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Whyte: “Deontay Wilder is a Fraud…A Cowardly Con Man”

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Dillian Whyte has never been shy about speaking his mind.

The former heavyweight title challenger and interim world champ is set to face undefeated, but unheralded American Jermaine Franklin this Saturday at Wembley Arena in the UK, but it’s clear that he has a focus on bigger things down the road.

The Jamaica-born Brit has had a thing or two to say about former WBC titlist Deontay Wilder. There’s still clearly animosity from Whyte’s side for his inability to get a title shot against reigning champ Wilder despite being number one contender for a long period of time.

“This guy is an actor,” Whyte recently told Sportsmail. “Everything he does is an act. Even fake crying at [the press conference after he knocked out Robert Helanius]. I was just like, ‘you just make me sick, you piece of sh*t.’ I heard that Wilder still doesn’t want to fight me. He is the biggest fraud in all of sport – never mind boxing. Who doesn’t fight his No. 1 contender for four years and then claims he’s the greatest of all time? He hasn’t actually beaten anyone of note yet. He is just a cowardly con man.”

In terms of in-ring battles, though, Wilder seems of no concern to Whyte. The 35-year-old, who was stopped in six rounds by Tyson Fury in an April world title challenge, currently seems focused on getting a second crack at former 3-belt champ Anthony Joshua. Joshua stopped a still-green Whyte back in 2015 in a tougher-than-expected tussle for the future star.

“I would fight Joshua tomorrow; I’d fight him for less money,” Whyte recently told DAZN.

Despite his deepest wishes to avenge that loss (and get the large payday associated with a big-ticket Joshua fight in the UK), he’s not all that optimistic about the chances of that happening. Even with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn publicly stating his desire to match Whyte against his guy if Whyte wins Saturday’s contest, the veteran outsider is taking it all with a grain of salt.

“No one has said that to me,” Whyte told Boxing Social. “It’s been said in the media – no one’s said it to me. But I don’t really care about that. It’s the heavyweight division and you can’t bank on [what’s said], you have to take what is there, man. A win doesn’t guarantee me nothing, it’s the heavyweight division.”

Although April’s loss to Fury was decisive and conclusive, Whyte remains a top 10 presence in the heavyweight division and is just one big win away from getting back into the title mix (or into a lucrative non-title fight with someone like Joshua or Wilder). It also certainly doesn’t hurt his case that he has a gift for gab and can generate lots of eye-catching headlines to help sell his main stage worthiness.

But the reality is that he IS 1-2 in his last three fights coming into Saturday’s contest and, for many contenders coming up the ranks, he represents too much risk for too little reward. Whyte will have to keep winning– and in impressive fashion– if he hopes to get another crack at a world title or a legacy-building showcase fight. He’ll also need a bit of good fortune and a cultivation of the kind of connections he hasn’t had for much of his career. In boxing, as the tough Brixton battler has come to learn the hard way, having the right connections is often just as important as having the right skill set and degree of talent.

Saturday’s bout with Franklin is the first step in Dillian Whyte’s road to glory and redemption. Unfortunately for him, however, time is running out quick and that road gets more and more narrow each day.

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Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: [email protected]