Security intervenes as things get physical during first face-off between Dillian Whyte and Jermaine Franklin as Brit mocks American’s trainer after being branded a ‘wounded lion’

Things got heated as Dillian Whyte squared off with Jermaine Franklin ahead of their fight on Saturday night.

The Body Snatcher is looking to get back in the win column after falling short against Tyson Fury who knocked him out inside six rounds in their heavyweight world title fight back in April.

Whyte was stopped by a massive Fury uppercut and returns to the ring on Saturday

Queensberry

Whyte was stopped by a massive Fury uppercut and returns to the ring on Saturday

Whyte, 34, will take on Franklin, 29, at the OVO Arena at Wembley on Saturday as he makes his comeback.

The pair came face-to-face following a final press conference on Thursday and it was all pretty amicable during the staredown.

But Franklin’s promoter Dmitry Salita then intervened and was goading his fighter into telling Whyte he would knock him out.

Salita then appeared to push the British heavyweight before security stepped in to stop things from getting out of hand.

Whyte reacted to the unnecessary physical contact, as did his promoter, Eddie Hearn, who was the first person to push Salita away.

It was pretty respectful between Whyte and Franklin

Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

It was pretty respectful between Whyte and Franklin

Then Dmitry Salita got involved

Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Then Dmitry Salita got involved

Whyte had earlier exchanged words with Franklin’s trainer, Jesse Addison, at the press conference.

Addison had branded Whyte a “wounded lion wandering the jungle” and declared his man was a “healthy lion” who would destroy him.

Whyte seemed angry at the suggestion his career was in the buffers after his defeat to Fury, having also fallen short against Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin.

He mocked Addison’s American accent and said: “I don’t give a f*** if you’re a pensioner, I’ll smack the s*** out of you if you keep talking.”

Despite boasting a perfect 21-fight record, Franklin is taking a massive step up in opposition after previously picking up notable wins over Rydell Booker and Jerry Forrest.

However, should he beat Whyte this weekend, the 29-year-old would be the frontrunner to face Anthony Joshua, who is currently looking for an opponent after losing back-to-back fights against Oleksandr Usyk.

Hearn recently laid out plans for Joshua’s eagerly anticipated return, he said: “You’re gonna see him fight maybe at the end of February, but probably March.

“We were going through opponents tonight and I think he’s now gonna have the rest of the year off probably and start camp at the beginning of January.”

“I couldn’t say a fight to AJ that he doesn’t [accept]…He just wants to fight everybody

“It’s just a case of whether he has an easier fight before he goes into a Deontay Wilder or a Dillian Whyte basically.

“I think Otto Wallin’s a very fair fight for AJ to come back to. Filip Hrgovic is a great fight, he’s IBF mandatory. I think the winner of Dillian Whyte vs Jermaine Franklin is a very, very good frontrunner for his next fight.”

After meeting as amateurs, Whyte and Joshua fought again as professionals in 2015 in what proved to be a fiery British title fight that ended with a vicious knockout in AJ’s favour.

A win over Franklin this weekend would not only get Whyte’s career back on track but is likely to lead to a mega-money match-up with his biggest rival.

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