Dillian Whyte: Anthony Joshua was ‘pretending’ he wanted to fight in 2019
By Charles Brun: Dillian Whyte thinks Anthony Joshua wasn’t serious last year when the two were in negotiations briefly to put together a fight in April 2019 for Wembley Stadium in London.
With the negotiations going nowhere, Joshua ended up facing Andy Ruiz Jr. and was stopped in an embarrassing fashion in the 7th round last June.
Whyte thinks Joshua was just faking like he wanted the fight with him, but his real intention was to face Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller. After that fight fell apart following Miller’s positive tests for banned substances, Whyte STILL didn’t get picked by AJ.
That was a big disappointment for Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs), who was hoping to get the rematch with Joshua so that he avenge his loss from 2015. Joshua stopped Whyte in the 7th round after being stunned by him in the 2nd. In the aftermath of that crushing defeat, Whyte has bounced back nicely in winning his last 11 fights.
Has Hearn intentionally been keeping Joshua away from Whyte?
With Whyte and Joshua, both signed with Matchroom Boxing, it’s a fight that could have easily been made a long time ago if the interest was there. Over the years, Whyte has repeatedly made it clear to promoter Eddie Hearn that he wanted the rematch with Joshua, but for some reason, he’s not made the fight. Is it possible that Hearn has been protecting Joshua from Whyte? Some boxing fans believe that to be the reason why he hasn’t put that mouth-watering rematch together after all these years.
If not that, then it’s possible that Hearn has been letting the Joshua vs. Whyte 2 contest marinate for it to create more interest from the boxing world. That’s hard to believe though given the risky fights that Whyte has taken against Oscar Rivas, Dereck Chisora and Joseph Parker. Whyte could have lost to any of those fighters along the way, and that would have spoiled the interest from boxing fans in seeing a Joshua-Whyte rematch.
It’s more likely that Hearn has been protecting Joshua from Whyte, which is why he’s been pushing so hard to set up a fight between Dillian and Deontay Wilder. If Whyte were to have beaten Wilder, then that would be two revenue streams for Matchroom instead of one with Joshua as the only heavyweight champion with the promoted by the company.
Whyte upset with Joshua
“No point pretending you want the fight, pretending you’re trying to make it,” Whyte said to skysports.com.” No. If you want the fight, the fight is there. I’ll fight anyone, any time, anywhere. If he wants it, he can get it.”By the time the fight comes, I’ll be flying.”
The positive side, Whyte will get a world title shot in 2021, as long as he beats former WBA champion Povetkin. Additionally, the coronavirus pandemic could have an impact on whether Whyte gets his mandated title shot for the WBC belt. If the virus is still around by next year, and many believe that it will be, Whyte may find himself still waiting.
Hearn has talked of possibly taking fights behind closed doors if boxing is shut down for a prolonged period of time from the COVID 19 pandemic. That’s going to require a lot of work on Hearn and Matchroom Boxing’s part to figure out how to stage fights behind closed doors inside TV studios.
The Boxing Board of Control will need to agree to it, and they’ll need to find a way to test the fighters and get the required medical staff for the fights. Right now, it’s a major hurdle that Hearn and his promotional company will need to leap over to resume staging their cards.
Hearn is still in the hoping stage in which he’s counting on the coronavirus disappearing and/or a vaccine being quickly created to stop the coronavirus. Given the history of the last two major pandemics [Swine Flu and 1918 Spanish Flu], that’s not likely to happen. Those two pandemics stayed around for well over a year and killed massive amounts of people.
Whyte vs. Povetkin still scheduled for May 2
Whyte is scheduled to take on Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) on May 2 in Manchester, England in a fight that is scheduled to be shown on Sky Sports Box Office. However, Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn stated last Friday that he’ll be making an announcement next Monday on March 30 on all three of Matchroom’s May [2, 9 and 23] cards due to the coronavirus.
As a result, it’s expected that Whyte’s May 2 fight against Povetkin will be postponed until a later date. Hearn stated that the earliest boxing could return is June, but even then he’s not certain.
You hate to say it but Hearn may need to reschedule Whyte vs. Povetkin 2 or 3 times before the fight finally takes place in 2020 or 2021. The worry here is that if the Povetkin fight drifts into 2021, then it could potentially slow up his efforts to challenge for the WBC title. If there’s an escape clause to the contract for the Povetkin fight, then Whyte may need to use it so that he doesn’t miss out entirely on a title shot for the WBC belt in 2021.
Dillian could miss out on his title shot in 2021
Whyte may only have a small window to get his title shot in 2021 before the WBC champion, whoever that is by then, will move on and look for bigger fights. With all the moaning that Whyte has been doing for the last two years over him not getting a title shot, he could be shooting himself in the foot if he sticks out with the Povetkin fight next year.
It’s not a big deal for Povetkin. He already fought Joshua in 2018 and got a big payday in a losing effort. But for the 31-year-old Povetkin, it’s important that he fights for a world title soon.
By 2021, Whyte will have been a professional for 10 years, and that’s a long time for a fighter to wait to get his FIRST world title shot. In comparison, Joshua fought for a world title in just his third year as a pro in 2016.
To be sure, Joshua had it easier than Whyte due to him capturing a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, but you’d like to think Dillian should have gotten his chance long ago.
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