punch Whyte has thrown in his pro career, landing on the Australian’s wide-open chin, sending him face down and conclusively ending the fight.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
That March matchup came a week before Parker took on Joshua at the Principality stadium in Cardiff, and winning that bout appeared to put Whyte to the front of the heavyweight line waiting for a shot at the belts. Saturday’s fight won’t be for world championship honours, but Dillian, speaking to ‘Give Me Sport’ recognises how close he is to the shot he’s been working for, for so long,
‘‘Anyone that’s successful in life, whoever and wherever they are, have had to take a lot of risks and chances…That’s why I signed with Matchroom. That was a risk because I knew they had Joshua, and Joshua’s the golden boy.’’
And the challenge of facing the former WBO champion,
‘‘I’ve fought everyone that’s been asked of me to fight. I feel good…If he (Parker) didn’t come to fight against Joshua, the biggest fight of his career, what’s he going to change now? He could have come back and had an easier fight, but he didn’t. I respect him for that.’’
‘‘Who knows. They might surprise us, and he might come out and go for it in the first couple of rounds…I don’t expect Parker to try and come and mix it with me in the centre of the ring, because if he does that, he gets dropped early.’’
Saturday’s bout will mark Parker’s return to the ring since losing a 12-round decision to Anthony Joshua; a loss that took his ‘0’ and his WBO world strap.
‘‘The body’s looking better than last fight,’’ Said the Samoan-born boxer, speaking to ‘RadioSport’ in New Zealand. ‘‘It’s stronger than last fight. I feel I do need a stoppage. There might be a bit of favouritism here for the local fighter. We’ve given our thoughts on the officials.’’
‘‘When you have two fighters like myself and Dillian Whyte going at it I think it probably won’t reach the 12th round…His fight plan is just to stand there and throw bombs and he wants me to get sucked in to his plan.’’
‘‘I think this is a must win. The winner of this fight elevates to the top for a world title fight with Joshua, maybe Wilder and then all of these fights with Tyson Fury and the big names.’’
This will be Parker’s, 24-1 (18KOs), 3rd fight in a row in England, after also defending his belt in a drab of a scrap against Hughie Fury last September, in which the New Zealander won via a split decision. The talk is big from Joseph in the build up to the weekend’s main event, but he’s struggled to really impress since his 3-round KO of Alexander Dimitrenko back in late 2016.
As has been mentioned multiple times about this matchup, the winner should maneuverer there way into a world title fight next. The WBC ‘Silver’ and WBO ‘International’ straps aren’t just there for decoration alone. They might be meaningless when they’re wrapped around the winner for post-fight photos, but the belts signify an elevated status in the rankings and if the victor’s follow up bout to Saturday night isn’t a world championship bout, they’ll have a pretty big target on their back with the best of the rest of the division ready to shoot.
Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker Announced for July 28th
By: Oliver McManus
LAST NIGHT we were made aware of a press conference for Dillian Whyte and an unnamed opponent – clearly, then, the Kubrat Pulev fight would not materialise. Dan Rafael from ESPN reported it was Luis Ortiz who would step in and go to war with The Body Snatcher.
Then rumours swirled about Joseph Parker – who had previously signed to fight Bryant Jennings – but David Higgins, Parker’s promoter, refuted these claims as “just hot air”. The rumour seemed to subside but if we’ve learnt anything from Higgins it’s that he’s a crafty old fox.
Photo Credit: Dillian Whyte Twitter Account
Come the announcement this morning at about 09.15 UK time – unseasonably early – we got the big fight; Dillian Whyte vs Joseph Parker, CONFIRMED, for July 28th at the O2 Arena.
The Pulev fight was an IBF eliminator, the Ortiz fight an eliminator for the WBC and whilst this bout holds no official status it is, arguably, Whyte’s best chance to look elite. Let’s not forget, how could we, that Parker was the first man to ever stretch the imperious, impenetrable Anthony Joshua to a full 12 rounds.
Whyte, no doubt, will be looking to better Joshua’s performance by dispatching with his Kiwi opponent in double-quick time and, in doing so, really staking a claim that “hey, look at me now”. Forget 2015, forget that first fight with AJ, Whyte will be wanting to force Anthony into taking notice of him with a performance to make the world stand up.
Parker, on the other hand, will see this as his chance of redemption and a simple route back to the top of the heavyweight scene – Jennings would have been an easier payday, a smaller payday mind, with less reward for the former WBO titlist but a win over Whyte unlocks a whole plethora of things not least the coveted ranking positions.
If Parker comes over in the same polite, respectful manner as he did against Joshua and managers to defy the expectations in beating Dillian Whyte then he establishes a fan-base in Britain and the potential for even bigger money fights.
Eddie Hearn has gone on record as saying he wants to build a “huge card” for this date in order to justify the Box Office, PPV, status but make no mistake this fight alone is worthy enough such an occasion;
Joseph Parker and Dillian Whyte are, arguably, the two best non-title holders in heavyweight boxing and, so, to see the pair square off when both had other options, is something to look forward to because there will be no lack of aggression in the ring – this will be a proper fight where both men take shots in order to enact their game-plan.
