Boxing Preview – Dillian Whyte v Joseph Parker

Brixton’s Dillian Whyte (23-1) and Kiwi Joseph Parker (24-1) meet for the vacant WBO International heavyweight title as well as Whyte’s WBC Silver strap at the O2 on July 28, live on Sky Sports PPV.

Both fighters are well-matched with just a single, shared defeat each on their respectable records but possess completely different styles – Parker is fast and mobile, Whyte is powerful and maturing.

Whyte wears his heart on his sleeve and likes to tread forwards to throw big bombs; Parker has quick feet, fast hands and likes to be mobile.

The clash of styles makes the fight very intriguing and also incredibly difficult to call. Could Parker cruise to a points win or will Whyte catch him and break him down?


The South Londoner is on home soil but doesn’t really get the home advantage as the New Zealander prepares for his third fight in the UK.

The 26-year-old from South Auckland triumphed over Hughie Fury on points in his home city of Manchester in September last year in a second successful defence of his WBO world title that he won against Andy Ruiz Jr (29-0) in December 2016. It was a close fight for Parker in the challenger’s back yard but he still did enough to get the nod from the ringside officials.

His next visit six months later wasn’t as fruitful as he slipped to his first ever loss to AJ and comes into this fight off the back of that defeat.

The Brixton ‘Body Snatcher’ is a South Londoner through and through, despite growing up in Jamaica. He has fought the majority of his bouts in the South East and has only appeared outside of the UK once when he blasted through American Malcolm Tann (24-5) last August in Lincoln, Nebraska.

He has still clocked up wins all over the country in Liverpool and Manchester, as well as Belfast and Glasgow, but will feel right at home in front of his vocal fans in his fifth fight at the O2 and third time headlining.


These two are so evenly-matched with Whyte’s 17 stoppages from 23 wins and Parker’s 18 KO’s from 24 victories, which results in a 74% and 75% KO ratio, respectively.

However, Parker only has one KO in his last five fights whereas Whyte has three on his ledger. The last KO for Whyte was that devastating ‘lights out’ left hook that decked Lucas Browne (25-0) last March, and it’s also worth noting that the punches landed in his war with Chisora in 2016 would have taken many other heavyweights out.


Both boxers’ only career defeats come from the same opponent in shared rival Anthony Joshua.

Parker lost by a very wide margin on points and Whyte was knocked out in round-seven by his bitter rival.

Parker opted to keep his distance and pop out the jab often, following up with the right hand whenever possible, but very little ever landed. He did well to keep off the ropes, although assisted by some very poor refereeing and reduced output from AJ.

Whyte’s game plan was very different, he stood in the centre of the ring and traded with the man he beat in his first ever amateur fight many years before. That didn’t end well for him as his former victim evened the score with a seventh-round stoppage. Despite the defeat, Whyte is still the only man, other than Klitschko, to really hurt AJ when he rocked him with a left hook in the second-round that nearly swept him off his feet.

Since that loss, Whyte has improved immeasurably in many aspects of his game and has since reeled off seven successive wins against top-level competition to back that development up.

Whilst we are on the subject of their one and only conqueror, AJ admitted to being hurt by Dillian in the second-round of their fight and has backed him to win by knockout.


Trainer Mark Tibbs is a master at what he does and his work with Whyte has been exemplary. I have no doubt he has worked wonders again with his heavyweight charge, who has improved vastly under his tutelage.

Although his last opponent, Browne, was a disappointment, he still displayed a lot of skill with his excellent, sharp jab that dictated the fight; his footwork was better than previous bouts and he put his punches together well to kill the fight off when he had the opportunity to.

Parker has speed on his side and some rate him as the fastest heavyweight in the world. His jab could win this fight for him if he can pop it out, double it up, and follow it with the right hand, which we have all seen him do so often with great technique and effect. He will need to stay clear from Whyte, not get caught on the ropes or cornered, and fight from range. It’s hard to do all of that for a full 36-minutes, however.

Whyte will need to fight close-range and cut off the ring when Parker goes on his toes. His effective body-punching could help to slow the roving rival down and his power and combination punching will be the key to winning this clash, providing he can tie his opponent up.

Both fighters will want this win equally as much, as a world title fight could await the winner next, but I rate Whyte’s desire, passion and power above Parker’s and I believe the momentum of his career suggests he continues to go from strength to strength to win this next fight.

I think he will back up his claim of being the ‘King of South London’ and triumph in front of his faithful subjects in the country’s capital, either on points or via stoppage well past the midway point.

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