By Scott Gilfoid: With the dreadful fodder opposition that Anthony Joshua (14-0, 14 KOs) has faced since turned pro in 2013, he’s never gone past the 3rd round during his short two-year career. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has made sure that Joshua has been put in with guys that weren’t too dangerous, and because of that he’s been able to score 14 straight knockouts.
This Saturday night, Joshua will be stepping it up for the first time in his career in facing Dillian Whyte (16-0, 13 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Joshua feels that he’s going to be able to KO Whyte in just three rounds. I hope for Joshua’s sake that he has a good plan-B to fall back on if case Whyte doesn’t crumble in 3 rounds like he’s hoping for.
If Joshua is able to KO Whyte in the 3rd, it would be the third fighter that has made it to the third round against him. Joshua has previously stopped Jason Gavern and Konstantin Airich in the 3rd round. The rest of the opponents that Joshua has faced have caved in before the 3rd round.
“I don’t like to make predictions… he ain’t going to take me past three rounds,” Joshua said to skysports.com. “The British title is on the line and I can’t wait to get my hands on that. It’ll be a good push towards 2016. I want to step up.”
It doesn’t matter if Joshua makes a prediction or not in this fight, beause this is a huge step up in class for him. Joshua hasn’t faced a quality opponent since he won four controversial decisions in the 2012 Olympics in Lon don, England in front of a pro-Joshua crowd. Joshua looked terrible in that Olympics, and I was frankly shocked that he walked out of the competition with a gold medal because I had him losing 4 times.
For Joshua’s sake, he had better hope that he gets Whyte out of there in 3 rounds, because if he’s still standing after the 3rd, I see Joshua’s stamina, or lack thereof, getting badly exposed.
When you have a former amateur fighter with the muscle mass that Joshua has put on his frame, you’re asking for trouble when you get taken past the 3rd round in the pro game.
“We’re both undefeated and someone’s ‘0’ has to go!” Joshua said. “We’re going to go to war Saturday. All the verbals are irrelevant to me. I do my bit in the ring.”
Joshua has already lost to Whyte in the amateur ranks in a fight where he was put down twice. Joshua is now heavier, slower and more muscular after packing on 20 pounds of bodybuilding muscle in the last two years. You’d have to assume that the extra muscle won’t be doing Joshua any good in this fight because this isn’t an NFL football game or some kind of wrestling competition.
Joshua will need to have good endurance and good hand speed to beat a fighter like Whyte, and I don’t see him having those assets. Whyte hasn’t changed his physique since he turned pro, and I expect him to have the upper hand when it comes to setting a fast pace and being able to fight hard in this fight.
Having seen a lot of Joshua’s fights, I have serious doubts that he’s going to be able to KO Whyte. In fact, if anyone is going to get knocked out in this fight, I see it being Joshua, because he has too much muscle on his frame to go a full 12 round fight without falling to pieces. I see Joshua as another Frank Bruno type of fighter. He’s a guy with a big bodybuilder type of physique that isn’t really designed for fighting. I guess that’s why Joshua lacks explosiveness and pushes his punches. He’s more of an arm puncher than a big puncher.
Whyte has looked incredibly talented in his last 10 fights against the following heavyweights:
1. Brian Minto
2. Irineu Beato Costa Junior
3. Beka Lobjanidze
4. Marcelo Luiz Nascimento
5. Kamil Sokolowski
6. Tomas Mrazek
7. Ante Verunica
8. Sandor Balogh
9. Mike Holden
10. Gabor Farkas
Whyte has knocked out his last 12 opponents, and he just seems to be getting better and better with each fight. He’s someone who is improving steadily with each fight under trainer Johnthon Banks, the same trainer who trains former world champion Wladimir Klitschko. Whyte had a dinged up left shoulder going into his last fight against Brian Minto last September, but that didn’t stop from scoring a nice 3rd round knockout in that fight.