Dillian Whyte laboured to a majority decision win against Jermaine Franklin on his return to the boxing ring.
Almost eight months to the day the ‘Body Snatcher’ lost to Tyson Fury, Whyte was in desperate need of a victory, with a second meeting with Anthony Joshua widely tipped for 2023.
In order to be in a position to command such a big-fight however, the 34-year-old had to convince against the American.
For most the early rounds, it was Franklin who impressed. The 29-year-old went the duration for the first time in his career and it was not until the latter stages where Whyte could utilise his experience and bigger physical frame.
Franklin caused problems to a man who fought for the WBC heavyweight championship less than a year ago, pinning Whyte to the ropes in the sixth and fighting fire with fire as the bigger man looked to walk him down. At times, it seemed like one fight too far as Whyte failed to go through the gears as many would have expected him to.
Until the 10th round, it seemed Whyte could need to knockout, though eventually he did enough to secure a much-needed victory (116-112 after one of the judges had scored a 115-115 draw).