Boxing fans have taken to social media to express their strong opinions on Ben Whittaker and his in-ring antics. The 26-year-old boxer has gained attention for his unique style, which involves frequent showboating and actively engaging with the crowd.
Whittaker’s approach to the sport has resulted in a polarized reaction from fans, with some embracing his charisma while others condemning it.
Whittaker’s latest bout took place at the Manchester Arena, where he faced Slovakian journeyman Vladimir Belujsky. As soon as the opening bell rang, Whittaker wasted no time in showcasing his trademark antics.
Ben Whittaker STOPS Vladimir Belujsky IN THE 8TH ROUND pic.twitter.com/boyV2IqMuK
— Andrew Tucker World (@drew8527) July 1, 2023
He skillfully delivered solid shots while effortlessly slipping out of range, leaving his opponent demoralized. Not only did Whittaker display his technical prowess, but he also actively engaged with the crowd by gesturing and drawing their attention.
Belujsky continued to compete after being knocked out in the third round, but Whittaker ultimately forced the referee to step in during the eighth and final round.
However, many fans have voiced their disapproval of Whittaker’s antics as they consider it disrespectful and a mockery of the sport.
One social media comment stated: “He’s a clown, making a mockery of the sport, embarrassing.”
Another fan unfavorably compared Whittaker to former featherweight world champion Naseem Hamed, expressing their frustration with such behavior. He wrote: “Does my head in…..tinpot Prince Naseem”
Whittaker has also faced sarcastic comments regarding the level of opposition he chooses to showcase his antics against. One wrote: “Respect to Ben for showboating on massively mismatched opponents”
Another wrote: “When you disrespect opponents like this people pray for your downfall.”
Before transitioning to the professional ranks in 2022, Whittaker had established himself as one of the most promising amateur prospects from the UK. His success in the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships showcased his immense talent as he won a bronze medal.
Whittaker reached the semi-finals in Yekaterinburg, Russia. He narrowly lost to Dilshodbek Ruzmetov via decision.