By Scott Gilfoid: Dillian Whyte (16-1, 13 KOs) tasted defeat for the first time in his young career last December when he was stopped in the 7th round by unbeaten Commonwealth heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
Whyte says his left shoulder tightened up on him in the 2nd round, and he was exhausted. There were several things that Whyte took from the fight. First off, he noticed Joshua was very slow. He does not have great hand speed in Whyte’s mind.
Whyte also feels that Joshua was easy to hit. The last thing that Whyte feels he learned from the fight is to more professional. Whyte took the fight without being 100 percent because of a shoulder injury that he had. Whyte has since had shoulder surgery to fix the damage in his left shoulder, and he believes he should be fine in the future.
“If I was 100 or even 80 per cent fit and injury-free, I’m a million per cent sure that I’d have knocked him out in that second round or the round after,” Whyte said to skysports.com. “My shoulder was so tight that I couldn’t even jab. My coach wanted me to stop in the fourth round because the injury was that bad but I told him that I’m a warrior.”
Yeah, it was a bad mistake on Whyte’s part to take the Joshua fight with a shoulder problem. Never the less, when the injury got worse in the 2nd round, Whyte should have bowed out on his stool rather than going out there fighting with only one arm. I mean, Whyte has a nice right hand, but his best punch is his left hook.
Whyte couldn’t even jab with his left, and he was out there with just his right hand against a big hulking 245lb Joshua, who had both of his hands working and a big reach advantage. There’s no shame in quitting on the stool, and I think that’s what Whyte should have done rather than fighting one-armed in much an important fight. But I think Whyte should have postponed the fight until after he had surgery, because he was already complaining about having a shoulder problem in his previous fight against Brian Minto on September 12.
There was no way that Whyte’s left shoulder was going to miraculously heal on it’s own in three months before the Joshua fight on December 12. Whyte only used his right hand in the Minto fight, and he talked about his left shoulder injury afterwards. It was painfully obvious that Whyte was going to have problems in the Joshua fight with his left shoulder giving him problems.
Heck, even if Whyte had just sad on his backside for a month, he wasn’t going to be able to heal up for the Joshua fight. Whyte needed to go back to training almost immediately after the Minto fight in order to get ready for the fight against Joshua, because the two fights were so close together.
“He [Joshua] doesn’t hit as hard as people make out,” Whyte said about Joshua. “He’s not a one-punch knockout artist. I was more exhausted than anything else. I was surprised by how slow he is and how easy he is to hit.”
So there it is. Joshua is slow, easy to hit, and not particularly powerful. Heck, I didn’t need Whyte to tell me these things. I’ve seen all of Joshua’s fights, including his questionable gold medal win in the 2012 Olympics, which were held in London, UK. Joshua is a flat-footed fighter, with slow hand speed, and not a big puncher.
Joshua has been getting a lot of knockouts in his career due to the combination of him facing dreadful opposition, and him just jumping on them with flurries. If you take a heavyweight like Bryant Jennings and feed him fodder for the first 14 fights, and tell him to go out and throw sustained flurries, my guess is he’d have the same record as Joshua has right now. Further, if Jennings fought Whyte while he had a left shoulder injury like he did in the Joshua fight, there’s no way that Whyte would have been able to beat Jennings.
Once Whyte lost the use of his left hand, he would be at the mercy of Jennings and would have been finished off quickly, maybe even before the 7th round. I think Jennings and Joshua have about the same punching power. The only difference is Jennings doesn’t jump on his opponents immediately in throwing flurries of punches. He takes it easy and fights at a slow pace. Of course, Jennings is also facing better opposition than Joshua, so he can’t just bum rush his opponents the way Joshua does.