Brixton heavyweight Dillian Whyte fights Joseph Parker at Greenwich’s 02 Arena on Saturday night – with the intention of becoming the first man to knock down the former WBO world heavyweight champion.
Both men have lost to Anthony Joshua – the current poster boy in the top weight class.
And victory for either will open the door for another shot at a world champion, with WBC king Deontay Wilder a potential target for the victor.
Below are quotes from the two fighters, and promoter Eddie Hearn.
Eddie Hearn: “Dillian Whyte’s career is on a ferocious upward curve right now, and the ‘Body Snatcher’ has grasped the chance to fight former world champion Joseph Parker with both hands.
“Dillian could easily have sat back and waited for his shot at WBC king Deontay Wilder, but the Brixton man is not one to wait patiently in line. Behind Wilder and Anthony Joshua, Dillian is the biggest name in the division and he’s top of the ‘who needs him’ club at heavyweight as a dangerous customer that can beat anyone on his day.
“Joseph is a softly spoken and likeable man – but make no mistake that in the ring, he’s all business and has bad intentions for Dillian – this is a real 50-50 contest and I’ve no doubt that the winner will be in world title action very soon.”
Dillian Whyte: “Joseph is a fighting man, that’s his heritage, but he’s short of options. He could have gone to USA to fight Bryant Jennings for a small purse and no attention or come to the UK in front of a sell-out crowd and get better pay and a more prestigious fight.
“He’s motivated – he knows beating me gets him close to another shot at AJ, so that’s what makes him dangerous: “if I do Dillian, I’m back in the big time again” – but he’s got to get past me first.
“For me, it’s progressing my career. You have to have consistency and be active, keep fighting, go through training camps. It doesn’t matter how small the progress is, as long as you keep progressing then you will improve and grow. I’m getting better, stronger, smarter… I’m like a fine wine in the cellar, ageing, maturing and tasting sweeter.
Joseph Parker: “We had options on the table and Dillian had a fight with Pulev lined up. Credit to David Higgins and Eddie Hearn, they did a tremendous job in locking the fight in really fast. When you have two fighters that want to fight each other that makes it easier for the business men.
“David is a great promoter and he looks after me, he’s done a tremendous job getting me yet another great fight. It was important to get back in the ring in another big fight straight away. Dillian is on the cusp of fighting for a w
orld title and beating him would put me right back at that top table.
“I haven’t seen the best of me yet, there’s a lot more to come. It’s a case of getting more experience, learning in the gym and working on my craft, making improvements gradually.
“There won’t be any excuses from me. I’m here to do damage and I’m here to punch with bad intentions. I’m going to break him down and he’s going to take a lot of punches. He’s been talking a lot of smack in the build up and I believe that is a sign of self doubt. I hope he’s ready to take a lot of punches because I’m going to give it to him real bad. He thinks I can’t go to war, lets wait and see.”
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