If Dillian Whyte ever gets a second shot at Anthony Joshua, the brash British contender is more confident than ever that he can knock out his heavyweight rival.
After watching Andy Ruiz Jr. batter a then-unbeaten Joshua nine months ago, Whyte believes he could do the same thing in their rematch. Less than four months before Joshua won his first heavyweight title, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist stopped Whyte in the seventh round of their December 2015 bout at O2 Arena in London.
“If Ruiz can knock him out, I can 100-percent knock him out because I’m a harder puncher than Andy Ruiz, pound-for-pound,” Whyte told Sky Sports. “I’ve got better feet than him as well, and better boxing technique than Andy Ruiz. He’s got fast hands, but his feet are slow.”
Joshua was more than a 20-1 favorite versus Ruiz entering their June 1 fight at Madison Square Garden in New York. Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) overcame a third-round knockdown, dropped Joshua four times and beat him by seventh-round TKO to pull off one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history.
Joshua out-boxed Ruiz in their 12-round rematch December 7 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, won a unanimous decision and regained his IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO championships.
Whyte, meanwhile, is preparing for a fight against former WBA heavyweight champ Alexander Povetkin for the WBC’s interim title May 2 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. The card headlined by Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) and Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) has not yet been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it very well could be moved to a later date.
If Whyte overcomes Povetkin, he would maintain his position as the WBC’s mandatory challenger for its heavyweight title. While Whyte wants to face the winner of the third bout between WBC champ Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and former champ Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), an opportunity to avenge his only loss as a professional is on his mind as well.
“Yeah, I would love that,” Whyte said. “I would love to fight Joshua again, at a drop of a hat. It’s one of the biggest fights out there. I’m in the game to have the biggest fights and the most meaningful fights. I’m trying to make history.
“Imagine, to get one shot at all the marbles at once, how unreal that would be after all this nonsense – and then, out of nowhere, me and Joshua fight, I knock him out and became undisputed champion of the world.”
England’s Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) is supposed to make a mandatory defense of his IBF title against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) on June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. That fight could get postponed until July 25 in accordance with changes to Tottenham Hotspur’s home soccer schedule caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.