Ben Whittaker showcased another exceptional performance, adding to his impressive highlight reel. He confidently outplayed Khalid Graidia on his way to victory.
The 26-year-old athlete ended up winning the silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games, and solidified his undefeated record with a fifth-round stoppage against his opponent.
Whittaker asserted his dominance from the start, delivering a knockdown to his 41-year-old adversary in the second round.
Throughout the light-heavyweight clash, Whittaker showboated to the audience. He danced around the ring and performed matrix-like dodges.
Despite receiving a warning from the referee in the fourth round for his showboating, Whittaker continued doing the same. He ultimately concluded the contest in the following round.
Ben Whittaker with another win with even more showboating
— 🌴ᴛʜᴇᴀʀᴛᴏꜰᴡᴀʀ🌴 (@TheArtOfWar6) February 3, 2024
Taking control of the bout, Whittaker cornered Graidia and unleashed a flurry of punches. Unable to withstand the assault, Graidia dropped to his knees. This prompted his corner to throw in the towel.
In a post-victory interview with Sky Sports, Whittaker addressed his showboating. He said: “Do you know what it is? I can dance, I can shimmy, but I broke him down in a jiffy. I was going through the motions, looked at my dad and he was a bit annoyed, so I said ‘alright, let me show you what I can do’ and I got the job done.”
“Don’t take the showboating as disrespect, it’s just my art. People can compare me to Prince Naseem but I am Ben Whittaker.”
Whittaker’s theatrics inside the ring have stirred differing opinions among fans and celebrities alike.
Former Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton expressed his admiration, posting on X: “Ben Whittaker is a quality fighter, but he needs to ease up a little on showboating.”
Former WBO European champion Conrad Cummings tweeted: “Ben Whittaker is a quality fighter, but he needs to ease up a little on showboating.”
Footballer-turned-British champ Curtis Woodhouse shared his view, stating: “Ben Whittaker makes me chuckle! Shy kid isn’t he. Kids got the skills to pay the bills, I’ve spoke to a few that have sparred him and they tell me to BELIEVE the hype! I’m on board.”
While some fans find joy in watching Whittaker, others are critical of his showboating antics. Opinions range from praising his skills to labeling his performance as “unwatchable” against less challenging opponents.
One fan commented: “Imagine comparing him to Prince Naseem. At least Naseem could back up his showboating with belts.”
Another fan said: “Said it before but Ben Whittaker acting the goat against journeymen is pretty much unwatchable. Not entertaining, no skill to admire, just cringe.”