Jermaine Franklin appreciated the respect Dillian Whyte showed him by raising Franklin’s arm in the ring after their fight Saturday night.
That didn’t prevent Franklin from feeling like referee John Latham raised the wrong heavyweight’s arm after the official decision was announced at OVO Arena Wembley in London. Franklin argued afterward that he did enough to upset Whyte in their 12-round fight, which Whyte won by majority decision.
“I mean, I felt like I got robbed,” Franklin told DAZN’s Chris Lloyd during his post-fight interview in the ring. “I felt like I done enough to [win], to [get] the decision. I felt like I won the earlier rounds, so you know, I just felt like I got robbed on the decision.”
Germany’s Juergen Langos (116-112) and England’s Grzegorz Molenda (116-112) scored eight rounds apiece for Whyte, a London-based contender. The third judge, England’s Michael Alexander, scored the Whyte-Franklin fight a draw (115-115).
Whyte will probably battle British rival Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) in a rematch next. Joshua, a former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champion, watched Whyte-Franklin from ringside and promoter Eddie Hearn reiterated his plan to put together a second Joshua-Whyte fight in 2023.
Nevertheless, Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) wants a rematch after testing the 35-year-old contender.
“I mean, I had a seven-week camp. I did what I what I could,” Franklin said. “You know, I’m down for a rematch if they’ll give it to me. You know, but like I said, I felt like I won. I felt like I got robbed on the decision.”
Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) credited Franklin for his toughness and for showing that he can compete with legitimate contenders in the heavyweight division. Whyte was consistently listed as a 12-1 favorite, but he figured Franklin would push him.
“I was expecting a tough fight,” Whyte said. “Listen, l said an undefeated heavyweight’s the hardest thing to beat on this planet. You know what I mean? Obviously, you know [he was] undefeated, he’s got a lot of beans in his belly, you know, and he come here to give us a good fight. And he’s done well for himself. His stock rose tonight.”
The 29-year-old Franklin performed the way the Saginaw, Michigan native was always confident he’d fight if given the opportunity to challenge someone of Whyte’s stature.
“I mean, I proved a lot of people wrong,” Franklin said. “You know, I prove people wrong every day. This what we do. A lot of people just look and they judge, but a lot of people won’t have the heart to step in here and fight me.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.