Jermaine Franklin remains hungry like a wolf for his once-rumored shot versus a top heavyweight.
More than two months have passed by since the unbeaten American was identified as a leading candidate to next face England’s Dillian Whyte. A recent announcement from Matchroom Boxing revealed a confirmed fight date for White, who will headline an October 30 event at The O2 in London.
To Franklin’s dismay, the accompanying fight poster featured only Whyte and with a wolf in the background in place of a yet-to-be-named opponent.
“Why drag this out for so long to not make it happen,” Franklin stated to BoxingScene.com. “I’m undefeated and ready for the step-up fight and I promise I will knock Betty Whyte out.”
Reports in late June suggested Franklin (20-0, 13KOs) was the frontrunner to land the plum assignment versus Whyte (28-2, 19KOs), who was also in talks with several other heavyweights at the time and since such rumors have surfaced. The British heavyweight contender was also on record in acknowledging the 27-year-old Michigan native as a viable candidate for the fall assignment.
“Jermaine Franklin is in the running," Whyte told Sky Sports in a July 1 interview. "There are a few other guys in the running as well, so we're just waiting to see what is going on."
Franklin is still waiting to see. The unbeaten heavyweight is eager to fight, especially after losing out on a Ring City USA slot versus Stephan Shaw in April after testing positive for Covid-19. What he struggles to understand is why his name was brought up and floated as if he would land the career-best opportunity, only to not yet receive the phone call
“I want the fight. I signed the bout agreement on my end,” Franklin insists. “They (Whyte people and reps) brought my name up first. I knew about it like most people on social media. I was like, ‘Yes let’s do this.’
“I want to show the world I’m the best.”
Among the other potential candidates named in recent days include Chris Arreola.
Whyte last fought in March, scoring a fourth-round stoppage of Alexander Povetkin in Gibraltar. The win avenged a knockout defeat to the Russian heavyweight last August, while restoring his place among the top heavyweight contenders in the world.
Franklin has not fought since October 2019, when he scored a ten-round, unanimous decision over Pavel Sour in Flint, Michigan.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox