By Tim Fletcher: Unbeaten #2 WBC heavyweight contender Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) had to struggled hard to get a 7th round knockout victory over Dillian Whyte (16-1, 13 KOs) on Saturday night to win the vacant British heavyweight title at the O2 Arena in London, England. Joshua hurt Whyte with a right hand to the head. The fight was halted at 1:27 of the 7th.
Joshua then followed up with a series of shots before dropped him with a right hand to the head. The fight was then stopped by referee Howard Foster. With this victory, Joshua is now the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion.
Whyte lost his legs completely after getting nailed by a right hand in the 7th. Joshua then teed off on a badly hurt Whyte and finished him with a right uppercut that put him on his back for the knockout.
“I had the same power in the 8th round that I had in the 1st round,” Joshua said after the fight in not realizing that the fight was over in 7 rounds rather than 8. “I learned something about myself. There was no way I was going to let him catch me with something stupid. Dillian came to fight. It’s not the end for him.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said “Tonight he got drawn into an emotional fight. The journey continues for Anthony Joshua. I believe in 2016, he’ll be a world champion.”
Joshua was staggered earlier in the fight in the 2nd round from a big left hook from Whyte.
We learned that Joshua could fight past the third round without tiring out like a lot of boxing fans thought he would do. Joshua said after the fight that he wasn’t tiring, but he looked like he wasn’t fighting at the same level as he was in the 1st. But the thing is Whyte looked exhausted, and that made it easy for Joshua.
Joshua still didn’t prove that he’s a top notch heavyweight though, as he was clearly tiring after the 2nd round. Whyte didn’t have the engine to test Joshua the way that better heavyweights would have. What we saw with Whyte was another Dereck Chisora type heavyweight, but with a little more height and a better left hook. I think Chisora is a better fighter than Whyte overall.
If you wondered why Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn was so confident about Joshua beating Whyte, you have to figure it was because of the many flaws in Whyte’s game. Hearn obviously did his homework in analyzing Whyte and seeing whether he had the kind of talent that would stop the gravy train. I think if Hearn believed that Whyte had the talent enough to defeat Joshua, he likely wouldn’t have approved the fight. Hearn believes in Joshua, but I don’t think he’s someone that would throw him in with an opponent that could potentially beat him like Deontay Wilder. If you look at the guys that Hearn matches against his other top fighters like Kell Brook, he’s very careful with him.