Eddie Hearn says Joshua could face Dillian Whyte in tune-up in July

By Michael Collins - 04/17/2023 - Comments

Eddie Hearn says he’s considering revisiting his plans for an Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian Whyte rematch in July in the UK. Hearn is suddenly showing new interest in making the Joshua-Whyte II fight to use it a tune-up for Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) to get ready for a mega-fight against Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury in December in Saudi Arabia.

Hearn feels that the 35-year-old Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) is still a “great fight” for Joshua despite Dillian having been knocked out in half of his last four fights and coming off a controversial twelve-round majority decision against unheralded Jermaine Franklin lat November.

The British boxing public would still be keen on seeing Joshua fight Whyte again, just as they were eager to watch WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury fight a needless trilogy fight against 39-year-old journeyman Derek Chisora last December.

British fans don’t give up on their fighters when they’re shot to pieces, which is why guys like Chisora and Whyte can still make good coin when they would be ready for the scrap heap if they weren’t from the UK.

With that said, if Hearn believes that Whyte will help prepare Joshua for Wilder or Fury, he’s kidding himself. Whyte is the type of fighter that Joshua should have fought to get him ready for a lower-level second-tier fighter like Jermaine Franklin, but not Deontay or Fury.

“I think Dillian Whyte could be a fight. I saw him [Whyte] in an interview. He called out Joe Joyce before he got beat [by Zhilei Zhang last Saturday], so obviously that fights dead,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about who Anthony Joshua could face in a tune-up in July to get him ready for his December bout against Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.

“AJ-Whyte is still for me, it’s a risky fight, but it’s a great fight,” said Hearn.

“That’s up to AJ,” Hearn said when told that the Saudi reps might not want Joshua to take an interim fight in July before taking part in their December card. “When someone says, ‘You’re not allowed to have a fight,’ it doesn’t mean you accept that. So we have to see how those discussions look.

“The key for us is to lock in the mega-fight for Anthony Joshua, so everything will step off that.  I’m not ruling out a July fight at all, but we’ll see how those discussions go next week,” said Hearn about his talks he’ll be having with the Saudis for Joshua’s fight in December in the Middle East.

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