By: Sean Crose
Anthony Joshua continues on the road he hopes will return him to glory. He may not be facing a name such as Fury, or Wilder, but Joshua will indeed be facing an old foe when he next steps into the ring. For the popular Brit known as “AJ” will once again be facing well known contender Dillian Whyte when the two square off on August 12th at London’s O2 Arena. The pair met once before professionally, back in 2015. Joshua won that fight in seven, though it must be said that Whyte defeated the towering Londoner back when both were amateurs.
There will undoubtedly be a considerable amount of griping regarding this match. Joshua has lost twice to Oleksandr Usyk in recent years. What’s more, the former WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titlist went a full twelve rounds his last outing against American Jermaine Franklin. And now he’s fighting a man he’s previously defeated. Still, that might be all the more reason why a rematch with Whyte is a smart move on the part of Joshua and his team. He’s bested Whyte before, after all, and will no doubt be expected to best him again. In truth, Joshua appears to need a confidence booster, and Whyte may be considered just that. The question, of course, is what happens if Whyte pulls off the upset?
There’s no doubt Whyte was once seen as one of the top fighters in the division, after all. What’s more, although he was recently demolished by Tyson Fury, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t stand a chance against Joshua, especially when one considers the fact that Joshua looks to be trying to press the restart button. Unquestionably, Matchroom honcho Eddie Hearn hopes the question “What If?” rings in the minds of fans. “The rivalry runs deep,” says the promoter, “and there is something about these two where they will never back down from each other. At times it may have looked like a game of bluff but now we are set and with everything that’s on the line this is an absolute must win for both.”
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