Dillian Whyte returns to the ring this Saturday evening at the OVO Arena in Wembley, London, as he faces Jermaine Franklin over a scheduled 12 rounds at heavyweight, looking to get back into world title contention.
DAZN televise Whyte vs Franklin worldwide.
Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) was last seen in April, where he was dispatched in a long overdue shot at the WBC title, stopped by Tyson Fury in the sixth round.
’The Body Snatcher’ has some solid names on his record, including wins against Joseph Parker (UD12) and Oscar Rivas (UD12) as well as a pair of thrilling wins against Derek Chisora, but has slipped at crucial times, including a shock knockout defeat to Alexander Povetkin in August 2020.
The 35-year-old avenged that defeat in Gibraltar before fighting Fury, but he faces a long road back to a second world title shot, with several ahead of him in the queue.
Michigan-based Franklin (21-0, 14 KOs) seems a safe option to return with, despite the unbeaten record.
The 29-year-old has never been past ten rounds, and has fought in limited company.
He has only been out once since 2019, and after defeating Pavel Sour in October 2019 by decision, he returned in May, halting Rodney Moore in the fifth round of a scheduled eight.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has floated the possibility of the winner facing Anthony Joshua next.
Prediction: Whyte will need a statement win to get back amongst the belt holders in the division, and he should be able to remove Franklin from battle before halfway here.
Wardley-Gorman clash for British title
A decent looking scrap takes place in the same division, and the vacant British title is the prize for either Fabio Wardley or Nathan Gorman.
Wardley (14-0, 13 KOs) has seen off all comers to date, and has only been the distance once, four rounds on debut.
The Suffolk native was last out in July, stopping Chris Healey in two.
Gorman (19-1, 13 KOs) has had to rebuild after a knockout loss to Daniel Dubois in July 2019, and has compiled three straight wins, the last a first round victory against Tomas Salek in June.
Prediction: This could well be a shootout, with both possessing early power. I side with Gorman to outlast Wardley, providing the contest makes it over the middle rounds.
Richards battles Bolotniks
Craig Richards has a decent test on his hands, as he defends his WBA International light heavyweight title against Ricards Bolotniks (19-6-1, 8 KOs).
Richards (17-3-1, 10 KOs) impressed in defeat to Dmitry Bivol last May, and also ran Joshua Buatsi close, going down on the cards earlier this year.
Bolotniks (19-6-1, 8 KOs) won the MTK Golden Contract tournament, but also lost to Buatsi in August last year.
The Latvian returned with an eight round points win over Hrvoje Sep in April.
Prediction: Richards is the pick on points.
Sandy Ryan (4-1, 2 KOs) is matched hard again, but she should come through, and can retain her WBC International super lightweight title on the cards in her ten rounder against former world champion, Anahi Ester Sanchez (21-5, 13 KOs), who has lost to the likes of Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron.
Cheavon Clarke (3-0, 3 KOs) also gets a decent test, but should take a stoppage win against Jose Gregorio Ulrich (17-5, 6 KOs), who has been stopped late by the likes of Mike Perez, and Mateusz Masternak. It’s scheduled for eight at cruiserweight.
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Pat McCormack (2-0, 2 KOs) should take a points win against Christian Nicolas Andino (16-5-2, 2 KOs) in their welterweight six rounder, while Mark Dickinson (3-0, 1 KO) can also stay unbeaten with a points win over six at middleweight against Gideon Onyenani (4-2).
George Liddard makes his debut, and the middleweight can halt Nikola Matic (18-50, 12 KOs) inside their four round scheduled distance.
Heavyweight prospect, Thomas Carty (3-0, 2 KOs) is also set to feature against an opponent to be confirmed.