By Charles Brown: Jermaine Franklin weighed in at 257 lbs, while Dillian Whyte came in at 251 lbs during Friday’s weigh-in for their fights this Saturday, November 26th, on DAZN at the OVO Arena in London.
It’s difficult to predict a winner based on how the two heavyweights looked during today’s weigh-in.
While the 34-year-old Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) appeared in slightly better shape than the 29-year-old Franklin, you have to add that Dillian is older and has shown deterioration in his ability to take punches during the last three years.
Even at Whyte’s best, he barely beat journeyman Derek Chisora in their first encounter, struggled in their second, and had massive problems with Oscar Rivas, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, and Mariusz Wach.
What’s obvious is that Whyte is no longer at his bestand that’s why he’s being matched against #12 WBO fringe contender Franklin (21-0, 14 KOs) instead of a higher-ranked contender that could beat him.
What Whyte-Franklin is all about is making sure the business of the Anthony Joshua vs. Whyte II rematch goes ahead next year. Whyte-Franklin isn’t a sporting fight.
It’s a match-up to ensure Whyte wins and gets the rematch against Joshua in the first half of next year. If this were about sport, Whyte would be matched against one of these talented contenders:
- Joe Joyce
- Jared Anderson
- Filip Hrgovic
- Deontay Wilder
- Frank Sanchez
- Andy Ruiz Jr
- Arslanbek Makhmudov
These heavyweights would likely beat Whyte soundly, as would 43-year-old Luis Ortiz.
Whyte is shot, and Eddie Hearn has got to know that, which is why he’s dipping down to near the bottom of the rankings to find little-known Jermaine Franklin at #12 WBO to ensure that Dillian gets the business-level fight against Anthony Joshua for early next year.
“He’s coming to take care of business to bring back that big win to the United States, back to Michigan, and move on to bigger and better things,” said Jermaine Franklin’s promoter Dmitry Salita to secondsout.
“He picked on me, but he didn’t say anything to Jermaine,” said Salita about Whyte. “So maybe he got intimidated by Jermaine.
I’ve never seen a fighter in a staredown push the promoter, the manager, or the trainer. They always push the fighter. So if I got under his skin of him, I did my job, and it’ll be what it’ll be.
“We were in negotiations for Jermaine Franklin – Dillian Whyte last year, and then that fell out. We were supposed to fight Otto Wallin, another fighter I represent, and then he [Whyte] gotinjured. I said some things. So maybe he harbors some hard feelings towards me? I don’t know.
“I love boxing. I’ve never seen a fighter push a promoter. Hopefully, that adds excitement to the fight. Jermaine is coming to kick butt. He’s very focused; he’s not a trash talker.
“His skills are going to pay the bills on Saturday night, and I think Jermaine has everything in his corner on his side in this situation to do what he has to do to bring that big victory home.
“It’s a life-changing opportunity, a life-changing victory. He and Jesse [Addison] have a decade-long relationship together and have been through wars together.
“Buddy [McGirt, Whyte’s coach] is a great trainer, and Dillian don’t have that relationship. They only have six weeks together. So when the going gets tough, how is Dillian going to react to Buddy’s instructions? We don’t know because they don’t have a trust, they didn’t build a trust. But Jesse and Jermaine built a trust.
“If the going gets tough and Jesse motivates him, that’s going to work for sure. So what’s going to happen in the other corner? We don’t know. So all these things are going to be significant, and I believe my man is going to get the W,” said Salita about Franklin.