By Charles Brun: Dillian Whyte is apoplectic about Anthony Joshua electing to fight Jermaine Franklin, a fighter he just beat last November, as his opponent for his April 1st fight on DAZN at the O2 Area in London, England.
Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs), who is clearly on a steep career slide at 34, feels that he should be the one that is getting the Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) fight on April 1st because his promoter Eddie Hearn claimed that his last contest against Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) last November was a semi-final match that would determine AJ’s next opponent.
The obvious reason why Joshua & Hearn chose Franklin is because of how well he performed against Whyte in their fight, with many boxing fans believing that he deserved the victory on the night. Whyte was given a 12 round majority decision, but a whole slew of people saw it as a robbery.
It would have opened Joshua up to a ton of criticism if he’d have selected Whyte after his controversial decision over Franklin, and that wouldn’t have been a good look for AJ to face Dillian after his tainted victory.
Dillian should have rematched Franklin
In hindsight, Dillian should have been a good one and offered Franklin an immediate rematch out of fairness and to prove to the boxing world who the better man was.
It looked bad that Whyte chose to walk away from the controversial decision without clearing up the controversy by giving Franklin a rematch. If Whyte had just offered the fight to Franklin, it would have been the perfect PR move.
Had Franklin then rejected the offer and taken the better deal with Joshua, Whyte could say to the fans that he at least tried to five him a rematch.
This writer had Franklin winning 9-3, and you can even argue that it should have been 10-2 because the only two rounds that Whyte appeared to win were the 11th & 12th. Additionally, Franklin outboxed and outworked Whyte, making him look old & feeble.
Dillian has always been a dramatically flawed fighter from the jump, but he’s looked awful in five out of his last six fights dating back to his match against Oscar Rivas in 2019.
“I would’ve been better off losing to Franklin and getting the AJ fight,” said Dillian Whyte to The Sun. “It’s protecting AJ. They know if he loses again, he’ll probably jack it in, and many people will be left with limp d***s in their hands.”
“Everyone was told, all the boxing fans, the winner of me and Franklin fights AJ, so this is a f***ed up thing.
“Why choose to fight a low-profile American coming off a loss instead of having a massive British tear-up?” Whyte continued with his royal rant.
“It’s no surprise to me that they have chosen April 1 for this battle of the fools,” said Whyte.
Hearn excited about Joshua’s comeback
“I’m excited about his comeback. This is a very important moment for his career,” said Eddie Hearn to Secondsout about Anthony Joshua. “This is the big push now to become a three-time heavyweight world champion.
“I think he’s still a top 3 heavyweight in the world, but he’s got to prove it, and he’ll be back on April 1st. People don’t want to give adjustment periods, critics don’t,” said Hearn when asked about Joshua going through an adjustment period with a new trainer, Derrick James, and a new country, the United States.
“Of course, he needs an adjustment period. Of course, he needs a new trainer, but he’s also in a good competitive fight against a good heavyweight, and there is going to be a lot of pressure on Anthony Joshua going into this fight.
“There’s going to be people criticizing. There are going to be people saying he’s not the same fighter. People are saying he’s ‘gunshy’ and that he’s ‘mentally weak.‘
“This is what you have to put up with in a top-level sport. Anthony Joshua remains one of the biggest draws in boxing. All eyes of the world will be on the O2 Arena on April 1st to see what he has left, and I think people are going to be very surprised.
“AJ is always up for the big fights, and sometimes to his detriment. He wanted to fight Fury in December coming off the Usyk defeat. He wants to fight Wilder, he wants to fight Whyte, but I want to get him active, I want to get him full of confidence, and I want to get him fiery.
“We will see what’s going to happen when he returns,” said Hearn about Joshua.