Trainer Mark Tibbs and protégé John Harding Jr talk about Dillian Whyte, a man they know incredibly well who has emerged recently from some tough times
Some people can be felt as much by their absence as their presence. While Dillian Whyte was not at the Peacock Gym last week as I interviewed his trainer, Mark Tibbs, and a number of his stablemates, some of whom he manages, for our YouTube channel, the Brixton heavyweight cast a wide shadow over proceedings. His name frequently came up, and his influence was clear over the people who have become as close to Whyte as family.
Dillian returned from a testing period when he laboured to a decision over Mariusz Wach in December. The contest occurred shortly after Whyte was finally cleared by UKAD of any wrongdoing regarding a drug test before his exciting July victory over Oscar Rivas.
Whyte, who is currently waiting to hear who he will fight next between Alexander Povetkin and Andy Ruiz Jr, was spoken of in glowing terms, especially by Tibbs and gym-mate/protégé John Harding Jr.
He’s up there now and I’m very confident in Dillian Whyte – he’s got all this drama out the way now – that 30% I was looking for, it’s coming and it’s gonna be there on his return, hopefully at the end of April. He looks mentally as he was; hungry as well. We’re all getting pissed off now with all the politics but as long as we keep progressing and keep that fire burning, I’m sure it [a world title shot] will come. He’s very rarely down. Obviously that period, where he was getting a lot of unnecessary flak, he knew the truth, we all knew the truth but the public were giving it to him. That was the lowest point I think I’ve ever seen him and that showed in his last fight. Stylistically and shot selection-wise, it was an okay performance; he was just too big. We’ve addressed that and he’s gonna be a new, even more powerful, dangerous Dillian Whyte.
John Harding Jr
Watching Dillian train… I watch closely as these guys take their opportunity, how they zone in to just being that winnable person. The way they take the big occasion in, they just quietly move into the limelight and execute what they’ve been working on in training. Watching someone like Dillian do that is very intriguing but I’m just in the background, watching. I watched how he’s improved, how he takes opportunities, as soon as it comes, ‘Yes, I want it!’