Everyone loves a grudge match. And if you thought English soccer fans were rowdy, just wait until these two settle their unsettled rivalry.
Anthony Joshua will fight Dillan Whyte for the British heavyweight title.
Joshua is undefeated as a professional with all 13 wins coming by way of knockout or stoppage, and promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport has given his fighter a unique opportunity.
Although the Watford fighter doesn’t know how it feels to lose on the professional level, he has lost in the amateurs, notably to Whyte, who has been lambasting his bitter rival since 2009.
Joshua has the opportunity to claim the British heavyweight title and avenge a loss at the same time.
Hearn knew from the moment Joshua turned pro that eventually the two rivals would cross paths, speaking to Sky Sports.
“The moment Anthony Joshua turned pro, I knew this fight would happen.
“I’ve been in talks with Dillian for the last couple of months and originally it was penciled in for September 12, but he picked up the hand injury, and his trainer was involved in an accident and not having boxed since February, it would’ve been the wrong move for him to go into a fight like this ill-prepared.
“But now, he has got the chance to fight on Sky and build up to a large domestic grudge match that by the time it comes around will be a major sporting event.
“I think it is Joshua’s toughest test yet in and out of the ring. The rivalry is real, and I could see that in the negotiations and Dillian will be trying to press all the buttons to get under his skin.
“You will see a different side of Anthony Joshua in this fight, especially outside the ring. The build-up will be fierce.
Like Joshua, Whyte is also undefeated in 14 fights, with 11 of those wins coming by way of knockout.
However, Whyte served a two-year ban after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine, which he attributed to his use of Jack3d, an over-the-counter supplement that he took ahead of his fourth-round TKO victory over Sandor Balog on October 13.
He isn’t the only fighter who has been busted, either.
Former lightweight champion Brandon Rios tested positive for the same supplement after getting beaten in one-sided fashion against Manny Pacquiao.
Whyte and Joshua come from opposite ends of the spectrum literally and figuratively. Whyte is from south London, while Joshua is from the north.
According to Ringside following Whyte’s points victory over Joshua in 2009, there was no animosity, until after the London Olympics in 2012, when both fighters were training in the Klitschko camp.
“It got a bit heated and I offered him out to fight me and then it got calmed down,” Whyte said.
“He explained that ‘his quotes got taken out of context, that’s not what he said’ and we were okay. I offered to spar with him before his fight with Konstantin Airich, but then he changed his mind in the evening.
“He came back and started ranting about other stuff so, there’s no love lost.”