Eddie Hearn says the ‘Body Snatcher’ Dillian Whyte believes he’s going to knock out Anthony Joshua and send him into retirement on August 12th in their long-awaited rematch at the O2 Arena in London.
Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) needs an emphatic victory over Joshua (25–3, 22 KOs) to not only avenge his seventh round knockout loss against him from 2015 but also to encourage the Saudis to use him against Deontay Wilder for their big event the Middle East.
Strangely enough, Hearn sounds pleased that the 35-year-old Whyte wants to end Joshua’s career rather than appalled, perhaps because he’s confident AJ will win.
If Hearn really thought Joshua had a shot at losing, he obviously wouldn’t be using Whyte, not with a massive $60 million+ payday hanging in the balance against Deontay in Saudi Arabia.
Whyte is considered shot in the eyes of many fans, but like most old guys, he can still punch, and as we’ve seen with Joshua over the years, his punch resistance is fragile. If Whyte can land one of his left hooks on the button, he may very well succeed in sending Joshua into retirement or at least into a mini one of a year or two.
“It’s been an incredible run with AJ, and with Dillian Whyte, and they meet again on August 12th. It’s a massive fight,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about the Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian Whyte 2 rematch.”I’m just waiting for the update.
“It looks like it’s completely sold out in the first couple of hours. I think it’s what we all need, don’t you? It’s what British boxing needs. I think it’s what Matchroom needs, I think it’s what the DAZN needs, I think it’s what AJ needs, and I think it’s what Dillian Whyte needs,” said Hearn.
For boxing fans outside of the UK, they can’t see what the attraction is for British fans in a fight between Joshua and Whyte. Dillian has looked terrible since 2020, losing half of his last four fights by knockout, and Joshua has a dismal 2-3 record in his last 5 fights.
This fight wouldn’t sell in the U.S., even if they were both Americans. U.S. fans don’t reward failure.
“You live in a strange social media world where people want to comment and say, ‘Who’s interested in this?’ Probably the 18,000 that bought a ticket in the first couple of hours or the hundreds of thousands of people that will be watching on the night and millions of people around the world. This is a massive, massive, massive fight,” said Hearn.
There’s a big crowd coming out, but did Hearn make a mistake in using Whyte as Joshua’s tune-up? It’s great that Joshua will make money for his tune-up, but should he have focused less on money and more on ensuring that he gets to the Wilder fight in one piece? When you get a fighter that gets too greedy, they pay the price sometimes by losing out in the end.
“I’m absolutely shocked this fight’s happening because I’m shocked AJ would have a fight with this kind of risk when he’s got Deontay Wilder on a plate,” said Hearn. “I’m shocked that Dillian Whyte, having thought how bad, in his opinion, this deal was that he’s accepting the fight, and it shows you a couple of things.
“Number one, when fighters want a fight, it happens, and number two, AJ believes he goes in and does a job on Dillian Whyte, and Dillian Whyte believes he ends AJ’s career on August 12th, and that is why I love this fight because they don’t particularly like each other.
“They both want to knock the other one out, and absolutely everything is on the line on August 12th without talking obviously specific,” said Hearn.