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Dillian Whyte: I don’t like Anthony Joshua and he doesn’t like me

By Scott Gilfoid: Dillian Whyte (14-0, 11 KOs) says he and unbeaten Anthony Joshua (13-0, 13 KOs) don’t like each other at all. Their dislike dates back six years to 2009 when Whyte defeated Joshua in an amateur contest in which he knocked Joshua down and had him badly hurt.

Whyte says there was bad blood from that time, and he’s looking forward to getting Joshua out of the way if he elects to fight him for the vacant British heavyweight title. Whyte is willing to fight Joshua anytime at all, but he prefers to face him in September.

Whyte says Joshua was given a long count in their fight in 2009, and was also saved from a second knockdown in which the referee failed to rule it as knockdown when Whyte sent Joshua flying across the ring after nailing him with a big right hand shot to the head. The ropes saved Joshua from hitting the canvas, the referee totally missed it.

“I put him [Joshua] down twice, but the referee only counted it once,” Whyte said to about his win over Joshua in 2009. “The referee gave a long count. When he got to the count of 7, he turned to me and said ‘go to your corner.’ I’m okay, I’m already in my corner. I don’t like him [Joshua], and he don’t like me. I saw him at the Klitschko training camp and there was tension.”

It’s still unknown if Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn will allow him to step up and face Whyte. It’s a really dangerous fight for Joshua because Whyte has good punching power, and he’s not an old journeyman type like the ones that Hearn has been putting in with Joshua since he turned pro. The guys that Joshua has been facing haven’t even been throwing punches in some cases.

Whyte will be looking to tag Joshua with head shots to test whether his punch resistance has improved since 2009. To be sure, Joshua has put on a lot of muscle on his frame, but that muscle hasn’t been packed around his head to protect him from the incoming shots that Whyte will be throwing at him if Hearn lets Joshua fight Whyte.

I expect Hearn to protect Joshua from Whyte by electing to keep him away from this fight until later in his career. If you look at the guys that Hearn has been matching Joshua again, it’s too much of a step up for Joshua to go from old guys that don’t punch back like Kevin Johnson and 47-year-old Matt Skelton to fighting someone that will be looking to smash him with every punch like Whyte. There will be margin of error for Joshua in a fight against a puncher like Whyte.

“He’s [Joshua] progressing nicely. He’s taking out the trash in good fashion,” Whyte said. “I don’t see him the way everyone else sees him as a God like the next Lennox Lewis. I just see him as a number I need to fight. I’m undefeated.”

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