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Anthony Joshua names SIX fighters he wants to face before retiring

Image: Anthony Joshua names SIX fighters he wants to face before retiring

By Charles Brun: Anthony Joshua wants to give Dillian Whyte the title shot that he’s been chasing for the last four years. IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (23-1, 21 K.O.s) says he’ll fight Whyte (27-1, 18 K.O.s) after he beats Kubrat Pulev, Oleksandr Usyk, and Tyson Fury. As the WBC interim champion, Whyte won’t have a choice but to fight him.

On Joshua’s six-man list that he wants to face before retiring, he’s left Andy Ruiz’s name off the list for some reason. The two fighters are 1-1 at this point, and it’s not a given that Joshua wins the third fight with Ruiz. Did Joshua intentionally leave Ruiz’s name off the list because he’s worried about facing him when he’s in shape?

Whyte is someone that would resonate for Joshua in the U.K. only, as the U.S. casual boxing fans aren’t familiar with him. The hardcore fans know of Whyte from his life and death struggles against Joseph Parker, Dereck Chisora, and Oscar Rivas.  They also remember Whyte from his knockout loss to Joshua in 2015.

Joshua says he offered the fight to Whyte last year, but he rejected it. So instead of fighting him, Joshua took on Andy Ruiz Jr., and the rest is history. Ruiz Jr. stopped Joshua and made a bundle in two fights.

While Joshua was busy with Ruiz, Whyte has been spinning his wheels fighting Oscar Rivas and Mariusz Wach. Whyte, 32, didn’t look good in either of those contests, and he’s lucky he escaped them with a victory. In those two clashes, Whyte seemed to be on the same level as Dereck Chisora as a fighter.

Image: Anthony Joshua names SIX fighters he wants to face before retiring

Joshua names six fighters he wants to face

“Usyk, Wilder, Fury, Ortiz, Adam Kownacki, Jarrell Miller, said Joshua to Sky Sports Boxing in naming six fighters he wants to face.

If Joshua loses to WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, he made need to downsize his list by three or four. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has already said that they’re going to be signing a two-fight deal with Fury. This means there’s a chance.

“Maybe he wants his hand on the WBC, but if me and Tyson Fury fight, then I know he didn’t want to fight me last year, but he’ll definitely have to fight me this time if he wants his hands on the WBC belt,” said Joshua on Whyte.

It appears that Whyte is going to hold out and wait for his title shot against WBC champion Tyson Fury rather than take the money offered to him for a fight against Joshua. It’s pretty apparent what the rationale is for Whyte in going the WBC route.

Is Whyte better off facing Joshua rather than Fury?

Whyte’s likely goal is to beat WBC champion Fury and then use the belt as a pawn to get a bigger payday against Joshua. The difference in money that Whyte can make as a world champion in a match against Joshua will likely be significant compared to what he would get as a mere contender.

Whyte’s would be great if he the talent to beat Fury to capture the WBC strap, but it’s not likely that he will. So instead of getting good money as a challenger to Joshua, he’s going to take on Fury and probably get a boxing lesson. At that point, if Whyte tries to go back to Joshua to ask for a fight, he’ll be directed to the end of a long line of contenders waiting for a chance to fight him.

A.J. predicting a comfortable win over Whyte

“Once I’ve beaten Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte can come and get this work as well. It won’t be that good; it will be one-sided,” said Joshua.

Given how bad Whyte looked in his last two fights against Wach and Rivas, he’s not going to do well against Joshua. With the way Joshua is focusing on boxing now, Whyte will have a hard time landing anything on him, and it could be embarrassing.

Last year, Whyte arguably should have taken the fight with Joshua because that would have been the best time to face him. Back then, Joshua was still massive, looking like a bodybuilder, and he saw himself as invincible. Joshua’s loss to Ruiz Jr. was a wakeup call for him that he needed to make significant changes in his game. Fortunately for him, he was able to do that, and that enabled him to beat Ruiz in their rematch.

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