Dillian Whyte is a British professional boxer, and former kickboxer and mixed martial artist. He held the WBC interim heavyweight title from 2019 until August 2020. At regional level, he has held multiple heavyweight titles, including the British title from 2016 to 2017. As of August 2020, he is ranked as the world’s fifth best active heavyweight by The Ring magazine and eighth by BoxRec and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.
Whyte was born in Port Antonio, Portland, Jamaica, on 11 April 1988. In the 1990s, Whyte moved with his family to the United Kingdom at 12 years of age. His paternal grandfather was an Irishman named Patrick Whyte, who emigrated to Jamaica from Dublin, Ireland. Of his early life Whyte has spoken of performance in academia at school in England, while adding: I had no schooling at all when I lived in Jamaica. As Whyte mentioned on iFL TV numerous times, it was hard times growing up in Jamaica, where he was dodging bullets and around situations no child at such an age should.
Whyte made his professional debut on 13 May 2011. He fought Tayar Mehmed and won via points decision in the fourth round, obtaining the decision of 40–36. On 16 September 2011, Whyte made his second professional appearance against his Lithuanian heavyweight journeyman opponent Remigijus Ziausys. Whyte ultimately won by PTS in the fourth round, obtaining the decision of 40–37.
For his fifth professional bout, Whyte defeated Bulgarian Kristian Kirilov by TKO in the first round at The Troxy, Limehouse on 2 March 2012, which was followed by an additional TKO in his sixth bout in the first round on 19 May 2012 against Georgian Zurab Noniashvili at the Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. Whyte went on to fight Hungarian giant Gabor Farkas at the York Hall in London on 7 July 2012, winning by second-round KO; it marked the first KO victory in Whyte’s professional career.
Whyte vs. Joshua: On 14 September 2015, it was announced that Whyte would fight old rival Anthony Joshua for the vacant British heavyweight title on 12 December at The O2 Arena in London on Sky Sports Box Office. Joshua was able to use his power to hurt Whyte in the first round. He appeared hurt again in the second round but was able to catch Joshua with a counterpunch and follow it up, leaving Joshua visibly shaken. Whyte also landed several body shots towards the end of the round. This continued somewhat in the third round with Joshua still looking tired and stiff legged.
Whyte vs. Chisora: Terms were finally agreed for a fight between Whyte and bitter London rival Dereck Chisora to fight in a WBC title eliminator. Whyte and Chisora had been feuding over the year through social media. The fight took place on Sky Box Office in the UK on the undercard off Anthony Joshua vs. Éric Molina for the IBF heavyweight title. The fight was slated to be Whyte’s first defence of the British heavyweight title he won against Lewison. However, at the final press conference on 7 December, following Whyte’s comment that he’d attack Chisora anytime he sees him after the fight.
Whyte vs. Helenius: Eddie Hearn announced that Whyte would fight on the Anthony Joshua vs. Carlos Takam card on 28 October at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Robert Helenius and Lucas Browne were two names mentioned. On 14 September, seven weeks before the fight, Ricky Hatton stated Browne wouldn’t take up the fight due to being short notice.