Anthony Joshua Risking Huge Wilder Payday to Face Dillian Whyte
On August 12, two-time heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (25-3, 22 KO’s) will test his might against Dillian Whyte. It will be the third time that they clash in the ring and the second time professionally. To date, each man has notched a win over the other. Now they are looking to break the tie. Yet, while this is a great action-fight in the making, AJ, 33, is taking a huge gamble that he does not sully a huge payday to face Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KO’s) in December.
In a recent interview with TalkSport, Eddie Hearn, AJ’s Matchroom Boxing promoter, spoke a bit about the dangers of his upcoming grudge match with Whyte.
“We’ve been told categorically that the deal on the table [against Wilder] is not the deal if he loses to Dillian Whyte. They didn’t want him to fight Dillian Whyte; It was almost like, ‘please, don’t fight Dillian Whyte, you don’t need to, we have this fight in December.’ But AJ said, ‘no, I want to fight!’ His plan was to fight three times this year and if he wins on August 12, he will go into the Deontay Wilder fight with loads of momentum.”
NO RISK, NO REWARD!
Depending on your worldview, this is either an extremely gutsy move by AJ or the height of recklessness! And in the end, only the final outcome will reveal the true answer. Joshua will enter into the Whyte fight with one win and one tour of duty with new trainer Derrick James under his belt since suffering back-to-back losses to unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Provided that he comes out on top, the heavyweight division could very well become a lush vineyard of opportunities for AJ. Win, lose or draw however, Hearn believes this match versus Whyte will show the world everything they need to see about Anthony Joshua.
“He’s really excited about this fight; He’s buzzing about the fight. I think he’s probably a little nervous about the fight. There’s people asking questions, he’s really gelling with Derrick James, he sparred 12 rounds yesterday, he’s in tremendous shape. This is where we are going to see what AJ really has left in the tank!”