On Saturday night, former friends and sparring partners Tommy Coyle and Luke Campbell will go to war at the KC stadium in Hull with a shot at the WBC world lightweight title the prize for the victor.
But, despite that eagerly anticipated bout, many fans will have more than half an eye on Brixton heavyweight Dillian Whyte.
Whyte faces Irineu Beato Costa Jr on the undercard, the 34 year old Brazilian bringing with him to the ring a respectable record of 17 wins and only four losses, and fight fans will be looking to see Whyte make a statement ahead of the proposed clash with Anthony Joshua pencilled in for November / December time.
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Costa jr does has 15 knock outs to his name with two of his four defeats coming against Christen Hammer and UK Heavyweight David Price, the latter needing six rounds to dispatch of the Brazilian.
The win for Whyte should be a formality though with promoter Eddie Hearn looking to raise the fighters stock before any fight with Joshua.
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The bout with Joshua is an interesting one, and I think many fight fans will be torn with which corner to place their allegiance – myself included.
In one hand we have Olympic gold medallist Joshua, the model pro, clean cut, always seems to say the right things, always respectful, the ideal role model in many respects.
Then we have Whyte who, in his own words, has ‘come from nothing’. He’s tough talking, not afraid to cross the line to gauge reaction and has a two year drugs ban on his record to boot.
However dig a little deeper and you find a different beast altogether. Whyte’s drug ban came just after he turned pro, with no real management team around him he brought a simple over the counter pre-workout supplement from his local store which, unbeknown to him, contained banned ingredient MHA.
Enzo Macranelli was banned for the same thing yet only received a six month ban. Guilty of naivety then, agreed, but to call him a drugs cheat is absurd.
Whyte’s journey into the pro game is a stark contrast to that of Olympic hero Joshua who has a giant knowledgeable team looking after him and his every interest, making decisions for him.
Whyte has had to do things on is own, the hard way. It is a credit then to the man and his commitment to the cause that he now finds himself on a par with Anthony Joshua given the mass investments into the latter’s career to date.
Us Brits love an underdog and part of me can’t help but root for the likeable Whyte, he has heart and fight fans love that. Look at Derek Chisora, for all of his faults he has so much respect from fellow professionals and experts in the game because he shows so much heart and always brings his A game, he’ll never quit.
Whyte has a similar attitude, he’s got to this stage on hard graft, determination and talent, and, for the most part, he’s done it without a multimillion pound promoter looking after his interests.
He wants to succeed to provide for his family and we can all relate to that. Whyte has seen the other side of the game, fighting in leisure centres in front of small crowds trying to make his name he’s has to embrace the other less glamorous side of boxing and work his way out of it and that makes him dangerous.
Saturday is a chance to really showcase his skills in front of a huge crowd and get people talking about him, Coyle and Campbell are the main draw but rest assured all in attendance will be keeping a watchful eye over ‘the villain’.
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