Dillian Whyte has taken issue with implications from Otto Wallin and his promoter, Dmitriy Salita, that it wasn’t actually a shoulder injury that caused him to withdraw last week from their fight.
Whyte explained in detail during an appearance on BBC’s podcast, “5 Live Boxing With Steve Bunce” how the injury to his left shoulder worsened during training camp for his fight with Wallin. London’s Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) and Sweden’s Wallin (22-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC) were supposed to square off in a main event DAZN was set to stream worldwide this Saturday night from O2 Arena in London.
Wallin wants proof from Whyte’s doctor and an independent physician that he indeed suffered a shoulder injury https://www.boxingscene.com/wallin-wants-proof-whytes-shoulder-injury-from-whytes-doctor-independent-physician--161441). Wallin also wants their 12-round heavyweight fight to be rescheduled once Whyte is healthy, but Whyte acknowledged that it’s “a no-brainer” to instead pursue what would be a much more lucrative showdown with WBC champion Tyson Fury rather than to reschedule his fight with Wallin.
According to Whyte, he received an “injection” when he first felt considerable pain in his left shoulder after a sparring session in Portugal. Whyte recalled that he took five days off to recover thereafter, but that the pain eventually became unbearable.
The 33-year-old Whyte informed Bunce that an MRI showed that he had significant inflammation and scar tissue in his left shoulder.
“My shoulder just completely shut down, completely shut down,” Whyte told Bunce for an episode that debuted Tuesday on BBC’s website. “I was in pain. Come out of the ring and I said, ‘Nah. Something’s not right here. This ain’t right for me to complain about it.’ Because there’s been fights I’ve had shoulder injuries before and I’ve gone through them. We went and did an MRI, like an emergency MRI scan the next day. The MRI showed that my shoulder was way worse than I thought it was. I wanted to fight. I said to ‘em, ‘Listen, if we manage it and get another injection closer to the time or whatever, then I’ll go for the fight.’ I said, ‘I’ll go for the fight. I never pulled out of a fight before. I don’t wanna pull out now because you get idiots like Salita and Wallin just keeps talking crap from the side.
“You know, what Wallin forget is he was a hand-picked cherry. It wasn’t even a voluntary. He was just someone that I just picked because the simple reason is Tyson Fury underestimated him, and he gave Tyson Fury a hard right, really. And I wanted to show people this guy ain’t as good as what people say he is, and as what people think he is. So, and then one thing led to another and then, you know, all these guys start saying all of these things, start saying all this and all that. But I don’t really care. The people who know me know I don’t pull out from fights.”
By definition, a fight with Wallin would’ve counted as a voluntary defense of Whyte’s WBC interim championship. Wallin is ranked 20th by the WBC, whereas Whyte is not ranked because he holds the WBC’s interim title.
Mauricio Sulaiman, president of the WBC, stated earlier this month that the winner of the Whyte-Wallin bout would fight the winner of the third Fury-Wilder fight next. England’s Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) knocked out Alabama’s Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) in the 11th round of their slugfest October 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The WBC didn’t sanction Whyte-Wallin as an elimination match, though, thus Whyte isn’t obligated to move forward with the Wallin bout. Whyte also revealed to Bunce that he had a rematch clause in his contract for the Wallin fight, thus Wallin would’ve had to fight him again if Wallin won.
Regardless, Whyte insisted to Bunce that he wanted to fight Wallin, but that the severity of his injury prevented him from proceeding as planned.
“I begged the guys to let me fight,” Whyte said. “I begged ‘em. I said, ‘Listen, if we have an injection or whatever, obviously I would just numb my shoulder. … If I need surgery after, I need surgery after. I don’t care. I done it before. You know? I done it before. Against Joshua, I done it before with my shoulder. You know what I mean? So, it’s nothing new to me.”
Whyte also questioned conspiracy theorists as to why he would’ve waited so long to withdraw from the Wallin fight if he had simply decided a few weeks earlier that he wanted to fight Fury next.
“If I was planning to pull out of the fight,” Whyte said, “I would’ve pulled out three weeks ago, when this thing was announced or whatever. … Saved probably another $100,000 or whatever it was in three weeks. You know?”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.