Dillian Whyte is puzzled by the claim he was “scared” to fight Otto Wallin, pointing out his record proves he has not ducked a challenge over the course of his professional career.
The legitimacy of a shoulder injury sustained in training camp by Whyte has been called into question by Wallin following the cancellation of a heavyweight fight that was supposed to occur at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday.
Muddying the waters is Whyte’s status as the WBC’s interim champion and a probable fight against full titleholder Tyson Fury happening in 2022, but the Londoner insisted he was devastated at the Wallin bout being called off.
Whyte was adamant that a CV including bouts against Anthony Joshua, Joseph Parker, Oscar Rivas and Derek Chisora show he is not a fighter to shirk taking on tough opposition.
He said: “People need to just put a bit of respect on my name and understand that I’ve fought Joshua, I’ve fought Rivas, I’ve been trying to fight Tyson Fury a couple of times, why would I be scared to fight Otto Wallin?
“People say ‘you pulled out because of Tyson Fury’, if that was the case I’d have pulled out three or four weeks ago. My training camp has cost me a lot of money so I’d have just pulled out early and saved all of this money.
“I’ve fought many times with injuries; I’ve fought with an injured shoulder before, a broken hand, broken ribs, but I’m at a stage in my career now where I have to use a bit more brain instead of just brawn.
“I’m disappointed, heartbroken, but it is what it is. I really wanted to smash Otto Wallin up, I think I could have knocked him out in the first six or seven rounds.”
This weekend’s bill is still going ahead, topped by Chantelle Cameron’s unification fight against Mary McGee, and ahead of the main press conference, Whyte came out alongside promoter Eddie Hearn to explain his actions.
Whyte is now looking at fully recovering and being ready for a title shot early next year – although he is wary of Fury, who reclaimed his WBC crown earlier this month in a punishing bout against Deontay Wilder.
Whyte added: “The Tyson Fury fight is a fight I wanted, it’s a fight I tried to get before, didn’t happen, and fortunately for me now it seems like it’s going to go ahead.
“But you can never bank on anything to do with Tyson Fury because he might decide ‘I’ve had enough, I don’t want to fight anymore’.
“He might decide he needs a longer rest, he’s had three hard fights with Deontay Wilder, we don’t know how much they’ve taken out of him, we’ll just have to wait and see.”