By Kurt Ward
Unbeaten British heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 13-0 (10), competed for the fifth time in three months when he appeared on the big Belfast bill on Saturday night, which was headlined by Carl Frampton defending his IBF super bantamweight title against American Chris Avalos and carried live by ITV here in the U.K.
Whyte stopped unbeaten Beka Lobjanidze in four on the undercard, shown live on ITV4, it was a great chance to show the fans what he is capable of after seeing his career grind to a shocking halt following a failed drugs test in the lead-up to his fight with John McDermott in November of 2012.
Dillian is honest as he explains over the phone the period in his career when he tested positive for Methylhexaneamine, an ingredient found in a pre-work out drink named JACK3D, which resulted in him being banned from the sport for two years.
“A person who I look up to in training recommended it to me and naively, not thinking, I went to a shop, told them I’m a professional boxer and brought the popular one that everyone was using, according to the shop assistant,” he said. “Unfortunately, they banned it two weeks after I brought it and I was using it in camp when I failed the drugs test.
“I held my hands up and admitted to ingesting the supplement that was recommended to me but I was banned for two years for negligence, which I was told would be between four and six-months. I was later told I would be given the maximum penalty of two years which baffled me, but that’s life and stuff happens.”
Over the course of 2012 two other British fighters, Enzo Maccarinelli and Tony Dodson, would fail drug tests for Methylhexaneamine. They, like Dillian, simply did not know that the banned substance was listed as part of the ingredients.
“Me, Enzo Maccarinelli and Tony Dodson all got banned for the same supplement but they got less time than me.” Dillian tells me when asked about those two cases. “It’s not a banned substance but you have to stop taking it 24-hours before competition and I had no idea. Nobody ever told me anything about it. It wasn't hardcore drugs but it’s been a proper learning curve for me and I now have a nutritionist.”
Graham Arthur, director of Legal at UKAD was quoted about the substance, saying: 'Methylhexaneamine (DMAA) is a banned substance ‘in-competition’ that frequently appears in over the counter and internet bought products but not clearly on the label.'
Whyte, who has scored four straight knockout victories since his return in November 2014, has his sights set on the bigger names in the division; one name that always gets mentioned with the Brixton native is his fellow undefeated British heavyweight rival, Anthony Joshua.
The pair met in 2009 in an amateur contest after turning to boxing in their late teens. They were both very raw and had a whole lot to learn. It was Whyte’s first amateur fight. He remembers it well.
“As a kid I had a few kickboxing fights, but I think that hindered my boxing because when I started boxing I had to learn everything all over again. My stance was wrong, I was wide open, had no defence. I wish I had gone to boxing in the first place instead of starting out with the kickboxing.
“I had been boxing for a few months when the Joshua fight came about and my coach actually said no to it because Joshua had had a few fights and had knocked everybody out. I told my coach I would fight anybody but it was up to him.
“Anyway, we tried to get a couple of opponents and it never happened so the fight with Joshua got made. We fought and I beat him. Me and him were cool after the fight. We had both been sparring with Dereck Chisora but after the Olympics he started saying some bad things about me, which pissed me off. I beat him in my first amateur fight. I had no skills then but had more heart and determination than him, and that’s what won me the fight.”
With Whyte now back in action there are fans who are anticipating the day the pair meet again, this time in the pro ranks. The fact that Whyte holds a win over the Olympic gold medalist and the apparent bad blood that now seems to exist between them, it certainly has the makings of a tasty heavyweight showdown down the line.
Despite Joshua’s fantastic success in such a short time, Whyte believes that he won’t have forgotten their amateur bout and would love the opportunity to do it again. He said: “If you fight or spar someone and you knock them down or knock them out; if you fight them ten years later and they’ve won all their fights you know in your mind that that person can hurt you and that the person carries a punch.
“I’ve improved since then: I’m punching harder, am more skillful, still improving and getting better and better. He’s grown up and I’ve grown up, but he knows in the back of his mind that I can hurt him. And I will hurt him.”
Both Joshua and Whyte could be on a British heavyweight collision course, and should that happen the winner of the grudge match will be guaranteed—the fans.
Catch Kurt and his fellow panelists live every Sunday at 8pm BSt/3pm EST on the Nuthouse Boxing Podcast http://mixlr.com/the-nuthouse/ .