IBF, WBA, IBO heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) revealed that he immediately requested a rematch with Dillian Whyte in the wake of Kubrat Pulev's withdrawal from their scheduled fight on October 28 in Cardiff.
Pulev with ultimately replaced by Carlos Takam (35-3-1, 27 KOs) on twelve days notice.
Joshua and Whyte have a long standing rivalry. Whyte defeated Joshua in 2009, when they were both amateurs. They collided in the ring in December of 2015, with Joshua getting rocked early on, but then storming forward to stop Whyte in the seventh round.
Whyte (21-1, 16 KOs) is already scheduled to appear on the undercard of Joshua's card, in a bout against Robert Helenius in a WBC world title eliminator. A victory will get Whyte a little closer to one of his goals, a showdown with WBC champion Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs).
Joshua felt that a rematch with Whyte would have generated instant fireworks for the expected crowd of over 70,000 in Principality.
"Dillian was the first person I asked to fight in Cardiff, because the two people who brought the best out of me entertainment-wise were Dillian and Klitschko," Joshua told Nick Parkinson.
"Klitschko, I was buzzing for a rematch because of the type of fight it was, it was great. Dillian, the same reason, it was just a buzz, everyone had a good time. Let's look back at certain careers -- if you can pick memorable nights Dillian would be one and Klitschko would be one. Out of my career there should be four or five memorable nights and we've already ticked off two."
But promoter Eddie Hearn has other ideas for Whyte. He is aggressively pushing to get Whyte in the ring with Wilder in February, and then the winner could face Joshua.
"Dillian has a good fight against Helenius, but if Dillian wins I'd like to see him fight Wilder," said Hearn. "AJ will have a fight in March or something like that, then we fight the winner of Wilder-Whyte in the summer for the unification."
Wilder would still have to overcome Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) in their scheduled rematch on November 4 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.