Dillian Whyte got back in the win column with a majority decision victory over the previously unbeaten Jermaine Franklin tonight in front of a lively crowd at Wembley Arena. Two judges scored it 116-112 for Whyte, with another judge seeing the fight as a draw.
Many ringside observers felt the American had done enough to win.
“He’s undefeated, he came in to give us a good fight,” Whyte said of his opponent just minutes after the bout.
Anthony Joshua, who defeated Whyte back in 2015, was in attendance. According to promoter Eddie Hearn, the two will fight a rematch next year.
“I’m ready for whatever,” added Whyte. “Right now, I’m just going to go home and relax. I miss my family, I miss my kids, I miss my dogs.”
As for Franklin, he didn’t mince words.
“I felt like I got robbed,” he said after the fight. “I felt like I won the earlier rounds. I’m down for a rematch if they’ll give it to me. I proved a lot of people wrong with my performance.”
Whyte (29-3, 19 knockouts) came into the Franklin bout having lost two of his last three by knockout. In April, he was flattened by Tyson Fury in a world title challenge. The Jamaican native, who has called London home since the age of 12, desperately needed a convincing win to stay relevant among elite heavyweights. While he officially got the “W” tonight, his performance was anything but dominant. Nonetheless, he bit down and closed strong in the championship rounds to eke out the decision. This was his bout with former world champ Buddy McGirt in his corner.
With the loss, Franklin drops to 21-1 (14 KOs) and will go back to America with some hard lessons learned. Had he been more active, particularly in the later rounds, perhaps the judges would have scored the bout in his favor. However, the twelve rounds he spent with Whyte provided great experience and proved that Franklin could hang with a top ten heavyweight.
CompuBox credited Franklin with landing 165 of 606 total punches (27%), compared to 144 of 608 (24%) for Whyte. Franklin had a definitive edge in body blows and jabs, while Whyte landed slightly more power punches.
The Whyte vs Franklin bout headlined a Matchroom Boxing show that was broadcast live on DAZN.
Notable Undercard Results:
British heavyweight prospect Fabio Wardley improved to 15-0 (14 KOs) with a TKO3 win over Nathan Gorman, his most experienced opponent to date.
2020 Olympic welterweight silver medalist Pat McCormack improved to 3-0 (2 KOs) with a UD6 win.
Michael Montero can be found on social media via @MonteroOnBoxing. His show “The Neutral Corner” can be seen every Monday on YouTube and heard on audio podcast platforms around the world.