Dillian Whyte insists he deserves more respect after attracting criticism for pulling out of his fight with Otto Wallin through injury.
The WBC interim world heavyweight champion is primed to fight Tyson Fury for his world title after withdrawing from his fight against the Swede due to a shoulder problem.
The move does not impact his position as mandatory challenger for Fury and is not seen as a long-term injury, leading to some labelling the decision as convenient, given Wallin pushed the Gypsy King to the brink in Las Vegas two years ago.
And with Fury destined to face Whyte next due to an inability to fight for the undisputed world title after Anthony Joshua activated his rematch clause against Oleksandr Usyk, the Londoner is adamant that he deserves the benefit of the doubt.
“People need to put respect on my name, understand I’ve fought Joshua and Rivas, I tried to fight Fury a couple of times,” Whyte said. “It got ordered and then he pulled out.
“I try and fight all the best people. Why would I be scared to fight Wallin? It’s a silver lining, I’m still upset, lost the opportunity and some money.
“A good chance to beat somebody people rate, I don’t particularly rate [Wallin]. Fury is the fight I wanted, you can never bank on anything with Fury. He might say he’s had enough. We’ll wait and see.”
Whyte also revealed that his move to pull out went against his instincts as a fighter and that he is now making decisions with his head, rather than his heart.
“I’ve been sparring big guys,” Whyte added. “I’ve tried hard, I don’t want to make the same mistake Tyson Fury made against Wallin, the injury just happened unfortunately. I’d have pulled out three weeks ago.
“My camp has cost a lot of money, so I’d have pulled out earlier, I’ve fought with injuries before, broken hand, broken ribs, I’m at the stage of my career where I have to use more brain than brawn.
“Disappointed and heartbroken, I wanted to smash Wallin inside six rounds, he gases, I’d have attacked his body relentlessly. I trained twice for Povetkin, he cancelled six days before, that cost me a lot of money.”