Dillian Whyte says he wants to face Anthony Joshua “another two or three times” in his career.
Whyte, the WBC interim heavyweight champion, instantly named his fellow Londoner Joshua, the WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF champion, as the opponent he wanted more than any other when prompted by Eddie Hearn in an Instagram Live chat on Monday.
The pair have a history, with Whyte having beaten Joshua as an amateur and Joshua having gained revenge in a British title fight in 2015.
But Whyte has often been the name Joshua said he wanted to face more than anyone else and if a Joshua-Fury fight isn’t made, a Joshua-Whyte fight could be a possibility.
“I would like to fight Joshua another two or three times in my career,” Whyte said. “That fight would make you run extra miles, it would make you do everything correctly. He is just that guy that would make you go to bed that hour early.”
Whyte said he was also the man to motivate Joshua.
“It is good being world champion, but sometimes you need that extra kick,” he said. “He has got money, he has got world titles, so he wants challenges. Like ‘I know I have to be ready for Dillian, because Dillian is very dangerous’. He knows that.”
Whyte was speaking to Hearn from his training camp in Portugal, as he prepares for a May 2 fight with Alexander Povetkin in Manchester. It is a fight that is expected to be postponed this week because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He drove to Portugal, a 40-hour trip from London, so he could take his dogs with him while Europe ramps up restrictions to tackle the virus.
“It’s quiet but there is food on the shelves and it is a good set up,” Whyte said. “Everyone is panicking but it is not as bad as at home.
“The mindset is my date isn’t cancelled. I’m a professional, so I’m training, try and stay positive. A lot of people look up to us professional athletes, so I try and post something positive every day, just to show that I am still training, I am still remaining strong.
“It is really important to show people in these times, as well as yourself, that you just get on with life as best as you can in these situations. It is easy just to panic and to shut down and then everything just stops. I just try and show as much positivity as I can.”
While Whyte is now one of the sport’s big earners, he said he can appreciate the situation that many boxers are further down the food chain knowing they ill not earn any money if they do not box.
“It is tough,” he said. “I have been through every side of boxing. I have been on the losing side of boxing and on the way up selling tickets. It is very hard when you are an up and coming fighter and have to sell tickets and if you are not boxing there is no money coming in. It is difficult.
“I know exactly how these boys are feeling. It’s hard, but you have to just try to be professional and think of the long term goal, which is to become a better fighter. Take the time just to improve.”
He also says he will be much lighter for his fight with Povetkin, if it goes ahead, having scaled a whopping 271lb for his fight with Mariusz Wach in Saudi Arabia in December. He says he expects to be around 252lb this time.
“I’m going to get back down to my fighting weight” he said. “I’m lighter now than I was for the Saudi fight.
“As it stands I still have a long time until May 2. I’m not really worried. I should be in prime physical condition and I need to be against Povetkin, because he is an Olympic gold medallist, former world champion, he has only lost to two strong reigning world champions. The guy is technically good and he is awkward.
“Mariusz Wach is a tough guy but I knew I had what I enough to beat him regardless, but against this kind of guy, you have to train hard, you have to put in the time and come in in shape. I should come in 115 (kg), maybe 116 or 114. Last time I was 122.”