November 24th 2022
Dillian Whyte was involved in a tense confrontation with Jermaine Franklin’s promoter ahead of his fight against the undefeated American on Saturday.
Whyte and Franklin came face-to-face following a final press conference on Thursday, joined by promoter Eddie Hearn on stage.
But during a relatively amicable stare down, the Brixton heavyweight reacted to comments made from Dmitry Salita, Franklin’s promoter, who was stood just off his fighter.
Salita then appeared to push Whyte with security wading in before the Briton could react. Whyte and Salita continued to exchange words while Franklin calmly waited for things to cool off around him.
Franklin has won all 21 of his professional fights and while he has notable wins over Rydell Booker and Jerry Forrest on his record, taking on Whyte marks a major step up for the 29-year-old.
Whyte is coming off a damaging knockout defeat to Tyson Fury in April and former cruiserweight and heavyweight champion David Haye insists the Londoner must not only win on Saturday, but win well.
‘Scraping a points win against Franklin on home turf, that is not the performance we need to see, it is not the performance team Whyte needs,’ Haye told Metro.co.uk.
‘They need a definitive conclusion, an “I’m back” victory. They need to park up that Tyson Fury defeat and prove they are ready get in there against Anthony Joshua and give us that rematch we want.
‘From Dillian’s point of view, yes, [defeat] is out of the question, it can’t even be a thing on his mind. He is getting in the ring with someone who has never fought at his level, not once, not even remotely close.
‘Dillian is the favourite by a long way. But it is the unknown factor in an unbeaten fighter.
‘There is something about someone who has never lost or tasted defeat as a pro fighter. It gives them that X-factor.
;We don’t know what he has got. His team might have been waiting for this one opponent to unleash a world class fighter.
‘Franklin is an unknown quantity but if Dillian is the world class fighter we believed him to be going into that fight against Tyson Fury then this should be a routine performance and he should be able to look good.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.