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Whyte says he’s heard nothing from Joshua

Anthony Joshua

By Scott Gilfoid: Dillian Whyte is sounding frustrated that the negotiations haven’t begun for his long awaited rematch against Anthony Joshua. Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) thought that after his 11th round knockout win over Dereck Chisora on December 22, the negotiations for his money fight against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) would start straightaway. Instead, Whyte, 30, was old by Joshua that he holds the #3 spot in the queue, behind WBC champion Deontay Wilder and lineal strap holder Tyson Fury.


Even though Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing said this week in an interview with IFL TV that Dillian is the “front-runner” for the Joshua fight on April 13, nothing has come of that. Whyte is now thinking that Joshua is going to swerve him for the sake of an easier fight. Obviously, Wilder and Fury aren’t easier fights for Joshua than Whyte, who struggled like crazy to beat the shopworn, high level journeyman Chisora in their rematch last week.

“We been trying to make the fight behind the scenes for a while,” Whyte complained to skysports.com. “We’ve been trying to speak. We were meant to hear after Wilder and Tyson Fury, what’s happening, but we’ve heard nothing.”

As long as Whyte stays patient, he’s going to get the fight with Joshua. Hearn isn’t going to be able to lure Fury or Wilder into fighting Joshua, not unless he offers them the kind of money that that would give them a reason to take that fight next on April 13. Offering Wilder a 70-30 split isn’t going to get the job done, and the same goes for Fury. If Hearn is going to be tight-fisted when it comes to offering Wilder and Fury money for the Joshua fight, then he’s going to have to look in another direction forwards Whyte and Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller to match against AJ.

Whyte is in the perfect spot to get the fight with Joshua on April 13 or later this year. Hearn wants Whyte for Joshua, and both guys are with his Matchroom Boxing promotional stable. It’s just a question of whether Joshua wants the Whyte fight or not. If Joshua doesn’t want to fight Whyte next, then it’s going to have to someone like the American Miller.

Hearn has made it clear though that if he matches Joshua against Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs), it’s going to take place in the United States, preferably in New York. That means that Hearn would need to move Joshua’s next fight from April 13 to May to have him fight Miller in the U.S. Whyte would then need to wait until either late 2019 or sometime in 2020.

It would depend largely on whether Hearn is able to negotiate a fight with Wilder or Fury for Joshua to fight in September or October 2019. As such, if Joshua faces Miller in May in New York, and then the winner of the Wilder-Fury fight in late 2019, then Whyte will be put on the boil until 2020. Hearn will need to keep Whyte busy fighting other fighters. It would be a good idea on Hearn’s part to start matching Whyte against quality fighters like Luis Ortiz and Joe Joyce.

Whyte needs to prove that he can beat guys that have a chance of beating him. Boxing is obviously a business, but promoters need to make sure they create interest in fights by putting their guys in fights where they have a chance of losing. Whyte hasn’t been in any of those types of fights since his loss to Joshua in 2015.

If Whyte is going to be forced to sit around until 2020 for a second fight with Joshua, then he needs to be matched against the Cuban southpaw Ortiz and Joyce. A lot of boxing fans think Whyte has been steered around Ortiz by Hearn due to the Cuban’s huge talent. At least now Whyte can show the boxing world that he’s not afraid of Ortiz, and that he’s capable of beating him. Frankly, you would have to say that Ortiz will wipe the deck with Whyte based on how Dillian fought against Chisora on December 22.

Whyte was losing that fight at the time he scored a stoppage in the 11th. Whyte’s win was tainted due to the referee twice taking points away from Chisora for fouling. The second point deduction came in the 11th round with things looking bleak for Whyte. Chisora got desperate after the point deduction, and left himself open for a left hand counter from Whyte. The referee Marcus McDonnell inserted himself into the fight by choosing to take a point away from Chisora at a crucial juncture when things were going badly for Whyte. What a lot of boxing fans were asking afterwards is why did the referee pick that time of the fight to take a point away from Chisora, and also why didn’t he take points away from Whyte for all the rabbit punching he was doing? It looked like only Chisora was getting the attention from the referee instead of Whyte, who was hitting him with a lot of punches to the back of his head. That performance from Whyte showed that he’s basically on Chisora’s left in terms of talent. You take away those two point deductions, and Whyte likely would have lost the fight to Chisora.

Whyte needs to prove that he can beat a good fighter like Ortiz, and he also needs to show that he can do it with a referee that isn’t changing the course of the fight like we saw in the Whyte-Chisora 2 rematch. In Whyte’s fight before that against Joseph Parker, the referee gave Dillian credit for a knockdown in round 2 in which he head-butted his opponent. Yeah, the head-butt was accidental, but Whyte still shouldn’t have been credit for a knockdown. The referee blew the call. Further, the referee let Whyte get away with a lot of fouling of Parker without doing anything about it to get him to stop with the rough house tactics.

Whyte believes that Joshua noticed that he’s punching power has improved lately with him knockout out Dereck Chisora and Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne, and that he might now be hesitant to share the ring with him in a rematch.

It’s clear that Whyte will eventually get his fight against Joshua. Whyte is rated #1 with the World Boxing Organization, and they’re expected to order Joshua to face him in September or October of 2019, if the two don’t fight each other on April 13. Hearn has put Joshua in a position where he almost has to fight Whyte on April 13, since he booked the huge 100,000 seat Wembley Stadium in London, England. Hearn needs a fighter that is popular enough to help fill that giant stadium, and Whyte is the only one that can do that besides Fury and Wilder, who are facing each other next in a rematch in early 2019.

With Hearn interested in carefully matching Joshua, he shouldn’t have booked Wembley Stadium. That was a mistake obviously, as it’s tied Hearn’s hands, forcing him to put Joshua in with Whyte whether he wants to make that fight or not. The only way that Hearn can get Joshua off of the April 13 date is if he substitutes the Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook fight for that venue, which is a real possibility. However, Khan still hasn’t decided whether he wants to fight Brook next, as he’s interested in challenging World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Terence Crawford in the first half of 2019. It’s about glory and cache for Khan. He gains more from beating pound-for-pound fighter Crawford (35-0, 24 KOs) than he does in facing Brook (38-2, 26 KOs), who was stopped by Errol Spence Jr. and Gennady Golovkin not too long ago. Brook looked horrible in his last fight against fringe junior middleweight contender Michael Zerafa on December 8. Brook won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision, but he took a lot of punishment along the way. The performance by Brook, 32, showed that he lacks the talent to beat the top fighters in the 154 pound weight class, which might explain why Hearn hasn’t even bothered trying to set him up against the lions in that division like Tony Harrison, Jarrett Hurd, Erislandy Lara, Jaime Munguia and Jermell Charlo. As far as Whyte goes, he’s going to get his title shot against Joshua, but he might need to wait a little while longer.

“This is a business, and he’s thinking Dillian is a potential problem, there’s other easier paydays out there, so let’s see,” Whyte said. “It will happen eventually but I think it should happen now.”

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