David Higgins, promoter for the former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker, has identified what he believes to be a weakness in the Kiwi’s next opponent, Dillian Whyte.
Whyte is known to have a fiery temper, and it is this that Higgins suggests will be his undoing when the two square-up on the July 28 in what will be a battle between two Anthony Joshua victims.
Parker took Joshua the full 12 rounds for the first time in his career earlier this year, while Whyte lost to his British rival via a brutal, but hard-fought, 7th round knock-out in 2015.
It was in that fight that Whyte’s questionable temperament notably got the better of him.
Reacting to what he perceived to be a late blow thrown by Joshua at the end of the first round, Whyte aimed windmill style punches over the head of the referee at his foe, seemingly losing all control of his emotions in the process.
It took the intervention of several members of his entourage to restrain Whyte, and the fight was allowed to continue once calm was finally restored.
Perhaps with that incident in mind, Higgins told Sky Sports: “Whyte is a guy that struggles to control his emotions and could fly into a rage quite easily. That isn’t going to help him in the ring, being hot-headed and having a tendency to take undue risks.
“Whyte doesn’t hold his temper as well as Parker.”
While Higgins’ assessment is not unfair, it is worth remembering that Whyte had Joshua badly hurt and gassed following the shenanigans at the end of the first.
Whyte caught Joshua with an accurate and well-timed left hook counter as the second round wound down, and arguably went into the middle rounds of the fight the stronger of the two.
Joshua finally regained his composure and finished the fight in the seventh, knocking Whyte out with a highlight-reel uppercut.
Some fighters are able to channel their frustration and emotion into focus; perhaps Dillian Whyte is one such man.
For his part, Parker is known to be a calm and collected operator, exemplified when he became the first man to take Joshua to the final bell as a professional.
This was despite the constant interference of referee Giuseppe Quartarone, who appeared decidedly reluctant to allow either fighter to engage on the inside, a tactic which would have suited the Kiwi.
Parker refused to blame the referee for his loss, despite being put at a disadvantage as a result of his interference.
Styles make fights, and the contrast in character and the differing styles between Whyte and Parker could lend itself to an interesting battle.
Higgins added: “The beauty of this is that Whyte is a risk taker. He will look for the knockout and will take risks to get it, which means there will be openings for Joseph to put him down.
“If they’re trading, Joseph has a better chin and faster hands.”
Both men will be eager to put their names into the Anthony Joshua hat, and a win for either will increase their chances of securing a sought-after re-match with the unified heavyweight king.