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Dillian Whyte: “I’m ready to fight” Joshua in the summer

Image: Dillian Whyte: "I'm ready to fight" Joshua in the summer

By Charles Brun: A pepped-up-looking Dillian Whyte says he’s now “ready” to fight Anthony Joshua next in the summer after watching him defeat Jermaine Franklin in an unimpressive performance last Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London.

Possibly already smelling the money he’ll get from a rematch with Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) in a stadium fight in the summer, a badly slurring Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) says he’s ready to take on AJ. Standing next to Whyte last Saturday night at the O2, David Haye said, “the fans want it,” meaning they want to see Joshua fight Dillian.

Haye didn’t say which fans want to see this match, but he’s likely referring to the older ones interested in seeing the Joshua-Whye clash.

Younger fans that follow the sport aren’t interested in seeing Joshua face Whyte again because there’s no appeal. Unfortunately, Whyte hasn’t kept himself relevant by beating top-rung opposition, repeatedly failing in his fights in the last three years.

Dillian’s last semi-quality win came against fringe contender Oscar Rivas in 2019, and even in that fight, Whyte was arguably saved by the referee in the twelfth after he was hurt from a body shot.

If Whyte had beaten someone like Deontay Wilder or Joe Joyce in the last two years, he’d be an ideal option for Joshua’s next fight, but he hasn’t. Whyte clearly deserved a defeat in his last contest against Jermaine Franklin last November.

Younger fans want Joshua to face these guys

  • Joe Joyce
  • Deontay Wilder
  • Jared Anderson
  • Filip Hrgovic
  • Arslanbek Makhmudov
  • Frank Sanchez
  • Martin Bakolee
  • Zhilei Zhang

The question is whether AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn will want to deal with the massive backlash that will surely come from the boxing world if he names Whyte as Joshua’s opponent, considering that fight is dead in the water at this point. If this fight were a carton of milk, it would be sour beyond belief.

“He’s lost all his aggression and killer instinct. It’s a train coming to an end, coming to its final stop,” said Dillian Whyte to iFL TV, reacting to Anthony Joshua’s performance against Jermaine Franklin last Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London.

“I like that fight; it makes perfect sense,” said David Haye about him wanting Joshua to fight Whyte next. “The fans want it; the purists want it. You know what you’re going to get.”

“I think it’s a great time,” said Whyte for Joshua to fight him. “He should have knocked Franklin out. It was a terrible performance. If I fight in June, I’ll fight him in the summer. I’m ready.”

You can strongly argue that Joshua would be better off fighting a trilogy match with Andy Ruiz rather than taking the rematch against the faded journeyman Whyte. At least Ruiz can still fight a little and can throw speedy combinations when in shape.

Yeah, Hearn can shove the Joshua-Whyte clash down the throats of the British public and give them no choice but to watch or ignore the fight, but it would hurt Joshua’s deteriorating fame, as it would be a signal to the fans that he’s no longer an elite-level fighter and is just playing out his hand before retiring.

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