Pulev would have been a, relatively, boring fight with Whyte trying to entice Pulev out of his defensive shell and who knows what Deontay Wilder took out of the aging Luis Ortiz?
THIS IS A FIGHT.
Add to that Kell Brook on the undercard, expected anyway, alongside Daniyar Yeleussinov and you get a night of action that you simply cannot miss.
Love him or loath him, there’s no denying that Eddie Hearn keeps on pulling out fight after fight.
HBO Boxing After Dark Results: Dillian Whyte Stops Lucas Browne
By: Ste Rowen
Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte sent a cold message to the rest of the heavyweight scene with a savage one punch knockout of unbeaten Australian, Lucas Browne at London’s O2 Arena.
It was a tentative start from the first bell even as Browne developed a cut late in the round on his left eye. Whyte took over from thereafter though with the cleaner, more precise punching. Browne seemed to be without a game plan, plodding forwards without any obvious intent and no sign of the power he promised to bring pre-fight.
Into the 5th round Whyte was firmly on top, working behind the jab to pick at the cut on Browne’s eye and by now, his busted nose. Then in the 6th round, Whyte fired off a brutal left hook which sent Browne, face first onto the canvas.
Without little hesitation the referee waved it off and Whyte’s celebration became slightly muted as the medics rushed into the ring.
Thankfully, Browne got to his feet and the attention could turn back once again to the victor, in Dillian Whyte, now 23-1 (17KOs) and his future.
‘Hopefully Lucas Browne’s okay,’ said Whyte, ‘I’m a good fighter but no one has seen it yet. I might not have 22 knockouts but I can crack…When they stand up in front of me it’s a different story.’
‘I wanna bring pain, my left hook is back. When I landed I walked away straight away ‘cause I knew that was that.’
The WBC silver champion will now turn his attention firmly to the current titlists, either WBC champion Deontay Wilder or the winner of next week’s unification showdown between WBA & IBF champ, Anthony Joshua and WBO holder, Joseph Parker in Cardiff.
‘Deontay Wilder where you at? June? Where you at Wilder let’s go! No more excuses! I’m number one baby let’s go! People are tired of Deontay Wilder fighting these halfway guys.’
On a potential rematch with Joshua,
‘Joshua want it? I don’t care. I wanna fight Joshua another 3, 4 times in my career.’
On the undercard…
Commonwealth light heavyweight champion Callum ‘The One’ Johnson scored the biggest surprise of the night when he stopped British champion, Frank Buglioni in the 1st round. Johnson, 17-0 (12KOs), coming off an 18-month injury layoff, came out firing and once one landed, Buglioni couldn’t do enough to keep the challenger for the Lonsdale belt off him. Callum had already knocked Buglioni down once before he sent his foe sprawling backwards again on unsure legs and the referee called an end to the fight just before, Buglioni’s trainer, Don Charles threw in the towel. The win blows the British light heavyweight scene wide open now with most of the talk before tonight’s bout being about who Frank face next; Now it’s all about where Callum goes from here with the likes of Anthony Yarde, Bob Ajisafe and even fellow gym mate, Hosea Burton pining for a chance at the British.
With the British lightweight belt on the line, Lewis ‘Sandman’ Ritson faced off against the former British champion, Scott Cardle in the ‘Sandman’s’ second defence. After an impressive all-action 1st round from the challenger, Ritson proved the more ruthless and efficient of the two men. Taking a more composed approach to the 2nd; working behind a strong jab, the champion landed a heavy left hook that left Cardle staggering backwards into the ropes forcing the referee to give Scott an 8-count. Ritson then put his foot down, landing power shot after power shot until Cardle’s corner threw in the towel.
In one of the earliest fights of the night, Dereck Chisora, now 28-8 (20KOs) knocked out Frenchman, Zakaria Azzouzi in the 2nd round of a woeful matchup. Fans were hopeful that Dereck would now move onto to a bout with David Haye protégé, Joe Joyce, on the HayeBellew2 undercard, although post-fight when Haye offered the fight once again to Chisora, Dereck laid out his terms,
‘If he (Joe Joyce) beats me you write me a cheque of £1. If I beat him, you give me your purse against Tony (Bellew) and your tv rights.’
To which Haye simply replied, ‘No.’
Highly rated welterweight prospect, Chris Kongo endured 6 difficult rounds with Serge Ambomo to move to 8-0 (6KOs) after picking up 60-55 victory. Ambomo, now 6-6 (2KOs) is, as Carl Froch put it in commentary, part of the ‘Who needs ‘em club?’ and although it wasn’t pretty, Kongo will have learnt a great deal, along the way to picking up another win.
