Whyte raises ‘mental’ concern that could bury Joshua fight

Emotional Anthony Joshua explains erratic behaviour after defeat

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Dillian Whyte has raised concerns about his proposed fight with Anthony Joshua. Whyte is unclear about where AJ’s head is at and isn’t sure how long he will continue boxing.

The pair fought each other as professionals back in 2015 after a fierce amateur rivalry. Both men’s keen dislike for one another captivated audiences with the event selling 699,000 domestic PPVs for a British title fight.

Joshua came away the victor via a seventh-round knockout but was troubled by a left hook from Whyte that rocked him to his boots. Seven years later, Joshua and Whyte are established, world-level competitors who still carry the hunger for a long-awaited rematch.

“I would fight Joshua tomorrow; I’d fight him for less money,” Wilder told DAZN. “We just have that thing where me and him fight, sparks fly. It’s a fight that will make you run faster, and make you diet better. It’s a fight that would make me go to bed at 7 o’clock every day.

“He was fighting Usyk and he kept on talking about me and I said to him, ‘bro relax, focus on your fight because it’s a hard fight, bless you and be safe, we can talk about it after your fight and my fight’ – it’s just that we want to beat each other up.”

Whyte hopes that they can have three fights before they hang up their gloves. However, he isn’t certain that Joshua has the motivation to continue with the sport after making so much money and history.

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“I’ll fight Joshua when I’m 60. I hope [we have a trilogy] but I don’t know where he is mentally and how long he wants to fight. He has achieved a lot, he’s done a lot, he’s got a lot of finances, made a lot of history.”

Whyte faces undefeated American up-and-comer, Jermaine Franklin, next on November 26 in a must-win fight. According to promoter Eddie Hearn, the winner of the contest is the ‘frontrunner’ to face AJ in early 2023.

Hearn revealed that Joshua’s top pick for his next fight is Whyte and that there is a lot of appetite from both parties. Should he not succeed, and Matchroom Boxing choose to look elsewhere Otto Wallin and Zhang Zhilei have been mentioned as potential alternatives.

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