By Brian Webber: Dillian Whyte says Anthony Joshua might have second thoughts about fighting him next if he destroys Jermaine Franklin in two rounds in their fight this Saturday night at the OVO Arena in London.
Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) isn’t banking on a fight with Joshua happening next if he’s victorious against the unbeaten Franklin (21-0, 14 KOs) in their headliner on DAZN.
With the way Whyte is slurring his words, it’s not likely that he’s going to score a fast knockout of Franklin. Dillian might win, but it probably won’t be by a first or second round knockout over his hand-picked opponent.
If Whyte wins, he says he’ll look to take the best possible opponent, be it Joshua, Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, or Deontay Wilder.
It’s unlikely Whyte will get a world title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Fury or IBF, WBA & WBO champ Usyk off the back of a victory over the little-known Franklin because he’s not ranked high enough, and he’s not viewed as one of the top contenders.
Franklin is being brought in to give Whyte a tune-up/confidence builder after his knockout loss to Fury.
For Dillian to get a title shot against Fury or Usyk, he would need to beat one of the elite contenders, and he’s chosen not to fight one of the more dangerous guys in the division.
If Franklin wins, Whyte’s career will be as good as over. Yeah, he can stick around and slip into the Derek Chisora type of journeyman roll and maybe get a sympathy fight against Fury, but he won’t get a title shot against a champion if he’s forced to earn it by beating a top contender.
“I just didn’t perform up to my ability, and that was one of those nights for me,” said Dillian Whyte to iFL TV about his loss to WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury last April.
“He’s undefeated, he’s got a bit of a ranking, and he’s the one that was talking the most s**t,” said Whyte when asked why he chose Jermaine Franklin rather than another contender to fight.
“None of those other guys were willing to step up, and he stepped up. It’s a credit to him. I respect him for doing that, and he’s dangerous. he’s an undefeated heavyweight. He’s very dangerous, and he believes he can beat me.
“I don’t know if he genuinely believes it, but he’s saying it, and his coach [Jesse Addison] is saying that they’re going to kill me and destroy me. I don’t know. He was saying some wild stuff.
“I had to smack one of his guys. He [Franklin] wasn’t saying s**t, but his guys were doing a lot of talking. Dmitry [Salita] and Jesse bozo [Addison], whatever his name is. He was talking s**t, but Jesse was too far. So I smacked the closest one to me, which was [the promoter] Dmitry.
“But Jermain Franklin is a punk. He didn’t do s**t. If I was with Eddie [Hearn] and someone smacked him, I’m talking about a guy that I was fighting; I would defend him. I would back him.
“He was talking s**t. I smacked him,” said Whyte when he was asked if he hit him first. “I slapped him. I didn’t push him. I slapped him [Salita], and his little hat [Kippah] went flying. I felt bad because I didn’t want to disrespect his religion and his little hat went flying.
“These guys have to remember that I’m cool; I’m relaxed. I treat everyone with love and respect, and prosperity. I don’t mind. If you have something to say, say it to my face. Don’t hide it in the background.
“I said, ‘Shut the f**k up, man,’ and I smacked the s**t out of him. He got smacked like my b**ch. His cheeks felt like someone’s a** cheeks. His cheeks made a sound. He deserved it because he’s been talking s**t since Wallin. He was always talking s**t.
“Do you know what he said to me yesterday? He came up to me randomly. I don’t even know the guy. He said, ‘Do you know I am? Do you know what my name is?’ I said, ‘Get the f**k out of here. I don’t know who you are, mother f***er.’
“I really didn’t know who he was. I said, ‘Get the f**k out of here. I don’t know who you are b**ch a**,’ and he said, ‘I’m Dmitry Salita.’ I said, ‘Why are you telling me? Have a nice day,’ and then I walked off.
“So I think he got a little offended from that because I didn’t know who he was. He just looked kind of like a Jewish guy to me. I thought it was a rich Jewish guy that came to give me some money.
“He said, ‘I’m Dmitry Salita,’ and I said, ‘Get the f**k out of here.’ Dmitry Salita is an a**hole. When the Otto Wallin fight got made, he went and bought a brand new Bentley.
“Then the money didn’t come in, and he was p**ssed. Seriously, he went and bought a brand-new Bentley, and the money didn’t come in. He’s thinking, ‘F**k Dillian Whyte.’
“I was like, ‘Bro, relax. I got injured. What am I going to do? Go into the fight with an injury?’ These guys are wild. Before the Wallin fight, me and Fury was never going to happen.
“The Fury fight was a quick turn around. It came out of nowhere, literally. I had to start training quick. The Fury fight came out of nowhere. I get paid to fight. Why am I going to turn down a fight when I get more money,” said Whyte when told that the perception is that he wasn’t injured when he pulled out of the Otto Wallin fight to take a fight with Fury instead.
“Then I got time to fight, rest and then go again. All these guys just talk s**t. I just learn to ignore it. I’ve learned to focus on one fight at a time,” said Whyte when asked about him potentially getting a fight against Anthony Joshua next.
“This is heavyweight boxing. I might beat Franklin, and the Joshua fight won’t be until six months off. I’m not going to wait around for that. Joshua might have an easier option for a comeback fight.
“I might knock Franklin out in the first two rounds, and Joshua might think, ‘I don’t fancy that. I might need a warm-up fight first.’ Not everyone has the same mindset. I’ll fight anyone. I put a risk every time,” said Whyte
If it were true that Whyte would fight “anyone,” as he says, he could have picked a much better fighter than Franklin. This is a guy that Whyte has hand-picked because he believes he can beat him. Whyte could have selected someone like Frank Sanchez, Daniel Dubois, Filip Hrgovic, or Joe Joyce, but he wanted Franklin. Do you get the picture?
“I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about Franklin, and then we’ll see what happens after that. What I’ve learned is don’t bank on what’s promised. Bank on what you sign, what you negotiate, and what you get.
“Anyone in the top 10. I want to fight the best guys, and that’s it. If it’s Joshua, it’s Joshua. If it’s Wilder, it’s Wilder. If it’s Fury, it’s Fury. If it’s Usyk, it’s Usyk.
“Eddie Hearn never delivered me Wilder until this day. I don’t think he’s going to deliver him anytime soon because he’s never delivered him until this day. So I don’t think he’s going to deliver him anytime soon.
“Good business for them, bad business for me,” said Dillian about his loss to Tyson. “No regrets. I had my moments in the fight. Look at the scorecards. I had my moments in the fight. It was always going to be a hard fight. I still believe I can beat him when I have a chance for a rematch.
“I got hit with a good punch. He pushed me over as well, and I twisted my ankle. I snapped two tendons in my foot. I can still fight for a heavyweight title.
“On Saturday night, it’s another chapter in my career. I’m someone that’s eager to learn, willing to learn,” said Whyte.