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Whyte vs. Bacurin: Dillian won’t bomb Ivica out early


By Scott Gilfoid: Heavyweight Dillian Whyte (16-1, 13 KOs) doesn’t plan on destroying his badly over-matched opponent Ivica Bacurin (25-9-1, 15 KOs) right away in their scheduled six round fight on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Whyte-Bacurin fight will be taking place on the Anthony Joshua vs. Dominic Breazeale card on Sky Box Office PPV.

Whyte wants to use the Bacurin fight to get some rust out, as he’s not fought since last December and he’s coming off shoulder surgery. The 6’4” Whyte is the much bigger fighter than the 6’2” Bacurin in both height and weight. Bacurin weighed in at 209lbs for his last fight this month on June 18 against Sejfula Berisa on June 18.

Whyte wants to get a couple of fights under his belt, then look to beat the likes of Dereck Chisora and Dave Allen before looking to fight a rematch against Joshua if he can get the fight. If not, then Whyte wants to work himself to a mandatory spot and force a rematch against Joshua.

Whyte was stopped in the 7th round by Joshua last December in a fight in which Whyte’s preexisting left shoulder problem caused him to fight more or less with one arm after the 2nd round. Whyte also wasn’t in the greatest condition for the fight, but he showed great heart by staying in there and fighting with one arm until getting stopped in the 7th.

Whyte’s goal now is to get his conditioning back, strengthen his surgically repaired left shoulder, and then face Joshua in a rematch so that he can avenge the loss. Whyte said he saw fear in Joshua’s eyes after he hurt him in the 2nd round. He feels that he would have knocked him out for sure if he was healthy and in good shape.

“This fellow seems to be credible. He’s durable. He went the distance with a few decent heavyweights and he also took Tony Bellew the distance,” said Whyte to about Bacurin. “I’m not looking to bomb him out – I want to go out there and show what Mark Tibbs and I have been working on and also test out my new conditioning… but you know me, I’m always looking to put someone’s lights out.”

It makes good sense for Whyte to get some rounds in so that he can test out his left shoulder, and also to help increase his stamina. Whyte needs to work on both his conditioning and his left hand. It doesn’t help Whyte to do what Joshua typically does by bum rushing his over-matched opponent and just blast him to smithereens in round or two. Joshua isn’t helping himself by doing that, because he’s not able to improve his stamina. Whyte is smarter, because he realizes he’s got to use his fodder opposition to increase his stamina and to work on things.

Bacurin, 34, is a decent opponent for Whyte given the fact that he’s coming off shoulder surgery and a six month layoff. Barcurin has been in the ring with the likes of Tony Bellew, Michael Wallisch, Francesco Pianeta, Dmitry Kudryashov, Murat Gassiev and Vincenzo Rossito. Bellew had problems trying to take Bacurin out with his shots, and it wasn’t until the 10th round that he was finally able to halt him. Bellew ended up getting nailed a lot by Bacurin in that fight.

“I had major problems with my shoulder before the fight,” said Whyte to “I am a warrior. I turned up. I was this close to pulling out. I had two cortisone injections and went into the fight. In the 2nd round, as soon as I hit him with a left hand, my shoulder popped. My coach wanted to pull me out in the third. I said, ‘Listen, I want to keep fighting.’ Eddie Hearn and Joshua knew [about the injury ahead of time]. If Dominic Breazeale gets past the third round, I’ll eat my hat. These guys are terrible. He [Joshua] said I got lucky. Listen, when I caught him, I saw fear in his eyes, and I went after him. He was in terror, and he was this close. He was in better condition than me, and he was injury free. He will give me a rematch. I took his best shots, and he didn’t put me away like Charles Martin. He hit with me about 40 right hands. Whatever I hit him with, I was hurting him. I was taking his punches until I got stopped. If he doesn’t [give me a rematch], I’ll work my way up the ranks and I’ll fight him again,” said Whyte.

Whyte says he doesn’t want to be Joshua’s friend. He just wants to fight him again, beat him, and prove to the boxing world that he was always the better fighter than him. If Whyte had taken the fight with Joshua healthy 100 percent and in great shape, he feels he would have beaten him for the second time. Whyte previously beat Joshua in 2009, when the two of them were in the amateur ranks.

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