There is only one rematch that interests Dillian Whyte now that he has beaten Jermaine Franklin.
With a lucrative second showdown with Anthony Joshua probable for some time in 2023, the brash heavyweight contender cannot see any reason why he should face Franklin again. Whyte walked away from the ring at OVO Arena Wembley convinced that he defeated Franklin convincingly Saturday night in London.
Franklin argued he was “robbed” after losing a 12-round majority decision in Whyte’s home country. Eddie Hearn, whose company promotes Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs), acknowledged that their fight was very competitive, but Hearn thinks Whyte won the 10th, 11th and 12th rounds to secure a 115-113 victory.
Whyte was annoyed once reporters repeatedly asked during his post-fight press conference if he felt Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) deserves a rematch.
“Why you keep getting in about this rematch?,” Whyte asked. “Are you part of Jermaine Franklin’s team? So, stop talkin’ sh*t about rematching. Relax, man. Listen, it was a fight. How much close fights have there been in boxing? Do you like say, ‘Oh, this guy should have a rematch, have a rematch.’ You’re just talkin’ sh*t, man. Relax. It was a close fight. I won clearly, so why would I consider a rematch?”
The 35-year-old Whyte was listed by most sportsbooks as at least a 12-1 favorite to defeat Franklin, a 29-year-old Saginaw, Michigan native who took a significant step up in competition. Franklin fought well, though he tired toward the end of a 12-round main event DAZN streamed.
Germany’s Juergen Langos (116-112) and England’s Grzegorz Molenda (116-112) still scored eight rounds each for Whyte. The third judge, England’s Michael Alexander, scored their back-and-forth fight a draw (115-115).
“He’s a good fighter, but you know, like I said, there’s levels,” said Whyte, who fought for the first time since unbeaten WBC champ Tyson Fury knocked him out in the sixth round April 23 at Wembley Stadium in London. “You know, like I said, I know exactly what I needed to do. I knew he had hand speed, pedigree and that. But I know exactly, with my experience, what I need to do to get the victory. And that’s what I said. I know when I need to turn it on and when I need to obviously box and what I need to do. Obviously, he’s definitely top 15, top 10, top 15.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.