Commonwealth heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) did what most people thought he would do tonight in stopping his old nemesis Dillian Whyte (16-1, 13 KOs) in the 7th round to win the vacant British title in their fight at the O2 Arena in London, England. However, Joshua’s critics weren’t silenced by the victory, as Joshua was staggered badly in the 2nd round by a left hook from Whyte.
If it wasn’t for Whyte running out of gas quickly in the same round, we might have been talking about how great he was tonight rather than Joshua. As it was Joshua was able to recover from the shot, and win the fight by a 7th round knockout. Joshua hurt an exhausted Whyte with a right hand in the 7th. Joshua then followed with a right uppercut that knocked him down like a rag doll. The fight was then stopped at 1:27 of the round.
The criticism that is going around about Joshua is that he was ready to be finished off in the 2nd round and likely would have if he wasn’t fighting a fat and out of shape heavyweight like Whyte. Joshua is also taking criticism about how he was tiring after the 3rd round, and was mostly throwing arm punches.
After the fight, David Haye and Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn were talking about a Joshua-Haye fight. It’s a predictable fight. The British boxing public will obviously be asked to pay to see the fight, which at this point would have to be seen as a farce given Haye’s three years out of the ring.
Joshua was laboring after the 2nd round, and if Whyte hadn’t gassed out himself, Joshua probably would have tired out and been stopped. He was pushing his punching and really laboring in there. An athletic heavyweight with hand speed and punching power like Deontay Wilder would have been a nightmare for Joshua, as he’s very flat footed and can’t fight on the move at all as we saw tonight. Joshua absolutely needs his opposition to stand directly in front of him the way that the flabby looking Whyte was tonight.