Ben Whittaker takes a “real life WWE” approach to boxing. He respects and clings to the business as well as the theatre, marching into the professional ranks with evidence of an experienced delicacy to flip between dazzling salesperson and steely-eyed craftsman.
Behind the brash talk and the bravado lies 3am runs, 6am swims and an Olympic silver-medalist who has kept humility up his sleeve amid a rise stuffed with success-bound projections and predictions.
He will raid food buffets and feast on his mother’s cheesy potato pie as his favourite cheat meal because he knows he will burn it off. He will peacock for the cameras and lavish himself with compliments because he believes he works hard enough to justify it all in the ring.
Whittaker recently committed his future to BOXXER and as widely-coveted property at the top of the amateur class, shouldering the pressure as one of British boxing’s most gifted and compelling prospects. It is as though he is used to it all.
“When I came in the gym, I was told I was going to be a star so I said ‘I will be a star’. Today people are saying I’m going to be a star, and I will be a star.
“I’m the face of the sport. I’ve got the skills, I’ve invested in myself with people like SugarHill [Steward] so I’m taking it serious and if you want a bit of charisma, a bit of controversy, I’m the man for that,” he told.
“At the light heavyweight division, who have you seen with dynamic speed, skill, power, the looks, the tallness, the reach, you tell me who else has got that at the light heavyweight division. I’ve got it all really.
“I talk a bit of rubbish really but I know I can back it up. That’s why I talk like this.”
‘Biggest announcement since Khan’ The unveiling of Whittaker’s first professional deal came in suarve underground surroundings likened to a James Bond-type location by trainer SugarHill Steward.
Between the DJ in attendance, the cleverly-crafted trailer preceding Whittaker’s emergence and camera-pleasing arm-fold on stage, the dedicated background graphics depicting BOXXER’s shredded new signing and the teaser session on the pads with Steward, it set the tone for a ready-now disruptor. Such is the desire to get him up and running that BOXXER CEO Ben Shalom says Whittaker will be fighting in early July with a view to competing five or six times a year.
“He knows off the back of last week that he made a very, very good decision for his career and we got to see how big he can be,” said BOXXER CEO Ben Shalom. “We’ve always said he’s going to be a marmite character but it seems like the fans are really happy and everyone was just happy to see another potential star and really warmed to him. He seems extremely popular.
Already he has outlined his intentions to strip Dan Azeez of his British light heavyweight title within five fights. He has no plans to hang around. ‘The talent of Roy Jones’
“It’s the start of what’s going to be a very, very high-profile career.” “I don’t think we’ve ever seen a pro debut announcement like that, maybe not since Amir Khan. I think there was that sort of noise around it that you never see.
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