Home Boxing News Anthony Joshua insists he is not overlooking Dillian Whyte with Deontay Wilder...

Anthony Joshua insists he is not overlooking Dillian Whyte with Deontay Wilder fight on the horizon

Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte. Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Anthony Joshua 25-3 (22) says he is not thinking about any other heavyweight than Dillian Whyte 29-3 (19) ahead of their rematch at the O2 Arena in London, England on August 12.

The two-time unified heavyweight champion already has a fight pencilled in against ex-WBC ruler Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) in Suadi Arabia in December.

But the 33-year-old Brit insists he is not putting the cart before the horse and is focused solely on his rematch with Whyte, 35, who he defeated by seventh-round knockout early in his career eight years ago.

“Forget Wilder and them,” Joshua said. “That’s been going through my head for so many years now. I’ve seen the shenanigans in the heavyweight division.”

The status of the heavyweight division has stalled this year with talk of current WBC king Tyson Fury 33-0-1 (24) facing WBA, WBO and IBF champion Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13) coming to nothing despite negotiations dragging on since late last year.

“I’ll be for real. Fury saying he was training for Usyk. SugarHill came out and said, ‘Nah, I’m not training him.’ You can see all the lies going on. I don’t waste my time with time wasters,” Joshua continued.

“It’s only a fight. I just want to fight and get on with it.”

Joshua bounced back from a brace of points losses to Ukrainian southpaw Usyk in 2021 and 2022 with a 12-round decision victory over fringe contender Jermaine Franklin 21-2 (14) in London in April in his first bout under new trainer Derrick James.

The Whyte fight is designed to bed in his working relationship with American James, who trains his boxers out of Dallas, Texas.

“I can be here like. ‘I’m gonna smoke Dillian, I’m gonna run through Wilder. Then I’m gonna fight for the heavyweight championship.’ But that’s projecting a false narrative,” Joshua said.

“It’s not reality yet. What my reality is, I got Dillian Whyte in front of me. Wilder, of course that would be amazing. But I’m not waiting around. I could have waited. But I need to stay consistent. I need to fight.

“I don’t know what he’s doing with his career. He ain’t fought [since a first-round blowout of Robert Helenius in October]. That was one round. I just need to crack on and do what I need to do.”

Whyte knows his career at the top hangs in the balance right now and only victory will be an acceptable result.

“I just prepare for the best version of him,” Whyte said. “I don’t care what people are saying about him. I’m still coming to fight and I haven’t got anything to lose. I’m calm now – but the more you fuck about, we’ll soon find out.”

Matchroom Sport Chairman, Eddie Hearn said: “This is a fight I still can’t believe is happening. This is a massive fight for the heavyweight division.

“Little more than seven years ago, these two came head-to-head. I saw a picture earlier and they are unrecognisable to where they are today.

“Some seven years on, two world heavyweight titles and a plethora of huge heavyweight fights between them in sold-out stadiums and all around the world, these two heavyweights collide in London once again.”

Whyte holds an amateur win over Joshua.

“Victory in the amateurs and victory in the pros. Some are calling this ‘The Decider’. I call it a must-win for two of Britain’s biggest heavyweights,” Hearn continued.

“This fight has absolutely everything and it is the fight that both guys wanted. We can also announce that having gone on sale this morning, this fight is completely sold out. It’s a huge night for British boxing and it’s a huge fight for the heavyweight division.

“This is a fight that British boxing needs. It is the biggest fight for DAZN so far here in the UK.”