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Ben Whittaker on course for first professional Wolverhampton fight

Olympic boxing hero Ben Whittaker is on course to fight in Wolverhampton for the first time in his professional career.

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The Tokyo 2020 silver medallist has confirmed talks have taken place with promoter Boxxer and broadcaster Sky Sports over a show in the city later this year, with a date and venue to be announced soon.

It will represent a homecoming for Darlaston’s Whittaker, who has mostly boxed away from the Midlands since turning pro in 2022.

His only previous pro fight in the region took place in May last year, when he stopped Jordan Grant inside three rounds at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena.

Interviewed in the Silverstone pitlane ahead of Sunday’s British Grand Prix, Whittaker confirmed a return to the Midlands was in the pipeline.

He explained: “I’m talking with Sky and Boxxer. It looks like we are going to get back to my hometown of Wolverhampton. The date will be announced soon and I am excited for everyone to see it.”

Whittaker, a two-time national amateur champion who boxed for Wodensborough ABC and later the Firewalker gym, famously claimed he wanted to be Mayor of Wolverhampton while on route to Olympic silver in Japan three summers ago.

Since turning pro he has won all eight of his bouts with relative ease, gaining both fans and critics for his showboating style.

His most recent victory saw him claim the IBF’s international light heavyweight title after comprehensively outpointing Ezra Arenyeka at Selhurst Park.

Whittaker has since been publicly called out, for the second time, by Southampton’s Lewis Edmondson who claimed he would be willing to fight in Wolverhampton.

Edmondson said: "I'll come to Wolverhampton. (Whittaker) can have it all in his favour like the golden boy he is.

"I just want him looking at me from the other side of the ring, knowing that he's in there with a live opponent.

"I don't believe he's the real deal, but let's see him step up and fight a live opponent. Let's see if he's worth all the money he's been paid."

Whittaker's showboating, against opponents he is heavily favoured to beat, has divided opinion but also boosted his popularity. He now has more than two million followers on Instagram after footage of February's stoppage win over Khalid Graidia went viral.

"If I am honest, I always try and tone it (the showboating) out," said Whittaker. "But once I get in the ring, it just starts coming out."