‘The Body Snatcher’ from Brixton, London is taking his Heavyweight show on the road. This Saturday, 19th August, Dillian Whyte (20-1, 15 KOs) will box on the Terence Crawford vs Julius Indongo undercard at the Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
The former British champion will be making his US debut, on a card, that will be aired on ESPN (US) and SkySports (UK). It will be his first outing of 2017; after a June 3rd bout with fringe contender Mariusz Wach was scrapped due to a foot injury.
The last time that Whyte was in the ring, was at the end of 2016. He took part in a memorable war with London rival Dereck Chisora. Whyte won via split-decision, over twelve rounds. A rematch has been mooted and would be welcomed by boxing fans. The two often trade verbals and it could happen at the end of the year.
The brash, charismatic, outspoken Whyte has been verbally chasing a World title-shot against WBC champion Deontay Wilder and WBO champion Joseph Parker. Big money offers have been made to Wilder, who has turned down a career high payday. He is also on the hunt for a rematch with the only man to defeat him, IBF champion Anthony Joshua. Whyte has beaten decent enough opponents, on his way up, but his only big win has been against Dereck Chisora. At 29-years-old, he’s looking to make his way up the rankings and into a title-shot.
The originally announced opponent Michael Grant was met with a negative response from fans. The former World title challenger is seen as too over-the-hill. At 45-years-old, the 6’7′ American, had lost his last three by knockout. He’d had one fight in three years; getting stopped in two rounds, by Krzysztof Zimnoch, back in April.
Step forward ‘The Showstopper’ Malcolm Tann (24-5, 13 KOs). Tann is on a comeback and pulled off a surprising win when stopping then-undefeated prospect Nick Asberry, in 2016. The win more impressive, as it was coming after a nine-year layoff. Tann, from Arizona, started his career in 2002. He was seen as someone who could go somewhere. He won sixteen of his first seventeen contests. He’s lost when he’s stepped up to the likes of Chris Arreola and Alexander Dimitrenko (Both were undefeated at the time in 2007).
Tann is an orthodox heavyweight with decent power. He stands at 6’6, so will have a height advantage over his London opponent, who is listed as 6’4′. The contest should be dominated by the fresher, more ambitious Whyte. It’s a stage for Dillian to try and impress American audiences. Push his claim for a fight against Deontay Wilder.
Also, on the card is the come backing Bryant Jennings (19-2, 10 KOs). The 32-year-old Philadelphian has beaten the likes of Bowie Tupou, Andrey Fedosov, Artur Szpilka and Mike Perez. He lost, in a World title challenge, to Wladimir Klitschko on points before being bashed up by Cuban Luis Ortiz, in seven rounds. He’s been out of the ring for two years. His comeback opponent is Daniel Martz (15-4-1, 12 KOs). Martz is 6’7 and should give Jennings a few rounds of good work. The class of Jennings should prevail once the rust has been shaken off.
Whyte and Jennings have been verbally sparring, they bumped into each other at the Haye vs Bellew weigh-in and things got a little heated. It’s a fight that could happen down the line though Bryant is with Bob Arum, who seems to see him in a fight with Joseph Parker. They appear to be on different paths but both looking to impress on the big stage. Saturday is a chance to shine and I expect both men to get the win.