Dillian Whyte’s dynamic boxing career is a story of perseverance and excellence. Born in Port Antonio, Jamaica, Whyte moved with his family to the United Kingdom at the age of twelve. He says that he had “no schooling at all” while living in Jamaica and didn’t do well academically overall. He credits boxing with changing his life.
His fighting career began in kickboxing and MMA before turning to boxing at age 20. In his first amateur bout, he defeated Anthony Joshua, a future Olympic gold medalist. After winning five of his first six fights, his trainer Chris Okoh wanted him to remain an amateur. Due to his kickboxing background, the ABA disagreed, which led to Whyte turning pro in 2011. Boxing promoter Frank Maloney jumped at the chance to sign him after friends had seen some of his impressive sparring sessions.
Whyte’s professional career got off to a flying start. He won his first two fights by decision over Tayer Mehmed and Remigihus Ziausys within four months. His first TKO came three months later over Croatian Toni Visic, with the referee stopping the fight in the third round. Two more TKO victories came in 2012. In July of that year, Dillian Whyte fought Gabor Farkas. He knocked the six foot six inch Hungarian out in the second round for his first KO. Later on that year, after two more decisive victories, his young career took a sudden detour.
Before his last fight of 2012, against Sandor Balogue, Dillian Whyte took a drug test that later came back positive for Methylhexaneamin, a banned stimulant. This led to his victory over Baloque being stripped and a two year ban from competition. White had taken the supplement “Jack3D” and insisted that he had no idea that Methylhexaneamin was in it. He lost his appeal when an independent National Anti-Doping panel felt he didn’t do enough to make sure the supplement was clean, including consulting a medical professional before taking it.
After two years on the shelf, White returned in 2014. He warmed up with easy victories over Ante Verunica and Tomas Mrazek. After several more victories that year and the next, including a knockout of previously undefeated Georgian Beka Lobjanidze, Dillian Whyte got his first title shot. His fight against American Brian Minto for the WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title was a part of the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s title fight vs Gary Cornish. Whyte won by knockout in the third round, clinching his first title, but his clash with his old rival, Joshua was just beginning.
Since his first amateur victory over Joshua six years earlier, the two had trained together in heavyweight superstar Wladimir Klitschko’s camps in Austria. After words were exchanged in the press, Whyte confronted Joshua and insisted on a long awaited rematch with the vacant British heavyweight title on the line. In September of 2015, Dillian got his shot. But Joshua proved to be more than a match for him this time around. After six hard fought rounds, Joshua landed an uppercut that knocked him out.
The setback of the loss to Joshua and subsequent shoulder surgery did not stop Dillian Whyte on his quest for the British heavyweight title. In 2016 he fought Ian Lewison for the once again vacated belt. Though he had mocked Lewison’s weight at the press conference, leading to a near brawl between the two, the match turned out to be well contested. Whyte was victorious when, after ten rounds, the fight was stopped due to a nose problem with Lewison. He had finally achieved the coveted British Heavyweight Championship.
Having gone from Port Antonio to major title bouts at the O2 arena, Dillian White has never lost his genuine love for the sweet science of boxing. “I treat all bouts and shows with the same commitment and look forward to every fight,” he says. “If it’s a small hall or an arena show it makes no difference to me.” It’s that true love for the sport that has gotten him through setbacks in a career that continues to climb.