By Allan Cerf
Particulars: Saturday, July 28, 1 PM Eastern, O2 Arena, London, Eng.
Dillian “Body Snatcher” Whyte vs. Joseph Parker (Showtime).
Background: A battle of once-defeated fighters, bridesmaids who both lost to “Wembley-Only” Anthony Joshua. For me, Whyte is by far the more entertaining fighter. Parker had moments vs. King A.J., but simply refused to push the motor into the red.
No, Parker was content to go the distance and claim a moral victory; to talk about ‘learning,” and “forging ahead,” and in his heart he’s a winner.
Did I miss any of his clichés?
Whyte, on the other hand, landed some hard shots - one of which hurt Joshua. However, to hurt Joshua, Whyte went cautious and Joshua’s return fire eventually mopped him up. Maybe to have moments against the champ was all Whyte could do. However, it’s prize fighting and you can’t win a prize without trying to win it – come what may. That’s the difference between Saturday’s combatants- Whyte fought to win, Parker to go 12. You tell me, fans, which boxer’s performance did you most admire?
Fighter’s Scorecards: (Speed, Power, Defense, Reach, Age, Stamina, Experience)
Dillian Whyte: B B+ C+ B-B- B B (Average of all) B- (2.9)
Joseph Parker: B B- B C+ B+ B B (Average of all) B- (2.9)
Reality Check: Parker has better conventional technique and Whyte far better opposition. Both have surprisingly, lower KO ratios (71.5% between them) than you might expect. Their reported reaches are not impressive for men this tall-particularly in an era of behemoth heavyweights. This lack of stellar reach was immediately capitalized on by Joshua. I see Whyte as the puncher and Parker the boxer. Doesn’t mean Parker will succeed in that role…merely that’s the stance I believe he’ll take.
Whyte throws a lot of punches for a heavy; far more than Parker. Whyte is far ahead in most CompuBox categories. Jabs? Joseph Parker is the worst among the top heavies. However, he takes or “ships,” as the Brits say, just under half the punches that Whyte takes. So Parker has the better defense? I’m not sure that’s so as he throws far few punches.
Whyte, 30, is probably in the last couple of years of his prime, while Parker at 26, in theory has more upside. I believe Whyte hits meaningfully harder. He’s desperate to fight Joshua again. Parker seems to glide around the ring better than the slightly musclebound Dillian. Parker’s jabbing is mostly horrendous. Every time he reaches in with the stick, I hear Ray Leonard curse! Conversely, while effective, Whyte’s cross off the hook is telegraphed. Parker could find some success with counter punches.
Fight and Prediction: This appears to be an evenly matched affair but give me Whyte on aggression, slightly more power – and far more punches. Parker’s corner are cringe-worthy yes men who never say, “Are you here to compete or win?” vs. Joshua. I see Whyte a clear UD victor but in boxing that doesn’t mean he gets his hand raised. But he is the hometown fighter.