Dillian Whyte has promised to be much slimmer for his upcoming return to the ring next month.

Whyte, the interim WBC heavyweight champion, weighed a whopping 271 pounds when he plodded to a points win over Mariusz Wach in Saudi Arabia, comfortably the heaviest of his career.

In the months leading up to that contest, Whyte explained that he packed on the pounds while dealing with a UKAD investigation in connection to an abnormal test result. Prior to his fight in December, he was cleared by UKAD, who withdrew the charge.

“That weight wasn't so much diet, it was stress going on,” Whyte said. “Stress affects people in two ways, it makes some people slim, it makes others put weight on.

“I have been cooking for myself for years and I know what I am doing but that was the stress of walking around like a zombie for six months.”

Whyte now has his eyes on a WBC title shot against Tyson Fury, which he hopes will follow if he beats Alexander Povetkin on August 22.

Since the lockdown began, Whyte has based himself in Portugal, which he said was a major factor in him splitting with his trainer, Mark Tibbs. But Whyte says the warm weather has helped him shed the excess pounds.

“The weather has definitely helped with the lockdown,” Whyte said. “There is a lot of good local food and a private gym for me and my team. I had 40 pounds to lose from my last fight so I have been working to lose it. Lockdown couldn’t have been any better.

“I’ve been able to work and chip away and stay motivated and stay stimulated. I don’t know how much weight I have lost, the training is going up now and I am a lot leaner than I was seven weeks out of the Wach fight.”

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.