Express & Star

Darlaston's Ben Whittker: I was willing to take a punch in latest victory

Ben Whittaker insists he let Leon Willings land some clean shots to prove he has a ‘very good chin’ in his points decision victory.


During a dominant eight-round display, the Darlaston fighter took a couple heavy shots from his opponent late in the fight, yet Whittaker barely blinked.

After the fight, ‘The Surgeon’ was adamant that he allowed those punches to land, in order to prove the doubters wrong.

“No, I kind of let him hit me if I’m honest,” Whittaker said when asked if there was any concern over the shots he took.

“I have a very good chin and people think because I dance around and make them miss that I can’t take a shot.

“But I can take shots and I just wanted to show that.

“I’m injury free and ready to go.

“Thank you to everyone that came out. Happy Easter and 2024 is The Surgeon’s year.”

Whittaker began the fight in ferocious style on his way to a 78-73 points victory. He attacked the body with intent and worked tirelessly behind his jab.

Up against the ropes, Whittaker threw a left hook to the body and followed it up with the same shot to the head, before a right hand over the top dropped Willings in the first round.

But Willings was tough and ate a number of shots as the fight dragged on.

The Black Country fighter then returned to his trademark showboating as he swayed from side to side and engaged in a conversation with Willings’ corner mid- fight.

Willings seemed to be fading in the fifth round as Whittaker poured on the attacks, but the Cheshire man stood firm and landed firm shots of his own.

The Olympic silver medallist continued to attack the body to take his professional career to 7-0 with his second points win.

“Firstly, congratulations to Leon Willings, he brought the fight,” Whittaker added.

“I dropped him in the first round and thought ‘oh, shall I get him’, but with seven rounds left I went back to the jab.

“It was a disciplined performance with things to work on, but I broke him down and looked good while doing it.”