Whittaker out to silence Arenyeka: I’ll only need 10 per cent!

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Whittaker out to silence Arenyeka: I’ll only need 10 per cent!

Ben Whittaker insists he will “make an example” of Ezra Arenyeka as the Olympian looks to silence his mystery challenger on June 15.

Whittaker will look to extend his perfect professional record by facing Arenyeka on the undercard of Chris Billam-Smith’s cruiserweight world title defence against Richard Riakporhe at Selhurst Park, live on Sky Sports.

It comes after Arenyeka stormed the press conference ahead of Whittaker’s last fight against Leon Willings in order to challenge ‘The Surgeon’.

Whittaker wants to ensure it is the first and last time an opponent earns the right to share the stage with him in that manner.

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Ben Whittaker’s next opponent Ezra Arenyeka was determined to get under his skin and steal the limelight at the pair’s first head to head.

“I’m getting to a position where people are going to start doing these things,” Whittaker said at Wednesday’s press conference.

“You asked him why he wanted to face me, there are many things, the clout of course.

“I’m going to make an example of him on June 15, that I’m not going to let people run up in these press conferences and get these fights, this will be the last one.”

Arenyeka has been critical of Whittaker’s famous showboating style, and recently labelled him as both a ‘kid’ and a ‘diva’ while vowing to be the first man to beat the rising star.

He adopted a more complimentary approach at Wednesday’s press conference, citing Whittaker’s profile as an opportunity for him to further his own career.

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A look at Whittaker’s epic martial arts inspired walkout for his fight against Willings

“Ben has shown he’s a warrior,” he said. “This is what boxing, legacy is about, you have to challenge and compete.

“I’m here to show how great I am, I hope he comes ready.

“My career has been a self-made one, my last fight was in Colombia in a village so I said ‘what next?’. I came to fight the biggest fish and test myself.

“I know it will bring attention to me and propel my career. He’s an Olympian, he’s a great boxer, it will be my hardest fight but I’ll be ready for it. The best man on the night is going to be me.”

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Ezra Arenyeka called Ben Whittaker’s showboating ‘disrespectful’ and believes he can make him look silly in the ring if they fight on the Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe undercard

Whittaker was swift to remind his opponent of his previous remarks, challenging him to approach June’s fight with the same fighting mentality.

“When he was in the press conference with a load of security guards he was giving it mouth,” said Whittaker. “When he was on the podcast he was giving it a lot of mouth, and now he’s on the mic he’s like ‘oh I respect him’.

“Keep that same energy June 15.

“I’ve not taken any of my opponents serious, and that’s no disrespect to them. This kid I’ll take 10 per cent serious, you’ll see.”

Arenyeka would go on to again describe Whittaker as a ‘spoilt child’, suggesting he respected him as a fighter but not as a person.

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Whittaker extended his perfect record to 7-0 with a points victory over a gritty Leon Willings at the O2 Arena in London

“Simmer yourself down, you’ve got a Rubik’s Cube head and have a body built like a beanbag,” said Whittaker.

“I’ve seen his style when I was seven-years-old, that’s what skill level you’ve got.

“It’s what gets me up in the morning. I got up at 7am and trained, got up at 7am today and trained, I know he didn’t.

“The lifestyle is different, you talk it, I live it. I’ve already been in camp, you look ridiculous. Wait when I hit you with a couple of jabs.”

The pair then found themselves trading light-hearted insults over jewellery, during which Arenyeka implied Whittaker was only in boxing to ‘buy watches’. Whittaker responded by stating that he boxes for his family.

Whittaker wants no further part of Arenyeka-style fights once he is finished with ‘The African King’.

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Whittaker once again put on a display to entertain the fans at London’s O2 Arena during his points victory over Willings

“Watching boxing I thought you work your way through the ranks, beat the people you need to beat, but today you can walk through the doors and fight who you want to beat,” he said. “We’ll have about 30 of them queuing up.

“Fair play to him, it’s his opportunity, he’s fighting for himself and his family, but for a boxer like me who has worked through the rankings, should I just throw that out and show up at press conferences to get fights?”

If anything good is to come from Arenyeka’s disruption, it will be a worthy test for Whittaker as he continues his development having made light work of his first seven opponents.

“I think it’s good for somebody like Ezra, who has come in and is extremely confident, who wants to take Ben’s head off,” said Boxxer CEO and founder Ben Shalom.

“This is what Ben needs, a lot of opponents lose before they get in the ring with Ben. I’m hoping he comes in explosive and we’ll see a good fight.

“It prepares Ben for the big stages because he’ll have a lot of fighters that want to take his head off.”

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