Bournemouth, UK - Although injuries have held Ben Whittaker back so far, the charismatic light heavyweight is talented enough to grow into one of British boxing’s biggest attractions over the next few years. The 2020 Olympic silver medallist reminded fans of exactly what he is capable of by putting on a show and knocking out Italy based Albanian, Stiven Leonetti Dredhaj, in four rounds.
Whittaker truly enjoys being the center of attention and he showboated his way through the fight from the opening bell. There is substance behind the style however. Whittaker mastered the range almost immediately, making Dredhaj fall millimetres short and as he walked forward behind a lazy jab he found himself clipped by some hard counters.
Dredhaj’s bouncy style wasn’t causing Whittaker too many problems and by the third he was running through his repertoire. Whittaker steadily upped the intensity. The gap between the two closed up and Whittaker injected some venom into his attacks. He caught Derdhaj with a spectacular left screw shot in his own corner. Dredhaj had had a bloody nose from the second and took a knee after taking a chopping right hand. Rather than going for the finish, Whittaker decided to look out of the ring and taunt Dredhaj, earning him a warning from the referee.
The fun and games ended in the fourth. Whittaker made Dredhaj fall short and made him pay with a right hand followed by a left hook which put Dredhaj out instantly and over heavily. Thankfully, he got to his feet after receiving a quick blast of oxygen. The official time was 0.54 of round four.
Whittaker (5-0, 4 KO’s) is ready for tougher tests.