Trainer Tibbs making mark with Whyte, 30 years after dad’s Bruno world title bid
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
It was 30 years ago that Newham trainer Jimmy Tibbs was playing a leading role in Frank Bruno’s campaign to win the world heavyweight title – now son Mark is guiding Dillian Whyte towards glory of his own.
At the London O2 Arena on Saturday, veteran Jimmy supported chief coach Mark in the corner as Whyte scored a career-best win by outpointing Oscar Rivas to become the WBC interim champion.
Bruno was cheering loudly from ringside and Jimmy said: "I give advice and help as the cutsman in the corner but Mark is the trainer, and has done a great job. Dillian was very impressive."
The win makes Whyte the mandatory challenger to WBC king Deontay Wilder, but with the champion booked for two contests - including a return clash with Tyson Fury - it could be another year before he finally gets his own chance.
The Londoner had to show courage to come through a terrific scrap with a unanimous vote from the judges, despite being floored in the ninth round by dangerman Rivas.
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The Colombian, clearly shaken in the second round, fought back in style, although Whyte's effecting jabbing and all-round domination of the exchanges deserved the decision.
However, there was some disappointment for Mark Tibbs earlier on the Eddie Hearn promotion as Charlie Duffield was forced to retire in his clash with Dan Azeez for the Southern Area light-heavyweight title.
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They were well matched at the start, but Tibbs rightly decided to throw in the towel in the sixth round with brave battler Duffield taking solid shots from sharp punching Azeez.
However, another Tibbs-trained fighter Richard Riakporhe did come through as a points winner against Chris Billam-Smith in a Southern Area cruiserweight clash.