He’s barely gotten his feet wet in the professional game but Ben Whittaker’s mannerisms are already being judged.
For the 26-year-old, substance is nothing without style. So, whenever he steps foot inside the ring, he feels obligated to not only win but put on a show.
It was the same ole routine for Whittaker this past Saturday night. Khalid Graidia was never given much of a chance heading in. His record was a losing one and at no point did he make things even remotely competitive. Whittaker, from the outside looking in, appeared to be having the time of his life. He threw shots from ubiquitous angles, swung his body back and forth theatrically, and flat-out clowned his man before stopping him in the fifth.
He may have gotten a few laughs from the crowd, but he’s been chastised for the way he carried himself. Whittaker doesn’t believe he has to explain himself to anyone. However, he did want to set the record straight that he meant no harm.
“A lot of people say I’m arrogant,” Whittaker told Boxing News. “But I never badmouth my opponent, I’m never rude to the opponent. It’s just my style.”
He’s nowhere near the top of the light heavyweight division but Whittaker spends most of his nights dreaming of facing the top dogs.
When that day comes, some are under the impression that he’ll be forced to change his style. No more bouncing around and throwing those unorthodox shots. If he went the more conventional route, nevertheless, he feels as though it wouldn’t be authentic. So, for those who believe a change would be in his best interest, Whittaker says, don’t count on it.
“100% because that’s my style of boxing,” said Whittaker when asked if he plans on fighting the exact same way when he reaches the elite level. “It’s very frustrating for them to fight that style. Name another light heavyweight that moves like me. Not many. I’m gonna keep that in my locker.”