Express & Star

Ben Whittaker releases first music video days after Black Country boxer's biggest win goes viral

Red-hot Black Country boxing prospect Ben Whittaker has proved he can knock-out a tune by releasing his first music video.

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Benzo, aka Ben Whittaker, in his music video

Capitalising on his astonishing performance on Saturday night which saw clips of his showboating and devastating power go viral, Ben released How Many Times, under the name Benzo, on Wednesday.

Ben, nicknamed The Surgeon, clinically dispatched his latest opponent Khalid Graidia and clocked up 100,000 new social media followers in 24 hours.

Clips of his astonishing combinations and "drunken master" antics crossed the Atlantic with even Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson Jr tweeting his amazement.

Riding the momentum of the televised performance Bushbury-trained Ben agreed to allow urban music channel GRM Daily to premiere How Many Times.

The world title tipped 26-year-old told the Express & Star: "It was not planned but after the exposure I got after Saturday night I thought it was the perfect time to let GRM Daily show my video.

"I've had the tune around for a few years, I recorded in my bedroom, I wrote all the lyrics myself - it's all me."

He added: "And after my win and the style I won I've got some good highlights for the video too."

Ben is not the first sportsman to try their hand at music: in the 1990s, England stars Glen Hoddle and Chris Waddle had a shock hit with Diamond Lights and Paul Gascoigne went to No. 1 with Fog on the Tyne (Revisited) in the 1990s.

Ben Whittaker in the ring on Saturday

Multiple F1 champion Lewis Hamilton is a regular in the studio and now Ben is at the sharp end of elite sports he understands why.

He said: "You need something which totally takes your mind off your sport, and music is perfect. I could be doing lots of stuff, going to clubs and getting into trouble but that's not me."

Despite multiple offers to relocate elsewhere in the UK and further afield, Ben is staying put, where he can be close to his family.

He said: "I am still training at Bushbury, which is going brilliantly, I am going nowhere."

How Many Times had been seen by tens of thousands of people within hours of being uploaded with the notoriously hard to impress music fans praising Benzo.

Tyrion Stark said the track was "wavey" and "might be the best tune by a boxer from the UK so far".

The CNSR added: "The talent is too mad. I was creasing at the thumbnail thinking it's funny how some lookalike pops up after his boxing W goes viral, these times it's actually him off duty."

G-267 pointed out: "My guy's making his own walk in music."

Ben, who went to Thomas More School, in Willenhall, enjoyed making the music video in which he can be seen dancing, 'making it rain' with bank notes, posing in front of a super car and showing off several gold and silver chains.

However, you can't please all the people all of the time - the Real Jigga Jheeze said: "Tragic, every rap cliche you can think of in one video."

Hip hop and boxing has a long history of crossovers and connections, with countless rap stars escorting champions to the ring including Lil Wayne holding belts for Floyd Mayweather and Bugzy Malone performing before a KSI bout.

One of the greatest to lace up the gloves was Roy Jones Jr and when he had the Midas touch he released Ya'll Must've Forgot in 2001, which, far from being panned by the critics, gained acclaim from rappers.

Ben had promoters from across the world fighting for his signature to turn professional after the 2021 Olympics. He shot to stardom during the Tokyo games for his hilarious post-fight interviews when he declared he wanted to be mayor of Wolverhampton if he won gold.

Losing in the final, Ben had to settle with silver and refused to celebrate, claiming gold was the only medal he wanted.

However, after mellowing out and recognising his achievement, he got a hero's welcome when he returned home to Darlaston and was made mayor for the day. Before deciding on which deal to sign he went on a marathon tour of schools and youth clubs to inspire local youngsters, especially those with ADHD, which he has dealt with since being a child.

After turning professional with Boxxer he has taken the light-heavyweight division by storm, winning all six fights, five by knock-out. There is already a clamour for him to start headlining arena shows and fighting for world titles but Ben is sticking to the plan.

He said: "I know what my next steps are, but what I can promise is I will be fighting as often as I can this year."

Follow Ben on Instagram @BenWhittaker.