Ben Whittaker: Olympic hero has his eye on Britain's top light-heavyweights as Tyson Fury's mentor shapes his fighting approach. - 8x - English

Ben Whittaker: Olympic hero has his eye on Britain’s top light-heavyweights as Tyson Fury’s mentor shapes his fighting approach.

Ben Whittaker explains how his fighting style has evolved, how his new trainer SugarHill Steward will shape him similarly to way he did with Tyson Fury, and why he will be a problem for any light-heavyweight in Britain. “My mom wanted me to be a ballet dancer, but boxing beckoned for me,” he says.

Ben Whittaker was always going to argue against his mother’s wishes for him to become a ballet dancer.

Growing up, he was coerced into taking dance classes. He said to Sky Sports, “Ballroom, ballet, hip hop, samba, everything you can think of.” “It got to the point where I wasn’t really feeling these tights for ballet.

“My mother was the one who got me going. She wasn’t really interested in a fight.”

Whittaker never considered himself as a ballet dancer; instead, he saw himself as a boxer. “I won’t lie; while I have real twinkle toes compared to some people, I look stunning in the ring. However, when I was in that ballet room, I had two sandbags in each of my feet. As I was leaving the room, “He chuckled.

“I doubt I would have been accepted into any colleges or anything like that,”

He obviously benefitted from his decision. He twice won national senior crowns in amateur boxing. He had a stellar international career, taking home bronze at the World Championships, silver at the European Games, and, most notably, silver at the 2016 Olympics.

“It benefited me. I have twinkling toes because of this. I have fluid footwork. The fact that [Vasiliy Lomachenko] danced proves that it does work “explained Whittaker. “I accidentally got into boxing, and it worked. I felt a calling to box.”

His boxing approach is characterised by movement. He is sneaky, difficult to hit, and precise with his counterpunches. However, as a recent professional who will compete for the first time on July 30, he intends to develop that style.

“In professional boxing, you have to hit them hard and knock them out. It’s a brutal business; you have to amuse the audience, “explained Whittaker.

“As soon as you lose, that’s it. Therefore, I’ll always maintain my style and who I am, but if there is any excitement I can bring or any ruck I can get into, I’ll try to do it. Additionally, I enjoy it.”

He has teamed up with new trainer SugarHill Steward in order to achieve this.

“I’m aware that there are things I need to learn and add, and he can add those things. And he has been around individuals like Adonis Stevenson, the Furys, and even in the past at his former gym [the renowned Kronk], Tommy Hearns “explained Whittaker.

Whittaker wants to aspire to the famous Hearns, who was explosive with his punches despite being tall and lean for his weight.

“Tommy Hearns has been on a lot of our televisions. He has a stunning jab. Even though he used to stand there and fight a lot, in his earlier bouts, he boxed incredibly well, skipped around the ring, threw stunning jabs, and moved quickly. He therefore desires that I embody that aspect of Tommy Hearns “explained Whittaker.

“The part of Tommy Hearns where sometimes he goes ‘alright’, stands there, hurts them, that’s what the fans want to see. They don’t want to watch just 12 rounds of dancing; it’s a component of boxing.”

“Tommy Hearns has been on a lot of our televisions. He has a stunning jab. Even though he used to stand there and fight a lot, in his earlier bouts, he boxed incredibly well, skipped around the ring, threw stunning jabs, and moved quickly. He therefore desires that I embody that aspect of Tommy Hearns “explained Whittaker.

“The aspect of Tommy Hearns where sometimes he goes ‘alright’, stands there, hurts them, that’s what the fans want to witness. They don’t want to watch just 12 rounds of dancing; it’s a component of boxing.”

“In all honesty, it wasn’t what he did in that fight [against the second Deontay Wilder], it was the way he spoke. When Tyson Fury started cursing in the corner of the third round because he wasn’t using his jab, I remember thinking, “You know what, I dig that honesty.” You need a corner to keep it simple, and I thought it was great “Whittaker gave details.

“When he first saw Tyson Fury’s style, he commented, “It’s kind of like mine, kind of quirky, kind of unorthodox, but look what he done to it.” He continued to be unconventional, but he also had a strategy. Thus, I somewhat approve of what he did. I laughed and wondered whether I could include that as well.”

Whittaker is eager to move rapidly and has a demonstrated desire to compete at the highest level. In about five fights, he has already called for a British light-heavyweight title challenge. For such a contest, that would be very early in his career.

Whittaker said, “I don’t get it. Because I’m ambitious, I want these type of bouts. It rubbed some people the wrong way. “Actually, it doesn’t matter who did it. Because Dan [Azeez] held the title, I simply called him out.”

At the end of the day, he said, “It’s business.” I would have called out anyone held the title.

Right now, the British light-heavyweight scene is thriving. Azeez, Joshua Buatsi, and Anthony Yarde are just a few of the fighters Whittaker might face in the future.

Whittaker declared, “[Azeez] would be a nice fight, a good name. The domestic level is excellent; there are so many players to check off the list, including Yarde, Buatsi, and him.

The mandatory for one of the belts held by terrifying champion Artur Beterbiev is being sought after by Londoner Yarde. Whittaker, meanwhile, is well aware of what a thrilling fusion of styles a matchup with Yarde might be.

“If I didn’t believe I could defeat him, I wouldn’t be playing the sport. Since no one in the weight category has my style, quickness, or reactions, I believe I’d pose a challenge to all of them even if they can all punch and go forward. So I doubt they would want to engage in combat with me. They wouldn’t engage in combat with me because there is no stakes, “said he.

“I consider myself to be that kind of a fighter. I’m too dangerous, especially at this time. If I had something to offer, such as a title or something similar, they might be willing to fight me. Now all I can do is check the boxes and wait for something to happen for me. And you can count on me to be there.”

 

Last update: : June 30, 2022

Category: Boxing