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Whyte vs. Joshua on December 12th at O2 Arena, London, UK

Anthony JoshuaBy Scott Gilfoid: Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed the date for the heavyweight clash between unbeaten British heavyweights Dillian Whyte (15-0, 12 KOs) and Anthony Joshua (13-0, 13 KOs). They’ll be fighting on December 12th at the O2 Arena in London, UK, as long as long as they win their next fights on September 12th at the O2 Arena.

Joshua will be fighting unbeaten 6’8” Gary Cornish (21-0, 12 KOs) on that date. As for Whyte, he still doesn’t have an opponent yet. He wants someone with talent that can give him rounds, but it remains to be seen whether that will happen. Whyte mentioned Edmund Gerber as one of the possibilities.

Whyte would like to face someone like Lucas Browne or Erkan Teper, but there’s not enough time to get either of those guys to face him. Besides that, it’s not likely that they or their promoters would be keen to the idea of facing a dangerous puncher like Whyte. Teper recently destroyed David Price, who can punch hard as well. But the difference here is that Price came into the fight with a chin problem. Teper wouldn’t be getting that type of opponent if he agreed to fight Whyte. He’d be getting hit hard for 12 long rounds without much of a chance of him scoring a knockout.

The Joshua-Whyte fight is Joshua’s chance to avenge an earlier loss to Whyte back in 2009, when Whyte beat him in the amateur ranks. Whyte was able to knock Joshua down twice in the four round contest. It was competitive all throughout, but Joshua kept getting rocked by Whyte, and that was the main difference between the two.

Joshua feels that he’s gotten better since then, and his many fans would back him up on this belief. Joshua won a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics, albeit in a controversial manner. Joshua has also won his first 13 fights as a pro, but he’s also not fought anyone beyond 3rd tier.

Joshua’s next fight against Cornish will be another case of him fighting a 3rd tier heavyweight. As such, you can’t say that Joshua has improved since he turned pro. On the contrary, I think you can make an argument that Joshua has gotten worse since he turned pro due to him tinkering with his body by adding a lot of useless muscle in a very, very short period of time.

Joshua has put on 30 pounds of muscle in just two years since turning pro, and he’s now weighing 250. It’s unclear if this is something Joshua’s trainer told him to do, or if it’s just something that he wanted to do. I can’t imagine any trainer telling his fighter to pack on the kinds of muscles that Joshua has in two years. My guess is Joshua did this on his own. Whatever the case, the added muscle has caused Joshua to slow down, and he now fights like a person who’s lugging around a big 30lb plate on his back without it helping him. Anyone with two eyes can see that Joshua isn’t better than he was back in 2012 when he was fighting in the Olympics. He’s now like a big tank, and he moves about as good as one.

Whyte hasn’t messed with his body like Joshua by putting on needless bodybuilding muscles. Whyte has kept his head on straight and has focused on training hard and developing his skills. With his new trainer Johnathon Banks, Whyte is improving and looking better and better. He’s going to be ready for his September 12th fight, and will make sure he gets past that fight to get to the Joshua rematch in December.

If Joshua loses the fight to Whyte, it’s going to be a real buzz-kill for Hearn, because he’s been counting his chickens before they’ve even hatched in seeing greatness from Joshua in the future. Hearn believes that Joshua will become a world champion by 2016. Of course, that’s going to be awfully hard for him to do if he gets knocked out and humiliated by Whyte on December 12th. Hearn will have to start the whole process again of building Joshua from scratch.


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