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British heavyweight Dillian Whyte (28-3-0, 19KOs) hopes to pave a way back to world title shots as he takes on undefeated American Jermaine Franklin (21-0-0, 14KOs) on Saturday night.

Whyte returns for the first time since his sixth-round knockout defeat to Tyson Fury in April against an unknown quantity in Franklin.

The Michigan man is undefeated in 21 contests but has not yet faced anyone of world-class calibre heading into Saturday night.

Promoter Eddie Hearn has said the winner this weekend is likely to land a shot at former two-time world champion Anthony Joshua in early 2023.

Whyte lost to Joshua for the British title in 2015 and has long spoken of his desire to even the odds the second time around.

The 35-year-old must first find a way past a determined Franklin however who knows victory would prove a life-changing moment at Wembley Arena.

This weekend will see Whyte’s first fight since teaming up with esteemed trainer Buddy McGirt in California.

Whyte clashed with Franklin’s promoter Dmitry Salita at Thursday’s press conference. Picture By Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.

More heavyweight action is set for the chief support as Fabio Wardley (14-0-0, 13KOs) and Nathan Gorman (19-1-0, 13KOs) clash for the vacant British title.

The latter previously challenged for the Lord Lonsdale belt in 2019 when he suffered a fifth-round knockout defeat to Daniel Dubois.

Wardley meanwhile has impressed since turning professional and has already previously held the English title at heavyweight.

Gorman has experience on side after an extensive amateur career but Wardley has eased past everyone faced so far as a pro, and faces by far his toughest test on Saturday night.

Wardley and Gorman collide for the vacant British heavyweight title on Saturday night. Picture by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.

Former Team GB amateur star Sandy Ryan (4-1-0, 2KOs) returns in a ten-round super-lightweight clash versus former world champion Anahi Ester Sanchez (21-5-0, 13KOs).

Ryan has largely impressed since turning over last year, the only slight blemish a narrow split-decision defeat to Erica Farias which was swiftly avenged five months later.

Sanchez meanwhile previously held the WBA title at 135lbs before surrendering the belt to Ireland’s Katie Taylor.

The Nicaraguan also lost on points to the now undisputed 140lb champion Chantelle Cameron in 2019.

Ryan faces former lightweight world champion Sanchez this weekend. Picture by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.

The card at the Wembley Arena will also witness Matchroom Boxing debuts for welterweight Pat McCormack (2-0-0, 2KOs) and middleweight Mark Dickinson (3-0-0, 1KO).

Both are trained by Ben Davison and penned promotional deals with Matchroom and DAZN back in October holding reputations as two of the best prospects in British boxing.

Tokyo 2020 silver medalist McCormack faces Christian Nicolas Andino (16-5-2, 2KOs) over six rounds, while Dickinson takes on Gideon Onyenani (4-2-0) over the same distance.

McCormack has won all three of his contests inside the distance so far as a pro. Picture by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.

Another Olympian appears this weekend as cruiserweight Cheavon Clarke (3-0-0, 3KOs) looks to maintain his 100% knockout record versus Jose Gregorio Ulrich (17-5-0, 6KOs) over eight rounds.

Clarke is yet to go past four rounds as a pro while Ulrich has previously shared a ring with world contender Mateusz Masternak.

Heavyweight Thomas Carty (3-0-0, 2KOs) also returns in a six-round contest against Pavlo Krolenko (3-9-1, 2KOs).

Essex middleweight George Liddard will make his professional debut against Nikola Matic (18-50-0, 12KOs) over four rounds.

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