Shropshire Star

‘Whirlwind’ ring return for Ben Whittaker – on AJ undercard

Black Country fighter Ben Whittaker is set for his second professional bout – on the same card as Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usk on Saturday night.


It is only three weeks since Olympic silver medallist Whittaker, from Darlaston, made his professional bow when he beat Greg O’Neill in Bournemouth.

That fight lasted less than four minutes before Whittaker unleashed a sensational right-hand to knock out his opponent.

Now the 25-year-old has agreed a return to the ring in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he will take on Petar Nosic in a six-round contest on Saturday.

The 23-year-old is well known to Whittaker – with the Black Country man stopping the Croatian inside two rounds in 2015.

And Whittaker said he is excited to be back in the ring, even at such short notice. “It’s a bit of a whirlwind,” he said.

“I was enjoying the win from Bournemouth – I was in Barcelona, eating as much as I can, got the phone call and said to the missus: ‘Pack the bags, we’re going!’.”

Asked what it means to be fighting on the same card as Joshua, Whittaker added: “It’s a great experience for me, being around these type of world champions.

“I believe it’s a stage that I won’t get again so I thought, as soon as I got that phone call, sign me up as it’s an experience that you can’t pay for.

“You’ve got AJ risking it all again and you’ve got Usyk putting all the belts on the line and hopefully I want to be in that situation one day so, if I can see them going through that, it’s in the locker then for when it’s my time.”

Whittaker also opened up on his new nickname: “It’s Ben ‘The Surgeon’ Whittaker. When I box I put on a clinic, I’m very clinical, I pick my shots right and I’m sure you saw that in Bournemouth.”

Promoter and founder of BOXXER Ben Shalom said: “It’s great to have Ben back out so quickly on such a big show. His debut in Bournemouth was very impressive and we’re looking forward to a massive future.

“I’m sure we will see another entertaining performance in Jeddah and we look forward to seeing him boxing again on home soil very soon.”