By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Eddie Hearn wasn’t particularly pleased with what he saw from Dillian Whyte in his last fight.
Whyte’s promoter deemed his performance “poor” when Whyte defeated Robert Helenius by unanimous decision in a 12-rounder on the Anthony Joshua-Carlos Takam undercard October 28 in Cardiff, Wales. Hearn added that Helenius’ reluctance to engage was at least partially responsible for the way Whyte looked that night at Principality Stadium.
The 6-feet-6, 248-pound Helenius wobbled Whyte with a right hand in the second round. Whyte was able to recover, however, and took complete control of their unremarkable bout soon thereafter.
The 29-year-old Whyte (22-1, 16 KOs) defeated Finland’s Helenius (26-2, 16 KOs) by big margins on all three scorecards (119-109, 119-109, 118-110).
Hearn expects Whyte’s fight Saturday night against Australia’s Lucas Browne (25-0, 22 KOs) to be much more entertaining than his victory over Helenius. The managing director for Matchroom Boxing also anticipates Whyte winning their scheduled 12-rounder at O2 Arena in London (Sky Sports; HBO).
“With Helenius coming in on a couple weeks’ notice, Dillian Whyte didn’t get maybe the best preparation,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com recently. “He was a bit cumbersome in that performance. I think Helenius chose to box off the back foot, and after he got hurt in the fight [in the fifth round] didn’t really wanna get involved too much. And I thought it was a bit of a stinker, to honest with you.
“But I think Browne-Whyte won’t be. Dillian is not exactly the guy who’s renowned for being in stinky fights. I mean, the [Dereck] Chisora fight, the AJ fight. He’s always in good fights. It just so happens that against that guy, who was 6-foot-8 and boxing off the back foot and holding and being awkward, he didn’t look that great.”
A victory over the unbeaten Browne would keep Whyte in the WBC’s No. 1 spot among its heavyweight contenders and could lead to a mandatory shot at WBC champ Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) later this year. The Jamaican-born, London-based Whyte has lost only by seventh-round technical knockout to Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), who went on to win the IBF, IBO and WBA heavyweight titles.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.