My longtime friend Harold Knight and I reconnected on Facebook after a few years. Harold “The Shadow” Knight was one of the first pro fighters I ever got to see live, in my early years in the late 80s covering boxing for my college newspaper I saw Knight perform in Atlantic City. Years later in the 90s Harold was part of the Lennox Lewis team from the very beginning to the end.
After Lennox retired, Harold worked with a few fighters and then a few months ago was contacted by heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte…
The first thing I said to Harold was “Dillian Whyte will beat Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz easily.”
“I agree my friend,” was the quick response from Knight.
I said, “The problem is they are running away (from Whyte).” As Al Haymon forbids any of his marquee heavyweights to sign a contract to fight Whyte.
Again, Knight agreed with a thumbs up emoticon.
Next I mentioned a sparring tale at a Wladimir Klitschko training camp I had heard Whyte talking ahout a few years ago: “Whyte saw Wilder get koed in sparring by Wladimir. Wladimir told me Wilder ‘can’t take a punch at all.'”
Harold confirmed the story: “D Whyte told me the same thing.”
I think asked Harold how exactly did he connect with Whyte, after the KO loss to Alexander Povetkin in late 2020. Also what makes him special, and what happened with the famous sparring with Tyson Fury?
“Some people I know that know his people and they were looking for someone with world class experience and I’m glad they called my number. Whyte is a beast… one of the most intense and hardworking fighters that I’ve trained before. He is special because he is a throwback fighter who fights everybody regardless. He said he kicked Fury’s ass!!”
I never met Whyte or even interviewed him but he has become one of my favorite fighters today. I love Dillian Whyte and his story of hardship and perseverance and absolute fearless matchmaking attitude – he took a fight with Povetkin when he had a mandatory title shot vs. Fury in his pocket, lost by KO and then won the rematch by KO earlier this year. I am more impressed by Dillian Whyte than many champions such as … Riddick Bowe , Michael Moorer, Tommy Morrison, Oliver McCall, Corrie Sanders – and that is no disrespect to all those distinguished champions, it’s more a huge admiration for Whyte. The WBC and Haymon cheated Whyte out of of being the first to knock out Wilder and all the money and leverage that would have credited his status, but Whyte just keeps going and smiling through the injustices.
“Agreed,” said Harold Knight.
As he searches for his next opponent to fight, Whyte has again recently challenged Wilder and Ruiz but again both Wilder and Ruiz ignored those challenges and have remained silent, looking for safer and easier assignments in house at the PBC carnival.
The way boxing has shifted in the last two decades, where most of the elite champs and top names prefer the lower risk option instead of taking any high risk route, it’s hard to think of a more fearless, daring, self-assured boxer than Dillian Whyte.