Illian Whyte worked towards a majority decision victory over Jermaine Franklin upon his return to the boxing ring.
Almost eight months to the day the ‘Body Snatcher’ lost to Tyson Fury, Whyte was desperate for a win, with a second meeting with Anthony Joshua widely scheduled for 2023.
However, to be able to command such a big fight, the 34-year-old had to convince against the American.
For most of the early laps, it was Franklin who impressed. The 29-year-old completed the span for the first time in his career and it wasn’t until the latter stages that Whyte was able to use his experience and greater physique.
Franklin caused problems for a man who fought for the WBC heavyweight championship less than a year ago, pinning Whyte to the ropes in sixth and fighting fire with fire as the bigger man looked to bring it down. At times it seemed like one fight too many as Whyte failed to step up a gear as many would have expected.
Until 10e round, it looked like Whyte might need a knockout, although he eventually did enough to secure a well-deserved win (116-112 after one of the judges scored a 115-115 draw).