On the back of being knocked out by Tyson Fury in April, Whyte needed to get back to winning ways if he was to stay relevant at the top of the heavyweight decision.
However, Whyte performed well below par, largely fighting at one pace and taking clean shots off his American opponent, who was unbeaten in 21 bouts but had not fought at this level.
While both fighters had their moments in the final third of the contest, particularly Whyte who had Franklin in trouble in the closing seconds, the general consensus was that the away fighter had done enough to earn at least a share of the spoils.
That is how one judge saw it, scoring the fight 115-115, but the other two cards were 116-112 in Whyte’s favour, which did not give a true reflection of the bout.
With Joshua, who was in attendance at Wembley Arena, planning on returning at some point after March, the pair seem set to face each other over seven years on from their epic showdown at the O2 Arena in December 2015.
Meanwhile, Fabio Wardley won the British heavyweight title after dropping Nathan Gorman three times on the way to a third-round stoppage.
Gorman had much the better of the opening three minutes, landing numerous clean shots against an opponent who would regard him as his trickiest opponent to date.
Wardley was also sporting a cut down his nose in round two, but a straight right from the Ipswich fighter sent Gorman sprawling into the ropes. 안전놀이터
Gorman was down at the end of the second and midway point of the third, and it ultimately led to his corner throwing in the towel to save their man from further punishment.
Sandy Ryan moved a step closer to a shot at a super-lightweight world title as she posted a points victory over Anahi Ester Sanchez, who is a former world champion and has previously gone the distance with Katie Taylor, Chantelle Cameron and Jessica McCaskill.
Although Ryan did not have it all her own way against the Argentine, she was a convincing winner on the cards, prevailing 100-92, 99-91 and 98-92 respectively.