Provided both men come through their respective fights this weekend against Gary Cornish and Brian Minto, then unbeaten British heavyweight rivals Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte will indeed definitely be fighting on December 12th at London’s O2 Arena.
However, one is tempted to feel a little sorry for Whyte, who since signing to fight the Olympic gold medalist – and after being promised two decent warm up’s in preparation by promoter Eddie Hearn – has almost been treated as an afterthought in terms of getting him solid opposition, with a thrown together late notice opponent of Dominick Guinn being switched again last week to lower tier 40 year old cruiserweight, Minto.
Whyte, who has hooked up with Wladimir Klitschko head coach Johnathon Banks, blew away Irineu Beato Costa Junior last month after returning from a hand injury that had kept him out since February, and after the Brazilian folded with barely a meaningful shot thrown, many fans had hoped a sterner test could be found for the likable Brixton man ahead of December’s British and Commonwealth title clash with AJ.
That, has proven not to be the case, and while Joshua – arguably the poster boy and figurehead of the thriving Matchroom stable – has been provided the normally durable and experienced Kevin Johnson, as well as unbeaten prospect Cornish in preparation, Whyte is left to dine out on far less than credible opposition in the interim.
This is of little concern to the Brixton man though, who only returned to the sport after a 2 year exile last November, and given the time he’s spent out with injury already this year, many feel he could have done with a little more time to prepare for the fight with Joshua, given it’s importance?
Whyte seems unfazed mind you, and irrespective of Minto’s quality – or lack, thereof – claims he cannot wait to get his hands on the London 2012 Olympian, such is his desire to repeat his amateur victory over him, and has said to Sky Sports that he believes Joshua – a former convicted drug dealer – crafts a carefully cultivated “nice guy” image that is wholly insincere.
“I don’t like the guy because he’s fake and he puts on this demeanor that he’s this and he’s that,” Whyte said, referencing the obvious media training Joshua has received since punching for pay.
“He’s a bit of a scumbag, to be honest, (and) There are personal reasons why I say that.
“I just don’t like the guy. I look forward to getting in there and tucking him in, to be honest,” Whyte added frankly.
Anthony Joshua v Gary Cornish and Dillian Whyte v Brian Minto, will both be part of Matchroom’s ‘Heavy Duty’ bill from London’s O2 Arena, and will be screened live on Sky Sports in the UK.