Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has praised Dillian Whyte for his two victories over Dereck Chisora.
The WBA, IBF and WBO titleholder, who sparred with Chisora in preparation for his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr last December, said he didn’t realise just how strong Chisora was until he got in the ring with him.
“The Chisora from the two fights against Dillian will give Usyk problems,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “I watched the Chisora versus Price fight – I thought: ‘why isn’t Price controlling Chisora?’
“Then I sparred Chisora. The guy is strong, you know. He is no joke.
“And I give Dillian credit for dealing with him twice. To control Chisora over 12 or 11 rounds takes some doing.”
Joshua boxed a clever fight off the backfoot to reclaim the heavyweight titles from Ruiz Jr on points in Saudi Arabia and said former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will need to take a similar approach when he takes on the bullish Chisora at The O2 in London on May 23.
“For Usyk, who is a cruiserweight, yes, feet and movement,” he said. “I was big enough to do that to Andy Ruiz Jr, to make him feel the power. Ruiz Jr knew that if he walked in without thinking about it then he might catch something.
“When you’re dealing with someone and you’re not worried about their power, i.e. Chisora may not be worried about Usyk’s power, then Usyk may run into some problems.
“Then again, Usyk is one of the best fighters the world has ever seen in this generation.”
Whyte won a thrilling 12-round split decision over Chisora in 2016 before producing a dramatic 11th round knockout in their rematch two years later.
“He’s (Usyk) thinking he can out-manoeuvre Dereck, but if Dereck is in shape, which I’m sure he will be, he’ll have a nasty surprise and he’ll have a hard night of work, if he wins,” Whyte told Sky Sports.
“I’ll tell him straight, don’t underestimate Dereck. If he’s in shape and he’s motivated, he will give you work. Serious work as well.”