By Allan Fox: Newly crowned British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) says he’ll give Dillian Whyte (16-1, 13 KOs) a rematch after beating him last Saturday night by a 7th round knockout in their fight on Sky Box Office at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
Joshua, 26, says he’ll give Whyte a rematch because he wants to get more experience, and he feels he has more to learn from fighting him again. Joshua knocked Whyte down with a hard right uppercut in the 7th, and the fight had to be stopped at that point by referee Howard John Foster so that assistance could be rendered for the hurt Whyte.
A rematch between Joshua and Whyte will be determined by Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn. He seems to be more interested in moving Joshua forward against other domestic rivals, or even towards a world title fight in 2016. Going backwards to fight Whyte again wouldn’t seem to be in Hearn’s plans for Joshua right now.
“It turned into a street fight,” Joshua said after the fight. “It was a tough fight. I made it tough for myself, but that’s what I need. I’ll rematch Dillian Whyte because I need the experience. He came out, and he gave me rounds. I learned a lot. As I said, I can look forward. Some mistakes I made in there. I can’t take the top level. That’s why Dillian was perfect at this stage. There’s no rush. I’m going to keep building and building and building until I make my mark in the heavyweight division. It’s not the rivalry. I just knew I had the strength to knock him out, so I went for it when I saw him hurt in the 1st round. But you have to remember from one to four, they can soak it up, and then I found my way. I found my rhythm. I listened to my cornerman as the rounds went on. I started relaxing and throwing shots that I could throw. That’s why it’s good to have 12 round fights so I can perfect what I’m doing. I had the same power in the 1st round that I had in the 8th. That’s why I managed to get him out of there at one stage. I don’t know who hit who after the bell. That’s why you have a ref. People say can I take a shot? I took a couple silly ones. People say can he go round. I went further than I’ve ever been. I’ve learned things about myself. I’ll be back in 2016,” Joshua said.
It would be better for Joshua and Whyte to build up the rematch between them by traveling in different paths to further their own careers before they fight each other a second time. They would have made more money if they waited before fighting each other the first time, because it’s a domestic rival that would have been huge down the line. But Whyte needed this fight for him to become known by the casual boxing fans, and the fans from around the world.
Whyte is now well-known by the fans, and if he can rebuild his career with some nice wins then eventually a second fight can take place between Joshua and Whyte. For that fight to happen, Whyte is going to need to work on his stamina in a big way because he cannot afford to tire out after only two rounds like he did last night. If Whyte fades like that against other top contenders in the heavyweight division, he’ll get knocked out in the same way.
Whyte gassed out last night after two and never recaptured his stamina. Good heavyweight contenders don’t gas out after two rounds like Whyte did. If he were to fight someone like Luis Ortiz, Bryant Jennings or Alexander Povetkin, he likely would have made the same fate as he did last night, because he had nothing left after the 2nd round. Whyte’s legs looked weak and he was throwing only arm punches from that point forward.
Hearn has spoken of wanting to match Joshua against David Haye, Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora next year. Those are the only domestic level opponents left for Joshua at this point. Getting Fury into the ring might be difficult, however. Fury has a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko in the first half of 2016, and if he wins that fight, he could fight a unification match against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.