The hype surrounding big punching British heavyweight Anthony Joshua shows no signs of abating, with the debate and speculation surrounding his next potential opponent thriving across social media.
One name repeatedly linked to the knockout artist is Brixton heavyweight Dillian Whyte, who floored Joshua 6 years ago in their amateur days, en route to earning a scrappy points decision over four undisciplined rounds.
It was “The Villain’s” first amateur contest – and since that evening in 2009, the two men’s careers have gone in contrasting directions, yet now look set to come full circle later this year, possibly in September on Eddie Hearn’s O2 Arena show.
Joshua went on to win gold at the London 2012 Olympic games before signing pro terms with Matchroom Sport and has amassed a perfect 13 fight ledger with nobody yet hearing the bell for the 4th round.
Whyte on the other hand has returned from a 2 year exile from the sport after serving a ban for unknowingly consuming a banned stimulant in an over the counter energy supplement. The 27 year old has finished 5 opponents since his comeback last November, taking his slate to 14-0, 11 early.
Speaking to Sky Sports about the contest, Whyte was upbeat about his chances should the fight be made, insisting he will be the first man to present a stern challenge to the Watford starlet.
“I’ve humbled him in the ring before and I’ll humble him again. I remember his friends giving it before the fight last time and I said I would knock him out and I almost did. I will humble him again but I’m not gonna talk a lot – the fight will get made and then we’ll see.”
“I want to prove to people I can beat him again – and knock him out – if I don’t fight him I don’t care but Anthony Joshua needs the British title and if he wants it then he’d better go through me.”
And Whyte is confident he knows exactly how to beat Joshua – and he plans on doing it in a fashion nobody has come close to achieving yet;
“You punch him back in the face. (His) size hasn’t got anything to do with it. He has to face someone who is young, with ambition and who is just as hungry – or even hungrier – than him. Somebody who wants to fight and isn’t just there for a pay-cheque.”
“We are young prospects but it’s about time he fought someone ‘live’ who is gonna fight him back.”
Acknowledging that it’s sure to be a different fight than their amateur encounter, Whyte said;
“He’s changed a lot and I’ve changed a lot. It’d be a similar fight but a lot more technical and a lot more aggressive. I’ll fight him any day of the week.”
“People keep saying that he’s the next Lennox Lewis but I’ll think he’ll be lucky if he’s as good as Frank Bruno. He’s strong but there’s nothing I see to worry about. He’s a big guy and seems to have a bit of power but power isn’t a problem for me.”
It’ll be a sizzling domestic showdown if it is indeed made. Is it possible the wheels on Joshua’s hype train are about to come off?
Only time will tell…