By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn is keen on matching Anthony Joshua against British journeyman Dillian Whyte in a rematch in August to prepare AJ for the massive money fight against Deontay Wilder in December in Saudi Arabia.
Hearn believes that Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) will get amped up for a fight against Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) and that the UK fans will be eager to see the rematch. There’s not much interest from British fans in a Joshua vs. Whyte second fight because there was no controversy surrounding their previous match in 2015. Joshua destroyed Whyte, knocking him out in seven rounds.
Recently, Whyte’s career has taken a massive turn for the worse, with him being knocked out in two out of his last four fights against 40-year-old Alexander Povetkin and Tyson Fury. Some boxing fans believe Whyte should have had three defeats in his previous four fights because his victory over Jermaine Franklin was seen as a gift decision.
It doesn’t make much sense for Joshua to fight the 35-year-old Whyte as this is a step down from his last contest against Jermaine Franklin last April.
Whyte arguably lost to Franklin in their fight in November last year and was given a highly controversial 12-round majority decision. For those who don’t know, the Whyte-Franklin fight occurred in London, England. Franklin is an American
Better options to prepare AJ for Wilder
Andy Ruiz Jr
“They know what kind of numbers we want based on the Ruiz and Usyk fight in Saudi Arabia,” said Eddie Hearn to Stamina For Sale about the negotiations with the Saudis for Anthony Joshua’s December fight against Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia.
“If they [the Saudis] can’t get Fury-Usyk over the line, they will still do AJ vs. Wilder. You hit the numbers that we want, and then we work backward on that for the August fight that he [Joshua] will be having.
“We all believe he needs that fight in August and more time with [trainer] Derrick James, more preparation for Deontay Wilder, and then that’s it. Who we choose will be dependent on if we get that Wilder deal done.
“I like the Dillian Whyte fight [for Joshua]. Whether he gets the Wilder fight done or not, I like that fight. I think it’s a fight that AJ will get up for. I think it’s a fight that he can have some spite for, and it’s a fight that is dangerous.
“There will be a lot on the line because if you sign a massive deal to fight Deontay Wilder in December and you’re fighting Dillian Whyte in August, it’s risky business.
“I don’t feel like a fight against someone that he’s [Joshua] not fired up for or not motivated for or someone who is going to roll over is going to prepare him for that Wilder fight. That’s where we’re at, but we’re trying to work backward after getting the Wilder fight over the line first,” said Hearn.