Home Boxing News Retirement looms for Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte loser, says former world...

Retirement looms for Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte loser, says former world champion

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

The loser of the heavyweight clash between former two-time unified champion Anthony Joshua 25-3 (22) and former world title challenger Dillian Whyte 29-3 (19) should seriously consider hanging up the gloves.

That is the opinion of one former two-weight world champion.

Joshua and Whyte will meet at the O2 Arena in London, England on August 12. The bout will be a rematch of their 2015 fight that Joshua won by seventh-round knockout.

The victor will mave a strong case for another world title shot while the vanquished will go to the back of the queue.

Both Joshua and Whyte are coming off points decision wins over American fringe contender Jermaine Franklin 22-2 (14) following losses last year — the former to Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13), the latter to WBC champion Tyson Fury 33-0-1 (24).

Ricky Hatton, who held world titles at junior welterweight and welterweight in the 2000s, has called on the loser to join him in retirement.

“I think AJ has gone maybe a little bit gun-shy, a bit timid at times, a bit too safety first,” Hatton told Metro.co.uk.

“Whyte obviously got beat by Fury, I think they are both at a stage in their careers where the loser might hang their gloves up. But don’t think for one minute Whyte can’t go in there and knock out AJ.

“AJ is an Olympic gold medallist, a two-time world champion having lost and regained the titles. He lost two fights to Usyk which is no shame but at this stage if he goes and loses to Dillian Whyte that could be that. Poor Dillian Whyte was number one contender for forever and a day, he got made to wait and wait then unfortunately got knocked out when his chance did come.

“He was number one contender for years and had to wait so long, [if he loses to Joshua] I think he could say, ‘I have given my best but I could hang them up now’.

Joshua, 33, has had to rebuild his career before. He lost his WBA, WBO and IBF titles to Andy Ruiz Jr 35-2 (22) in June 2019 and won them back in their immediate rematch six months later.

He wasn’t so lucky against Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, who defeated him twice in consecutive fights.

The 35-year-old Whyte has had his setbacks too. In August 2020 he suffered a shock knockout loss to Alexander Povetkin before reversing the result in their rematch seven months later.

Hatton has a clear view on how he believes the rematch will play out.

“I think AJ will box him well early on and Dillian will put pressure on and try draw him in. The reason we love AJ fights is that he can get drawn in and it makes for a barnstormer,” Hatton said.

“It could end the same way. I think AJ wins the early rounds, Dillian will put the pressure on, get in his face and provide some real pressure in the later rounds. But because of the work I can see him [AJ] doing in the early rounds and his massive heart as he has shown throughout his career, I think he holds out for a points win.”