And finally, Anthony Fowler scored a very dubious 5th round stoppage of unbeaten Frenchman, Kalilou Dembele to move to 5-0 (4KOs). Dembele was down in the 2nd and then again in the 5th but seemed perfectly capable of carrying on before referee, Bob Williams waved it off, despite protests from Kalilou. Fowler will be out again next month on the Khan vs Lo Greco card in Liverpool against an unnamed opponent.
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Dillian Whyte vs. Lucas Browne
By: Ste Rowen
Following the madness of Wilder vs Ortiz in New York, and the anticipation of the upcoming Joshua vs Parker unification bout, you may be forgiven for forgetting about a potential barn stormer in between, in the form of Dillian Whyte v Lucas Browne. The two face-off this weekend at London’s O2 arena in a fight that should set the winner up for a world title shot.
Last time out, the two heavyweight contenders had very different match-ups.
The WBC number one contender, Dillian Whyte, 22-1 (16KOs) took on Robert Helenius for the ‘not-so-coveted’ WBC silver title on the undercard of Joshua v Takam. For 12 labouring rounds, Dillian went in search of his opponent as the Swede evaded Whyte’s attack, but never replied with his own offense. The Brit’s accuracy was substandard that night, and way below the standard he set for himself in his fight of the year contender vs Dereck Chisora just less than a year earlier.
Just like the Chisora fight, October’s clash with Helenius went to the scorecards and though it saw Whyte pick up a comprehensive unanimous decision victory, it was a performance that did very little to help him entice new fans. However, a lack lustre performance has done nothing to deter Whyte’s belief in himself, or his eagerness to knockout his Australian foe,
‘I can’t wait, I hate Lucas Browne and I want to hurt him. He’s said some nasty things and he’s going to have to pay for them.’
‘If I don’t knock him out I will not be happy…Beating him should make me a mandatory challenger. I’m highly ranked across the board. I’ll be a more than credible world title challenger.’
In stark contrast, Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne’s last fight was his return fight from a number of disputed failed drug tests that followed his come from behind 2016 victory over Ruslan Chagaev in Chechnya, for the WBA ‘Regular’ belt.
Browne, 25-0 (22KOs) knocked out no-hoper, Matt Greer in the second round at the Punchbowl social club, Sydney, a world away from Saturday’s night venue. The fight told us very little about where Browne is at since his impressive victory over Chagaev 14 months earlier. That bout saw Browne knocked down and cut before steamrolling through the Uzbek in the 10th with continuous right hooks.
That should’ve been the break out fight that setup potential showdowns with the likes of Wilder, Joshua, or even the not yet retired Wladimir Klitschko, but instead Brown returned two positive tests for clenbuterol and then eight months later, a positive sample for ostarine, for which Browne has tried to explain was from a pre-workout he took without checking the contents.
The 38-year-old is now ready to put the past few years behind him and get back on track for a world title shot,’
‘It’s a very silly fight for him. Being number one ranked, to take on someone like me who is a big puncher, I think it’s a very silly fight, but for me it’s perfect. He’s got rankings across the board as well, not just the WBC so I’m extremely happy for this fight.’
Browne isn’t the only one with a questionable record when it comes to drugs. Whyte was suspended for two years back in 2012 when he tested positive for a banned stimulant. Like Browne, Dillian claimed it was due to a supplement he took without properly checking the ingredients.
Concentrating on the two fighter’s actual boxing skills though, this has the potential to be a very gruelling but ugly fight. Neither fights with much concern for defence or seems to bothered about wasting shots, which seems strange for Browne who does have a tendency to cut easily, a weakness Whyte will jump on if the Australian does sustain a meaningful cut early on.
Whyte of course has been knocked out, his sole defeat coming at the hands of WBA & IBF champion Anthony Joshua back in 2015 for the British title, and in his two biggest fights since, Whyte has had to come through adversity against Chisora and briefly in the Helenius fight when he was shaken by a left hook. So, if Browne’s power is legit, he should be able to significantly test Whyte’s chin more than once through 12 rounds of action.
For the winner, a world title shot should be next. For the loser, heavyweight obscurity could await. Proving there’s a lot more than rivalry on the line on Saturday.
On the undercard…
Just a month on from his devastating first round stoppage of Joe Murray, Lewis Ritson, 14-0 (8KOs) returns to the ring for his second defence of his British lightweight belt against Scott Cardle, 22-1 (7KOs). Ritson’s currently on a five fight KO streak, and though heavily favoured against Cardle, it will be a real statement from the Newcastle native if he can score another stoppage victory.
Frank Buglioni, 21-2-1 (15KOs) will defend his British light heavyweight title for the third time against mandatory challenger, Callum Johnson. With the likes of Anthony Yarde, Hosea Burton and Bob Ajisafe waiting in the wings for a shot at the British, Johnson, 16-0 (11KOs) will be hoping to end the constant talk of potential future fights for Buglioni.
The aforementioned Dereck Chisora, 27-8 (19KOs) is also a late addition to the card in what is expected to be a stay busy 8-rounder, since his majority decision loss to European champion, Agit Kabayel in Monaco last November.