Dillian Whyte seals win over Jermaine Franklin with Anthony Joshua watching from ringside
Dillian Whyte sealed a hard-fought victory over Jermaine Franklin in a win that could set up an eagerly-anticipated rematch with Anthony Joshua in 2023.
The Brixton heavyweight suffered a knockout defeat against Tyson Fury last time out in April at Wembley Stadium but secured the victory he desperately needed in the capital on Saturday night.
Franklin, undefeated in his 21 professional fights but taking a major step up in quality of opponent, gave the Londoner a stern examination, troubling him with his superb hand speed and absorbing the best shots his opponent had to offer.
Whyte did enough however to secure a majority decision win on the judges’ scorecards, rocking Franklin with a huge shot in the final round that send the American into the ropes.
A bitterly disappointed Franklin felt he was ‘robbed’ on the night having impressed the Wembley Arena crowd.
‘I felt like I got robbed,’ Franklin said post-fight. ‘I felt like I got robbed on the decision, I felt like a did enough.
‘I’m down for a rematch if they’ll give it to me. I proved a lot of people wrong, I prove people wrong every day, that’s what we do.’
But victory puts 34-year-old Whyte back on track after being outclassed by Fury with a rematch against Joshua now a compelling possibility in 2023.
The two shared an intense rivalry in 2015 which culminated in Joshua securing a seventh-round knockout win over his rival.
Both men endured disappointing years in 2022 with Joshua losing to Oleksandr Usyk for a second time, having lost his IBF, WBA and WBO belts to the Ukrainian last year.
But promoter Eddie Hearn is confident of delivering a huge domestic dust-up that will give Whyte the chance to avenge what was his first professional defeat.
Earlier on the undercard, Fabio Wardley was crowned the new British heavyweight champion after a brutal battle with Nathan Gormley.
Gormley was put down three times before his corner threw the towel in midway through the third round.
MORE : David Haye warns Dillian Whyte he must knock out Jermaine Franklin with a shock defeat ‘out of the question’
MORE : Dillian Whyte ‘changed style’ for Jermaine Franklin fight after Tyson Fury’s TKO
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.