British heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte won a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision over Robert Helenius at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on Saturday and once again highlighted his desire to take on WBC heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder.
Whyte, who is rated No. 7 by THE RING at heavyweight, started slow but was able to walk Helenius down and out-hustle the former two-time European champion.
“I thought Helenius started well,” said promoter Eddie Hearn at the post-fight press conference. “He won maybe the first two rounds, then he started to get hurt a little bit, and then I think he decided he didn’t want to be in the fight.
“It’s very hard to look good against someone who tries to survive and obviously Dillian got a little frustrated and smothered his work a little. When someone is running and they don’t want to engage, it’s very difficult to look good and get him out of there.”
Although the performance wasn’t as dramatic as Whyte hoped for, he was happy to secure the win and move forward.
“I wanted that knockout,” said Whyte. “As they say, ‘An ugly victory is better than a pretty loss.’ With a victory, you can build on it. A loss sets you back.
“I had to do something slightly different today. I didn’t work the body as much as normal because he was looking to survive. It was good. I was fit and held the tempo all the way through the 12 rounds. I’m happy.”
Whyte (22-1, 16 knockouts) is well positioned with all four sanctioning bodies. He’s ranked No. 3 by the WBC, No. 9 by the WBA and No. 6 by the IBF and the WBO.
However, Hearn’s intention is for Whyte to face Wilder, providing the American beats Bermane Stiverne in their rematch next Saturday.
“Whyte is boxing February 3 at the O2 (Arena in London) whatever happens,” said the Matchroom boss. “Ultimately we want the biggest fights out there and outside of (Anthony Joshua) that’s Deontay Wilder. He’s been offered $3 million plus U.S. TV, so perhaps $4 million. He might watch that fight tonight and think, OK. Hopefully he does.
“I’m trying to make the Joshua-Wilder fight as big as possible. (But) I believe Dillian Whyte can beat Wilder. I’m saying to Wilder, ‘If you believe you can beat Dillian Whyte and you want to fight AJ, your stock will rise much higher in a fight with Dillian Whyte’.
“Obviously, it’s a voluntary defense and we’re happy to give Wilder a rematch. There’s no downside for Deontay Wilder.”
Whyte’s response was simple and to the point.
“I’m in boxing to fight the best and the Deontay Wilder fight makes sense at the minute,” he said.
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing