By Jake Tiernan: Anthony Joshua will be returning to the ring on August 12th to face the still quite dangerous Dillian Whyte in what is supposed to be a tune-up level fight at the O2 Arena in London.
According to promoter Eddie Hearn, this was Joshua’s call to take on Whtye (29-3, 19 KOs) in a rematch to prepare him for a mega-fight against former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia.
With Joshua’s high expectations of himself, he feels that if he can’t beat the 35-year-old Whyte, what’s the point of fighting Wilder?
Of course, it helps that Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) is already fabulously wealthy, with a net worth estimated at $274 million, which could grow to nearly $1 billion if he sticks around for another five to seven years to enjoy enormous paydays against Deontay, Tyson Fury and trilogy fights against Oleksandr Usyk and Andy Ruiz Jr.
Whyte is in a must-win situation going into this with Joshua after the last two performances against Jermaine Franklin and Tyson Fury. If Whyte performs similarly, Joshua will blow him out of the water in short order.
Dillian can potentially earn another payday fight against Joshua if he beats, which is why he will be fighting tooth &nail on AAugutt 12th, knowing what he stands to gain.
Whyte had kicked around the idea of swapping places with Joshua to fight Wilder next in Saudi Arabia if he were victorious, but it’s clear that the Saudi only want AJ, and this isn’t a situation where he can take his spot, regardless of how well he does on August 12tth.
Joshua will bring the heat
Dillian Whyte: “Of course, I can [stop Joshua],” said Anthony Joshua’s Youtube channel.
Anthony Joshua: “Impossible. I don’t think Dillian can stop me. To get anywhere in boxing, you’ve got to work hard. So I’m assuming you put in a lot of hard work.”
Whyte: “What do you mean you’re assuming I put in a lot of hard work?”
Joshua: “I’m assuming you put in a lot of hard work. I’m not with you to say, ‘Dillian did this, this, and this.’ I can only assume. I don’t know what you did. I don’t know how many miles you run.
Whyte: “I don’t need to do all that.”
Joshua: “That’s why I can assume that you don’t work hard if you didn’t do all that. Why you don’t want to shake my hand? I respect you as a fighter, but I’ve got to bring the heat, and I got to fight to win.”
Whyte is going to bring just as much heat as Joshua, and you can believe he’s going to be swinging for the fences, looking to park AJ’s head in the next galaxy.
The first time they fought in 2015, Whyte fought with an injured left shoulder and still staggered Joshua in the second round. Assuming Whyte is 100% healthy for the rematch, he’ll have a good chance of winning if he can get to Joshua early before he begins bombarding him with mortar fire.
“So what am I bringing differently? I want to say a new mindset but like a new perspective. But ultimately, everything new has to lead to a win. So yeah, that’s what I’m focused on right now, just winning,” Joshua continued bout his preparation for his rematch with Whyte.
“There’s a certain standard that one has to have if one wants to achieve certain things. I am working passed efforts that I’ve set out for myself. Yes, it’s tough. Yes, I’m tired, and yes, my body feels it.
“As much as I want to win, when I see someone around me that wants to win just as much as me, it gives me motivation. I’m the one on the battlefield, and I’ll go out and conquer so I can bring back harvest back to my team.
“As much as I want to win for myself, I also want to win for my coach [Derrick James]. I respect him and his time and effort that he puts in. So what’s riding on it for me is respect, and I want to win for my coach, really.
“That’s what’s riding on it for me because I want to go back to camp, and he knows that everything that he’s taught me and the time he’s put into me hasn’t been wasted. That’s what’s important to me.
“You train 12 weeks, sparring and hitting the heavy bag, then you fight one guy, and it’s like hell. You go through hell. That’s what it is,” said Joshua.
It’s possible the training camp could turn out tougher than the fight if Joshua can connect with one of his powerful uppercuts to the head of Whyte. As we saw in Dillian’s knockout losses to Tyson Fury & Alexander Povetkin, he’s vulnerable to uppercut.
Even Oscar Rivas put Whyte down with an uppercut in their fight in 2019, and he’s not known for his power.
Whyte is dangerous for AJ
“Really, you’re fighting on a high level. So you’re training on a high level, and so you expect him to be where he is. If not, he’s going to get wiped away. Wipe the floor with him,” said Derrick James.
“I believe every fight is a dangerous fight. In the context of Dillian, he’s a dangerous fighter for sure,” said Joshua. “Every heavyweight is dangerous, especially when they’re coming up against me.”
Of course, every fighter that faces Joshua will fight as hard as they can, not only due to the publicity surrounding the contests but also having the potential of making millions in a rematch.
For example, Andy Ruiz Jr amassed a $10 million fortune from his two fights with Joshua, and his career was going nowhere before he faced him.
“Not many people in the division want to see me do well. That’s what I believe, anyway. I believe that,” said Joshua. “I believe in the sense that people smile in your face and stab you behind your back. So, I’ve got to keep my wits about me and be clever.
“Dillian is dangerous because of me. He wants to beat me. It’s going to be a fight, bro. Two big, strong heavyweights going at it, and I believe there will be a knockout. It has to come from my side; it has to. I need to win.
“It’s what I’ve been praying for, and I believe you shall be given what you ask,” said Joshua.