By Scott Gilfoid: Previously unbeaten Dillian Whyte (16-1, 13 KOs) suffered his first defeat of his career last Saturday night in losing by a 7th round knockout loss to Commonwealth heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) in their grudge match at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Whyte’s left shoulder did look injured. If you look at the round in slow motion, you can see that his left arm wasn’t the same after he connected with a big left that hurt Joshua.
Whyte says he wants a rematch to avenge his loss, as he says he suffered a shoulder injury in the 2nd round of the fight after he nailed Joshua with a left hook to the head that staggered him. Whyte wants to fight Joshua when he’s healthy.
Whyte had previously complained of an injury to his left shoulder in his fight against Brian Minto only three months before in September. With a shoulder injury, Whyte presumably had to go into training camp to get ready for the Joshua fight.
“I had him out on his feet, he was stumbling around. I hit him and he stiffened up, but at the same time I hit him my shoulder went so I couldn’t really finish him off,” Whyte said to skysports.com.
That would explain perfectly why Whyte stopped throwing his left hook after the 2nd round. I wondered about that myself as I watched the remaining rounds of the contest. Whyte was no longer using his left hook with any regularity like he had in the first two rounds after he injured it. It was pretty much all right hands from Whyte after he hurt his left shoulder. Whyte has a decent right hand, but it’s nothing like his huge left hook. Without his left hook, Whyte for all intents and purposes became a one-armed fighter, as he couldn’t do anything other than throw right hands for the remainder of the fight.
“I’m not going to make any excuses. My trainer said ‘do you want to stop the fight’ and I said ‘I’m not going to let these fans down, I’m going to be the true warrior I am and go out on my shield’. And that’s what happened,” Whyte said.
I wouldn’t have blamed Whyte for quitting after the injury; because there’s no way that he was going to win the fight with just his right hand. Whyte should have just bowed out after the 2nd round rather than fighting one with just wing working for him in that fight. Could you imagine Joshua continuing to fight after he suffered a shoulder injury to his right shoulder?
Joshua doesn’t have much of a left hand at all. If he was forced to fight with just his left, he would have been destroyed by Whyte as simple as that. Further, I don’t think for a second that Joshua would have stuck it out if he had suffered a shoulder injury. I think he would have told his trainer to pull the plug on the fight because he would have realized that he wouldn’t have won without his right hand working for him. Even then, I think it would have required an injury for Whyte like the one he suffered for Joshua to get the win.
“Let’s get it on and definitely do it again. It was a good fight; we both drew a massive crowd. It’s 1-1 – let’s do it again and see who’ll win the third fight,” Whyte said. “I believe I can beat him, and not only beat him, I believe I can knock him out. Everybody was giving me one round, two rounds, half a round. It was a 50-50 fight up until I got caught.”
I don’t think Joshua or Hearn are going to green-light a rematch against Whyte, I hate to say. I think the two of them are moving on towards other fights. It’s unfortunate that Whyte suffered a shoulder injury in an important fight like this because he probably would have won if he didn’t injure his left shoulder in the second round.
The more realistic outlook for a rematch between Joshua and Whyte is for it to take place in the future in two to four years from now. Whyte will need to heal up and get his left shoulder 100 percent back to where it was before the injury, and he’ll need to take some big scalps to work his way to a world title shot against one of the champions.
If Whyte can win a world title, then I see him and Joshua facing each other in the future if someone hasn’t already beaten Joshua by that time. But it’s going to take a while for Whyte to work his way to a title shot, because he wasn’t ranked in the top 15 by any of the sanctioning bodies before his fight against Joshua, and he clearly won’t be now that he’s been beaten by him. Whyte is going to need to probably put together at least 8 to 10 good wins before he gets a No.1 ranking by one of the sanctioning bodies.
Whyte can speed that process up if he faces nothing but top tier heavyweights in the near two years, but that’s never easy to do when you’re not a big name. After the scare that Whyte put into Joshua, I think it’s unlikely that any of the top 15 contenders are going to want to mix it up with Whyte. There’s too much risk for the low reward.
If Whyte could fill a place like the O2 for his fights and have them sold on Sky Box Office, then I could see him being able to get some of the top 15 contenders to face him. But I don’t think Whyte can fill the O2, and I definitely can’t see his fights being sold on Sky Box Office.
Joshua and Hear really dodged a bullet with Whyte suffering a shoulder injury last Saturday night. That’s why I don’t see them wanting to tempt fate a second time against a healthy Whyte. They’re going to take their win any way they can get it and move on in another direction at a hurried pace. Hearn is already looking for a safer fight for Joshua by wanting to put him in with Dereck Chisora in a nice money grab fight.