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Whyte: Joshua could lose to Wladimir

By Scott Gilfoid: Dillian Whyte doesn’t see IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) as a solid lock to defeat 41-year-old former heavyweight title holder Wladimir “Steelhammer” Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) in their fight this month on April 29 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Whyte, 29, says Joshua doesn’t have a great chin, and he doesn’t handle getting hit back very well.

Whyte (20-1, 15 KOs) wants Joshua to win the fight so that he can be the one that hands him his first loss of his 4-year pro career, but he’s not sure if he’ll be able to beat a big puncher like Wladimir. Boxing fans saw how Whyte was able to stagger Joshua in the 2nd round in 2015 before injuring his left shoulder in the same round. Without the use of his left arm, Whyte was unable to finish off Joshua in the subsequent rounds of the fight.

“I won’t be shocked, because he can get chinned,” Whyte said to “He has not got the best chin. He doesn’t cope well with taking shots at all – and Wladimir can whack.”

Wladimir can still punch with MAJOR power. If he catches Joshua with a big right hand early, he could brain him and have him staggering around the ring like he was against Whyte. Wladimir has to go after that chin though. He can’t sit back hoping that Joshua will tire in the later rounds from carrying around his 250 pound bodybuilding frame around the ring. That might happen, but maybe it wouldn’t. Unless Wladimir attacks Joshua from the outset, he probably won’t be around beyond 3 or 4 rounds at best on April 29.

Joshua doesn’t take shots nearly as well as he delivers them. That’s the thing about Joshua. His ability to take punishment is perhaps even less some of the guys that he’s knocked out during his career. You can argue that if Joshua fought himself, he might be knocked out within 2 or 3 rounds. I couldn’t see Joshua lasting 7 rounds like Whyte and Dominic Breazeale both did in their losses to him.

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I don’t see Joshua’s chin being good enough to take even one-fourth the amount of shots that those two fighters absorbed against him. Joshua’s offense is really his defense. Joshua counts on getting his opponents out of there as quickly as possible in his fights, because if they last for any amount of time, he could be knocked out. Joshua’s boxing skills and his stamina are not great at all. His best assets is his 6’6” size and his power. But if you can get to Joshua’s chin and/or make him fight at a fast pace, then he could gas.

Breazeale took the wrong approach in his fight with him. Breazeale wanted to take Joshua into the deep end to drown him, but he seemed to think that he would gas without being pressed. That’s not how it works. Joshua doesn’t gas unless you force him to fight the full 3 minutes of each round by attacking him the way that Whyte did in round 2 of their fight. Joshua was totally exhausted in round 3 of that fight. He was ready to be knocked out if Whyte hadn’t injured his left shoulder. That’s the mistake Breazeale made against Joshua. He didn’t attack him for three minutes of each round. He just stood on the outside and let Joshua fire off his power shots whenever he wanted to. Letting Joshua fight like that allowed him to take rest breaks in between throwing punches.

“I want to be the man that beats him,” said Whyte. “I don’t want him to lose and people to say ‘he lost and was not the same.’ I want to beat him with the same confidence of when we fought the first time.”

The odds are that Joshua will win on April 29, and he’ll eventually be looking for a rematch with Whyte. I doubt that’s going to happen soon though. Joshua wants to fight Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder. Luis Ortiz, Tony Bellew, Kubrat Pulev, Tyson Fury, Hughie Fury and David Haye are also options in the near future. I wouldn’t be surprised if Joshua faces the winner of the Fres Oquendo vs. Shannon Briggs fight at some point. There’s like 7 or 8 fights out there for Joshua, maybe a little more depending on if guys like Joe Joyce and Tony Yoka start their pro careers. Oleksandr Usyk might soon move up from cruiserweight, as well as Murat Gassiev. Those guys would be tough options for Joshua.

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Whyte will be headlining his own card in the summer on June 3 against former heavyweight world title challenger Mariusz Wach on June 3 at the O2 Arena in London, England. With Wach being ranked #7 by the World Boxing Council, Whyte will get moved up in the WBC’s rankings if he beats the big 6/7 ½” Polish heavyweight. It’s one of those strategic fights where Whyte is matched up against a highly rated fighter with questionable talent and some boxing fans would say a HIGHLY inflated ranking by the WBC. I’ve seen Wach fight plenty of times, and I don’t rate him as a top tier heavyweight. I see more of a bottom 50 type guy. Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn is obviously being cleaver in putting him in with Wach rather than a talented heavyweight that could possibly beat him.

Anthony Joshua wants Tyson Fury in the summer

Former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury was giving Anthony Joshua grief this week in ridiculing hi on his social media site, telling the boxing fans that he’d heard that he was getting worked over by 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joe Joyce in sparring for his match with Wladimir Klitschko. Fury says he’ll beat Joshua when he returns to the ring. Joshua, 27, wants the Fury fight BADLY, and he would be willing to fight him as early as this summer if he does return. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the unbeaten Fury (25-0, 18 KOs)

“If it were up to me, that would have been the fight happening this summer,” said Joshua to about a fight with Fury. “That’s what I thought. I was planning for a massive showdown with Tyson Fury, but he had other plans and I just had to carry on. When he returns, I’m sure I’ll still be here. Do I want him to come back? Yes, definitely.”

Joshua needs to get in line because there are literally a ton of heavyweights that want to take Fury’s scalp once he returns to the ring to resume his pro career. WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder wants a piece of Fury in the worst way, as does Joseph Parker. You’d have to favor both of those talents over Fury by knockout.

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To be honest, I think Fury is a knockout waiting to happen. Even some of the regular contenders would have a real chance of beating Fury. I think Luis Ortiz, Jarrell Miller, Alexander Povetkin, and Kubrat Pulev would have a chance of beating him. I would pick Joe Joyce and Tony Yoka to beat Fury without either of them having fought one fight as a pro. Those guys have the power and the style to beat Fury.

Joshua might get spoiled by his April 29 fight against Wladimir Klitschko, because it’s such a huge fight with a lot of money to be made by him. After that fight, it’s going to be a huge let down for Joshua to go back to fighting the run of the mill heavyweights. He would obviously like to go from fighting Wladimir to a fight with Fury. It doesn’t work that way. Joshua will probably have to face someone like Luis Ortiz or Pulev next. Those are 2 risky fights for Joshua if he’s no properly motivated.

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