Dillian Whyte vs. Lucas Browne – Preview & prediction
By Scott Gilfoid: Dillian Whyte (22-1, 16 KOs) is hoping to beat Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne (25-0, 22 KOs) tonight to earn a mandatory spot to get a title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
Whyte, 29, thinks he’s got the youth and speed to do the job on the 38-year-old Browne in their fight tonight at the O2 Arena in London, England. This is all about Whyte trying to get a world title shot against Wilder. Browne can end that vision with a single right hand to the head if he can get to his fragile chin tonight. A win for Browne will rejuvenate his boxing career, and likely get him a title shot against Deontay before the end of the year.
I’m really looking forward to seeing Browne and Whyte tonight. I’m leaning towards Browne winning the fight. It’s hard to forget how Robert Helenius had him on the verge of a knockout five months ago on October 28 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. After getting hurt by Helenius, Whyte played it safe and took no chances for the remainder of the fight.
Helenius isn’t a great fighter, but he easily was able to neutralize what little punching power Whyte has going for him. Helenius wasn’t 100 percent for the fight, and yet went the distance with ease against a healthy and in shape Whyte.
Whyte has been winning lately in the last two years, but he got lucky against Dereck Chisora in 2016, and that’s the only top tier fighter he’s faced in the last two years since his loss to Anthony Joshua in 2015. Whyte was knocked out by Joshua. One of the things that Whyte had going after him through most of his career was his flabby physique.
Whyte has worked hard lately in losing the weight and toning up. He looked thinner in his last fight against Robert Helenius in coming into the fight at 247 pounds, but his punching power was nowhere for that fight. In taking off the weight, Whyte lost what little punching power that he has. The power that Whyte showed against Helenius was not the kind of power that would worry the top-level heavyweights in the division.
Joshua is less than optimistic about Whyte’s chances against Browne tonight. Joshua thinks that if anyone is going to get stopped in this fight, it’s going to be Whyte, because Browne is a big puncher. Whyte has shown vulnerability in the chin department when facing guys with power. Whyte was hurt by Joshua and stopped in December 2015, and Dereck Chisora had him hurt several times in their fight in 2016.
Robert Helenius had Whyte hurt in their fight last October. Whyte tried to rush Helenius and was nailed with a right hand to the head in the 2nd round. Helenius didn’t have the fuel tank to go after the stricken Whyte to finish him. It was a blessing for Whyte that he was fighting a guy with no stamina, because he would have been knocked out by someone with halfway decent conditioning.
”We know Lucas Browne has got a power punch. If someone is going to get knocked out, Dillian will get knocked out,”
Joshua isn’t holding back, is he? I wonder what his promoter Eddie Hearn thinks about that. Hearn has been banging on about how he wants Whyte to beat Browne, so he can get a crack at Wilder, who he thinks he’s capable of beating. Joshua letting the fans know that he thinks that Whyte can be knocked out by Brown, it takes the air out of the way Hearn has been building him up. But Joshua is right about Whyte being vulnerable to getting knocked out. He’s been hurt too many times in recent past, and he’s facing a guy with enormous power in Browne.
At the same time, Whyte can’t punch and that means he’s probably going to need to stick around for the full 12 rounds if he wants to beat Browne. The problem with trying to go 12 rounds with Browne are it’s only been done three times, and the guys that went the distance took a load of punishment. Here are the three fighters that have gone 12 rounds against Browne: Andriy Rudenko, James Toney and Clarence Tillman. Those were all one-sided wins for Browne.
”I’ve got the skill, speed and power. People forget, but I’ve got power. I can knock people out,” Whyte said to skysports.com. ”Physically, he’s a big boy with a long reach and good work rate. He will bring that, but can he keep up with my pace and power?”
Whyte sets a good pace, but he’s not powerful and his speed is not at the level that Browne hasn’t seen before. Whyte needs to push for a knockout though. That’s smart for him, because he doesn’t need to leave a dangerous puncher like Browne around for too long, because he could run into something big. Browne looks like he’s in decent shape.
The hype that Whyte has about him is based on his wins over weak opposition in his last six fights against David Allen, Ivica Bacurin, Robert Helenius, Malcolm Tann, Ian Lewison and Dereck Chisora. Whyte didn’t look as good as Joe Joyce did in beating Lewison, and his win over Chisora was a terrible decision. Whyte was so lucky to get that win.
”I can see Whyte being in charge and, given the age and experience advantages he has, I think we could see him see Browne off with a late stoppage,” Carl Froch said to skysports.com.
Well, if Froch is picking Whyte to win, then I’m going with Browne. I don’t think Froch knows what he’s talking about here. Whyte doesn’t have an advantage in experience, because he lost to the only good fighter he’s faced in Joshua. Experience matters when you win the fights, not when you lose them.
As far as age goes, Browne doesn’t have a lot of mileage on him. I mean, he may be 38, but he’s a young 38. Browne doesn’t have the ring wear that Whyte. The Body Snatcher took a lot of punishment in his fights with Joshua and Chisora. That was a career’s worth of punishment.
I’m picking Browne by a 10h round knockout over Whyte. Browne has too much punching power, and his endurance is too good for Whyte to handle his game. I see Browne having problems early in the fight, but once he starts wearing Whyte down with his heavy shots, the fight will change hands in the second half of the contest. Whyte will make the mistake of trying to take the fight with him, and it’ll end badly for him.
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