By Scott Gilfoid: Unbeaten Dillian Whyte (16-0, 13 KOs) thinks that his opponent Anthony Joshua (14-0, 14 KOs) is worried about gassing out in their fight this Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Joshua, 6’6”, 250lbs, has packed on a lot of unnecessary muscle weight since he turned pro in 2013, and he’s not been matched against quality opposition about his promoter Eddie Hearn.
Instead of Hearn doing the smart thing by slowly putting Joshua, a 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medal winner, against better fighters that could test his stamina, Hearn has kept Joshua fighting weak 3rd fighters that he’s easily knocked out. The results have seen Joshua’s fights end early in 3 rounds or less.
Now all finally after two years, Joshua is fighting his first quality opponent in the hard hitting Dillian Whyte, and there is a real danger that Joshua will be forced to take his body building physique to the later rounds.
Fighters with bodybuilding physiques generally don’t do very well in boxing when they’re forced to go into the deeper rounds. The super muscular fighters are generally only good for the shorter fights of 1-6 rounds. When you take them into the deeper rounds, those muscles become a curse.
“The good thing about boxing is we’ll find out in a few days,” Whyte said to skysports.com about his fight against the 26-year-old Joshua. “He’s said a lot but I’ve never been knocked out or knocked down before, in or outside the ring, so we’ll see. He’s [Joshua] not confident in himself and is worried about going past three or four rounds. I’m training for 12. I would love to stop him but I want to go a few rounds. Once you go to eight, nine and 10, you go there mentally. I’d like to experience going to the later rounds.”
Joshua has reportedly been doing a lot of road work to try and increase his stamina for this fight in case it does go into the later rounds. I don’t know that a fighter with a ton of muscle on their frame can really do much to improve their stamina in any real way without losing the muscles that they’re carrying around. As such, unless Joshua trims down to the 220s, I don’t see him being able to improve his stamina enough to be still fighting effectively in the championship rounds from the 9th to the 12th.
I see Joshua being very, very tired if/when the fight gets to those rounds. I think Joshua is really a younger version of Butterbean. In other words, the king of the 3 to 4 rounders. Yeah, Joshua’s fights are technically scheduled for 10 to 12 rounds nowadays, but he’s facing opposition that he bum rushes and immediately tries to take out fast the way that Butterbean did.
Obviously there’s a difference in the physique of Joshua and Butterbean, but the principal is the same. Joshua is slow and powerful like Butterbean was, and he bum rushes his opponents right off the bat trying to take them out immediately. Like Butterbean, Joshua doesn’t have any mobility to his game, can’t jab at all, and isn’t able to put his whole body behind his shots.
There’s too much mass on Joshua’s frame in order for him to get his entire body behind his punches. So instead of being able to rear back and throw a big right hand from a long way away, Joshua stands effect like a heavily bound soldier and pushes arm punches. It’s as if his body constricted with a ton of tight tape that keep him from having the flexibility to throw fast shots with his entire body behind his punches the way you see with Deontay Wilder when he throws his power shots.
“He can say what he wants. That’s up to him. We’ll see,” Whyte said about Joshua’s prediction of a quick 3rd round knockout on Saturday night. “He’s a very nervy kind of guy. Sometimes nerves are good. Sometimes they are bad. I always fight very aggressively but for this fight I’m fighting calm and staying composed.”
What Whyte doesn’t say is that Joshua needs the fight to be over in 3 or 4 rounds, because if Whyte takes him into the deeper rounds, it’s probably going to be just like how former British heavyweight Frank Bruno used to gas out in the later rounds of his fight.
Bruno had a muscular physique just like Joshua, and he was mainly effective early in his fights where he would overpower his opponents with his size. But when Bruno was taken deep into his fights, he struggle in losing to guys like James Smith and Tim Witherspoon.