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Joshua says White is not a rival ahead of rematch

Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium
Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium

Anthony Oparaocha with Anthony Joshua, Wembley Stadium 29 April 2017” by Antyopara is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 .

As Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte prepare for an upcoming rematch on August 12 in London the two heavyweights came head-to-head at a press conference Monday, with Joshua stating Whyte is ‘just another body’.

That was a cold assessment ahead of what promises to be an intriguing encounter at the 02 Arena, with the fight billed under the headline of ‘A history of violence’.

The two British fighters have previously met twice in the ring, first doing battle as amateurs in 2009, with Whyte’s victory in that fight being a real upset.

The pair had known each other before that fight, coming up through the London boxing scene, with Jamaica-born Whyte being based in Brixton from the age of 12, whilst Joshua began fighting out of Finchley ABC in Barnet, North London, in his late teens.

The two Britons last met as professionals in December 2015, in a brutal encounter which had a huge impact on the careers of both men. The build-up to that fight was extremely tense as Joshua sought revenge for the 2009 defeat as an amateur in a showdown that was billed as ‘Bad Intentions’.

Whyte went into that encounter saying, ‘I’m a better fighter, stronger fighter and faster fighter. I’ve got the solid base and I’m building on that base. His base is weak.”

Joshua responded by saying, “He’s just another fighter. My heart don’t beat with no fear for this kid.” He referenced his previous defeat to White by adding, “It made me realise I need to step my game up if I want to fight guys at that level. I thought Dillian was a good fighter at that time, so I cracked on, added a bit more to my game and carried on my career.”

The 2015 British heavyweight title fight was won by Joshua via knockout in the seventh round, with Whyte left motionless on the deck. Earlier in the fight at the end of round one Whyte had lost the plot, aiming blows at Joshua after the bell, over the head of the referee Howard Foster.

A huge scuffle ensued, with cornermen and security teams entering the ring to separate the two fighters, who were heavily reprimanded at the start of the second round by Foster. Joshua would goad and taunt Whyte as the fight continued, eventually controlling the bout and flooring his opponent to become British champion.

Almost eight years gone by and a third fight between the two men is just around the corner, with Joshua turning up the heat by saying, “I don’t really look at Dillian as a rival. Just another body. A lot of people hate on me. I don’t look on Dillian as a rival. I just watch myself.”

Whyte’s reply was, “I just prepare for the best version of him. I have the power to take anyone out. I’m focusing on the victory. Knockout comes, it comes. I am a dog and am always looking to bite.”

Joshua and Whyte have both been preparing for their August showdown at training camps in the U.S. but flew in to London to confront each other for the cameras before the third chapter of their long running battle.

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