By Charles Brun: Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn is no longer attempting to hide that he’s pulling for Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte to defeat his opponent Jermaine Franklin this Saturday night at the OVO Arena in London.
It would have been better if Hearn and Whyte weren’t so obvious about Saturday’s fight being such a mismatch against the flabby-looking Franklin.
Franklin’s last five wins:
- Rodney Moore (20-22-2, 9 KOs) – 46 years old
- Pavel Sour (15-13, 10 KOs) – 40 years old
- Jerry Forrest (26-5-2, 20 KOs) – 34 years old
- Rydell Booker (26-7-1, 13 KOs) – 41 years old
- Craig Lewis (14-6-1, 8 KOs) – 38 years old
Hearn is already talking about Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) fighting Anthony Joshua next in a rematch as if a victory for Dillian over the chubby (21-0, 14 KOs) is a forgone conclusion.
What’s unclear is whether Hearn personally picked Franklin out or if this was a move by Whyte. Franklin is a guy that Dillian has wanted for a while now, which tells you a lot about how beatable the guy is.
It would have been better if Whyte were matched up against a better fighter than Franklin to help create interest in a rematch with Joshua because Dillian has lost two out of his last four fights by knockout.
Whyte looked dreadful in his last fight against Tyson Fury, getting knocked out in six rounds, and looking horrible the entire time.
For fans to forget about the performance against Fury, Whyte should have been matched against one of these contenders:
- Frank Sanchez
- Otto Wallin
- Andy Ruiz Jr
- Arslanbek Makhmudov
- Luis Ortiz
- Martin Bakole
At this point in Whyte’s career, it’s doubtful he beats any of those fighters. Hence, none of them were selected for Whyte to fight on Saturday.
It would have been better if Whyte had taken on a live dog because at least if he wins, the fans would have something to look forward to with his rematch with Joshua.
With the way Dillian has looked in his last four fights, he doesn’t even possess a fighting chance of beating Joshua. The thing of it is, Joshua is washed up, but he’s not as far gone as Whyte.
Hearn says Americans know Franklin
“It’s a really important fight because it’s a fight that most people expect him [Whyte] to win,” said Eddie Hearn to Secondsout about this Saturday’s match between Dillian Whyte and his obscure opponent Jermaine Franklin.
“Obviously, Franklin is relatively unknown to the UK market. People in America know how good Franklin is, he’s 21-0.”
I’d have to disagree with Hearn about Americans knowing who Jermaine Franklin is.
You can argue that even most hardcore boxing fans in the U.S. had never seen or heard of Franklin until recently when he was scheduled to fight Whyte.
Maybe if the U.S. were the size of Monoco, Franklin would be a household name. Unfortunately, he’s an unknown to Americans, and it appears a guy that has been cherry-picked for Whyte to get a sure thing win so that his rematch with Joshua can happen without a hitch in early 2023.
“I think for Dillian Whyte, he’s coming off the back of a bad knockout,” said Hearn. “However he wants to talk about it, it was a defeat, a knockout, and Jermaine Franklin is looking at Dillian Whyte, saying, ‘This is a great time to see Dillian Whyte, and Dillian Whyte has got to make a statement.
“If he wants to come back and fight those guys and rematch AJ, he’s going to want to come and look good. This is his first fight with Buddy McGirt. He looks fantastic, but Franklin is full of beans, although he’s never boxed at this level before.
“So, it’s going to be interesting to see how he handles this pressure. He’s been talking a good game, but Dillian looks fantastic. He looks fresh, looks healthy, and I think he’s ready to put on a good performance on Saturday.
“It’s just time really,” said Hearn when asked about his earlier comments about Franklin getting a fight against Anthony Joshua next if he wins.
“I think if Dillian wins, it’s just whether if AJ has one before Dillian Whyte or goes straight into the Dillian Whyte fight. I think if Franklin wins, he [Joshua] goes straight into the Franklin fight.
“He’ll be a keen spectator on Saturday night because he wants to fight Dillian Whyte again, and if Dillian is successful, you’ll definitely see that fight in the first half of 2023.
“Probably his training team and looking at who he’s fighting,” said Hearn when asked why Joshua would need a tune-up fight before the Whyte rematch. “I want to see him active.
“I want him to fight at least three times next year. That’ll be the end of March, something like that. Then it’ll be the summer and then the end of the year. So for me, I look at Dillian Whyte, Deontay Wilder as two musts. It would be lovely to throw Tyson Fury into it too.
“That would be a dream year, but it could be a fight before that as well, depending on who he links up with, and what his new trainer says, if there is one.
“I haven’t really spoken to him about it,” said Hearn when asked about whether things were rocky with trainer Robert Garcia. “He plans on starting his camp at the beginning of January.
“I think he had a good time with Robert Garcia. I think he enjoyed it. I think it was really positive. I don’t know what they’re up to in terms of their new training team, but I know he’ll be getting that in order because training camp will start at the turn of the year. He’ll be making sure he’s ready.
“I think it’s a stadium fight. It’s whether you do that in spring or in the summer. Again, a lot of that depends on how Saturday night goes, to be honest with you.
“I think AJ is comfortable with going straight into that fight [with Whyte]. We’ll see what the training team says, but I would like to do that fight in a big stadium in London.
“For me, it’s an obvious stadium fight,” said Hearn about the Joshua vs. Whyte rematch.