Dillian Whyte’s return to the ring from his knockout defeat to Tyson Fury has been scheduled for November 26 in London.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed multiple reports out of the United Kingdom that stated England’s Whyte will meet American Jermaine Franklin in a 12-round fight that night. DAZN is expected to stream Whyte-Franklin as a main event from OVO Arena Wembley.
The 34-year-old Whyte will fight for the first time since the undefeated Fury dropped and stopped him in the sixth round of their fight for Fury’s WBC heavyweight championship April 23 in London. The bout between Fury (31-0-1, 23 KOs) and Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) drew a record crowd of approximately 94,000 to a sold-out Wembley Stadium, right next door to OVO Arena Wembley, which has a capacity of approximately 12,500.
Franklin (21-0, 14 KOs) will box for just the second time in three years when he fights Whyte next month.
The Saginaw, Michigan native has fought only once since his 10-round, unanimous-decision victory over the Czech Republic’s Pavel Sour (then 11-1) in October 2019 at Dort Financial Center in Flint, Michigan. Franklin stopped Rodney Moore (20-22-2, 9 KOs) in the fifth round of that match May 7 at McBride Hall in Gary, Indiana, which ended Franklin’s 2½-year layoff.
While Franklin is undefeated and Whyte is coming off a knockout defeat, the Jamaican-born, London-based Whyte will represent a step up in class for Franklin. The 28-year-old Franklin appeared on course to make this type of move in his level of opposition after back-to-back 10-round victories over American veterans Rydell Booker (then 25-1) and Jerry Forrest (then 25-2) in 2019, but that commitment wasn’t solidified until three years later.
Franklin did, however, try to face Whyte last year. He told BoxingScene.com early last September that he signed a bout agreement for a fight with Whyte, but Whyte eventually agreed to oppose Swedish southpaw Otto Wallin last October 30 at O2 Arena in London.
Whyte later withdrew from his fight with Wallin (24-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC), reportedly due to a shoulder injury, on just 10 days’ notice. The Whyte-Wallin fight was not rescheduled, as Whyte instead moved forward with his long-awaited mandated shot at the WBC title against Fury.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.