In pictures: Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte
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Tyson Fury believes Jermaine Franklin is capable of giving Dillian Whyte a difficult night’s work. Fury has had the American down with him in camp at Morecambe Bay as he prepares for his own fight on December 3 against Derek Chisora.
According to The Gypsy King, Franklin is ‘lazy’ but ‘very talented’ when he opens up. The 29-year-old is currently 21-0 as a professional boxer and is set to do battle with Whyte this weekend in his toughest test to date.
Franklin has decent wins over experienced gatekeepers Rydell Booker and Jerry Forrest but is yet to face anyone close to The Body Snatcher’s level. As a result, he comes in as a sizeable underdog but Fury believes Franklin shouldn’t be overlooked.
“Jermaine’s a good fighter, but he’s like a lot of other American heavyweights in that he’s lazy,” he told Sporting News. “He works hard, he trains hard, he’s being pushed by his trainer and his nutritionist — they’re all pushing him to the brink. But if you unleash me in a gym, you don’t need to push me to work hard because I’m going to give you 250 percent every single time.
“When Franklin opens up, he’s a very talented lad. He puts his punches in bunches, very quick, and he’s a strong man — about 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds. As soon as he came into camp with me, he was already doing eight rounds [sparring]. It’s just to beat someone like Dillian Whyte, it’s got to be the be-all and end-all of your life. It’s got to be your number one concern. It’s not about money and all the rest of it, it’s about ‘do or die.’ You shouldn’t need to be encouraged.”
He added: “I don’t think it’s a mismatch, it’s just that Dillian Whyte is a good fighter. He’s a top-five, top-six-rated heavyweight, even though he has been in a lot of tough fights. Franklin is definitely the fresher fighter, so if he gets busy with the punches, puts a good work rate in, and moves his head, then I think it could be a difficult night for Dillian.”
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If Franklin manages to overcome the odds and beat Whyte, then he has been promised a shot at Anthony Joshua by promoter Eddie Hearn. The Matchroom Boxing chief is hoping to make the AJ rematch in March, but Franklin will be doing everything he can to spoil those plans.
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