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Anthony Joshua to battle Dillian Whyte for British heavyweight strap in November or December

Anthony JoshuaBy Scott Gilfoid: Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that his fighter No.2 WBC Anthony Joshua (13-0, 13 KOs) will be mixing it up against unbeaten Dillian Whyte (14-0, 9 KOs) in a revenge match-up for the British heavyweight title in November or December this year.

Joshua was soundly beaten the last time the two heavyweights mixed it up in the amateur ranks. While Joshua was able to get his shots off, he wasn’t able to handle Whyte’s power at all, as he was dropped twice in the fight and badly hurt.

Whyte only got credit for one knockdown due to the referee making a mistake and not counting a second knockdown where Joshua was sent flying into the ropes after getting nailed by a tremendous right hand to the head.

This is a major gamble on Joshua and Hearn’s part in taking the fight against Whyte, because he’s got the power and the talent to hand Joshua his first defeat of his career. There are a lot of boxing fans who see the 6’6” Joshua as little more than a hype job, who his promoter Hearn has carefully matched against very, very poor opposition since he turned pro in 2013.

While Hearn has been busy bragging about how great Joshua is and how he’s destined to win a world title, others have noted that Joshua isn’t progressing in terms of the awful opposition Hearn has been putting him in with. Many fans note that Joshua’s gold medal in the Olympics in 2012 was a controversial one with him winning two fights in which appeared to lose against Roberto Cammarelle and Erislandy Savon.

Joshua was outworked, outpunched and outclassed in both of those fights. That year’s Olympics took place in London, England, which meant that Joshua was constantly fighting in front of friendly crowds, who cheered each time Joshua would throw a punch and stay silent when he was nailed by shots.

“The moment Anthony Joshua turned pro I knew this fight would happen,” Hearn told skysports.com. “I’ve been in talks with Dillian for the last couple of months and originally it was penciled in for September 12 but he picked up that hand injury. But now he is got the chance to fight on Sky and build up to a huge domestic grudge match that by the time it comes around will be a major sporting event.”

A knockout loss for Joshua in this fight, which is a very real possibility, will take him back to square one where Hearn will likely need to start from scratch in rebuilding Joshua to get him back up to where he is now. The World Boxing Council has Joshua at No.2 in their rankings, and they’ll likely keep Joshua ranked high even if he loses to Whyte.

They seem to believe in him. But a loss for Joshua in this fight will make it necessary for the WBC to reevaluate their rankings to place Joshua in a spot that’s more fitting to his level of talent.

“I think it is Joshua’s toughest test in and out of the ring. The rivalry is real and I could see that in the negotiations and Dillian will be trying to press all the buttons to get under his skin,” Hearn said.

There’s no “think” about it. Whyte is clearly the toughest test that Joshua has gone up against since he turned pro. I mean, you can’t rate the awful opposition that Joshua has been put in with thus far; guys like Konstantin Airch, Matt Skelton, Michael Sprott, and Kevin Johnson.

“You will see a different side of Anthony Joshua in this fight, especially outside the ring. The build-up will be fierce,” Hearn said.


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