AFTER being drawn to face the tournament favourite on two weeks' notice, it is fair to say the odds were stacked against Silsden's Danny Whitaker on his TV debut.

However, the two-fight novice defied the formbook by producing the shock of the night and gained much-needed exposure for the future of his professional career.

Whitaker, who was drafted into Ultimate Boxxer as a late replacement, defeated the previously-unbeaten Jonathan Palata over the three-round distance with the trio of judges all scoring the bout 29-28 in the West Yorkshireman's favour, live on BT Sport.

Despite suffering a first-round stoppage loss to eventual winner Nick Webb in the semi-final, the 'Big Dawg' can take solace from his evening's work in the eight-man heavyweight competition.

Whitaker has been pleased with the reaction he has received from the public since the event at the Manchester Ice Arena and hopes he can use his new-found fame to generate big fights in the future, the first being a potential re-uniting with the man he conquered.

He said: "The reaction afterwards from family, friends and the boxing media, not only on the night, but since has been great.

"I took the positives from it and I was very pleased with my performance on the night against Palata and that on its own made it all worthwhile.

"The overall night despite the semi-final knockdown was a massive success for me and my team, hopefully it will open the doors in the new year."

Whitaker added on his future plans: "A couple of weeks to spend time with the family then straight back into the gym in the first week in January.

"I want to try force some big fights, you never know the Palata team might come back asking for a rematch and that is something I would consider.

"I proved to everyone there that I can mix it with the top fighters, I am hoping for some good challenges next year and to try move up the rankings further."

Palata had won all seven of his contests, scoring three knockouts, before the event and the Frank Warren-promoted fighter was placed as the front runner by a number of boxing experts and the bookies.

Whitaker piled the pressure on the Londoner from the offset, negating his power by using his footwork to not allow Palata fire his power shots.

The 28-year-old is proud that his team's game plan came off but was still disappointed that he couldn't capture the Golden Robes after being caught by a crushing uppercut, left hook combination by Webb in the semi-finals.

He said: "He (Palata) had the bigger name and everyone thought he was going to do well.

"After watching his fights I knew I could get the better of him because he has not beaten anyone of a decent level anyway.

"He doesn’t like it when he gets backed up, so I put it on him.

"He didn’t like the hooks, I just needed to keep moving well with my feet and my head.

"He caught me a couple of times but he never really hurt me.

"After the second round, my corner said that this was yours to lose now so make sure you don’t get hit with a silly shot."

On the Webb defeat: "It was one shot that I didn’t see coming and my legs just went away from underneath me.

"I was a bit unlucky in the way the ref stopped it, I probably could have carried on.

"But in a three round contest I would have needed to do a lot to come back from a knockdown."

Although Whitaker didn't prove to be the Ultimate Boxxer, the event has certainly given him the platform to move through the gears in 2020.