Dillian Whyte wants Zhilei Zhang next
By Jake Tiernan: Dillian Whyte says he’s ready to step in and “fill the gap” be the next opponent for WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang to defend his newly won title following his win over Joe Joyce last Saturday night in London.
Whyte was at ringside at the Copper Box Arena, watching the Joyce-Zhang fight, hoping to be the next opponent for Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs), but those hopes were dashed with ‘The Juggernaut’ suffering a sixth-round TKO loss to Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KOs).
With Joyce now out of the picture, the 35-year-old Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) has turned his sights towards Zhang and is hoping that he’ll throw him a bone in this needy time in his sinking career.
Recently, Dillian had been hoping to get a lucrative rematch against Anthony Joshua in July, but AJ has now revealed that he won’t be fighting until December.
Whyte thinks Joshua isn’t serious about sitting out of the ring for the next eight months, but even if he does fight before then, he’s not likely to fight Dillian.
If Whyte can get a fight against Zhang, he can put himself back in the picture for a world title fight against IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk, and he would have something that would entice Joshua into fighting him, which is the fight that he wants the most.
“I’m p***d because I wanted a Joe [Joyce] fight, but it’s heavyweight boxing, and like I say, if you keep taking shots, it’s only a matter of time before the shots catch up to you. Unfortunately, it caught up to Joe tonight. It’s a shame,” said Dillian Whyte to iFL TV, reacting to Joe Joyce’s sixth-round TKO loss to Zhilei Zhang last Saturday night at the Copper Box Arena in London.
“He was calm, relaxed, taking it easy, slipping & sliding and catching him with clean left hands,” said Whyte when asked what he thought of Zhang’s performance. “He knew he had to be calm because he couldn’t fight at Joe’s pace because he’d get tired.
“There could be, but I’d jump in and fill the gaps,” said Dillian when asked if he believes there will be a rematch between Joyce and Zhang.
“It is, but it’s dangerous to carry on,” said Whyte about Joyce needing to be pulled out because of his eye injury. “Let him regroup. His health comes first. He’s taken a lot of punishment throughout his career, and he’s taken some tonight. Let Joe recover, and we’ll see what happens,” said Dillian when asked if he’d like to fight Joyce next.
“Zhang has never been underrated. He’s a good fighter. I thought he beat Hrgovic. It was a fight that we tried to get before, but it didn’t happen, but it’s boxing. In sports, you win some, and you lose some. You get behind Joe and hope he comes back bigger and better.
“Whoever wants it can get it. I’m trying, but sometimes boxing slows down,” said Dillian when told that he needed to hurry up and announce his next fight.
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- Zhang vs. Joyce II: Is this the end for ‘The Juggernaut’?