By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Dillian Whyte’s narrow victory over Dereck Chisora amounted to such a brutal battle, Whyte didn’t fight again for eight months.
If Whyte wins their rematch December 22, he could earn another shot at unbeaten British superstar Anthony Joshua in his following fight. That’d require Whyte to take less than a two-month break after facing Chisora again in order to properly prepare for a potential fight against Joshua on April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has no doubt that quick turnaround won’t become problematic for Whyte.
“Dillian’s always good to go,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com recently. “He’s got to win it first.”
If Whyte can conquer his rival a second time, Hearn considers Whyte “the favorite” to face Joshua if a Joshua-Deontay Wilder heavyweight title unification fight cannot be arranged for April 13. Hearn has engaged in preliminary negotiations with Wilder’s handlers, but Wilder would have to defeat another big Brit, Tyson Fury, on December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles for those talks to intensify after the Wilder-Fury fight.
“I would say Whyte is the favorite,” Hearn said, “if Wilder doesn’t take it in April.”
The 30-year-old Whyte is the WBO’s No. 1 heavyweight contender. The WBO is next in the championship rotation for Joshua’s mandatory defenses.
Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) owns the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles. He made a mandatory defense of his WBA championship in his last fight, a seventh-round stoppage of Russia’s Alexander Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) on September 22 at Wembley Stadium.
Joshua previously stopped Whyte in the seventh round of a December 2015 bout at O2 Arena in London. That’s the only loss of Whyte’s seven-year pro career.
The Jamaican-born, London-based Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) and the Zimbabwe-born Chisora (29-8, 21 KOs) will meet December 22 at O2 Arena. Their first fight, which Whyte won by split decision in December 2016 in Manchester, England, was an all-action brawl that drew “Fight of the Year” consideration.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.