Anthony Joshua has thrown down the gauntlet to Dillian Whyte – saying he doesn’t believe ‘The Body Snatcher’ can do what he did to Alexander Povetkin.
Whyte puts his WBC world heavyweight title ambitions on the line once again when meets the ever-dangerous Russian behind closed doors at Matchroom Fight Camp on Saturday night (live on Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view, price £19.95).
The prize for Whyte is huge – if he comes out victorious he will finally get a title shot after more than 1000 days as mandatory contender, against the winner of Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3. It is hoped that bout can take place on Saturday December 19.
Joshua (23-1), who will be on hand on Saturday night as part of the Sky Sports commentary team, handed Povetkin one of his only two professional defeats so far with a seventh-round stoppage at Wembley Stadium in September 2018. It remains the only time the Russian has been stopped.
And while he expects the 32-year-old Whyte (27-1) to prevail on Saturday – he doesn’t believe he can do it in the same fashion.
He told Sky Sports: “He is a fighter, Dillian. But Povetkin is a seriously skilled heavyweight – an Olympic gold medallist, a world champion whose only losses were against [Wladimir] Klitschko and me.
“He’s good, a good fighter who hasn’t been on the losing end much so hasn’t got used to that feeling. He still has the hunger and will go in against Dillian thinking he can win. It will go to a points decision.”
Joshua and Whyte of course met in a cracking domestic showdown back in December 2015 when both were still undefeated and on the rise. AJ prevailed that night via a seventh-round TKO, and the pair’s promoter Eddie Hearn has talked in the last week about the potential for them to rematch next year.
Whyte is more than up for that, saying: “If he wants it, he can get it. I’ve told him already before. I’ve told him many times. I’m not scared to fight him. I want to fight him. It’s not like it’s a secret.”
As well as being aired live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK, Whyte vs Povetkin will also be screened live by streaming platform DAZN in a total of nine markets – the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland.
Matchroom Fight Camp takes place at Brentwood, Essex, in the grounds of Matchroom’s palatial headquarters. Saturday is the fourth and final bill there.
Saturday’s card also includes the eagerly-awaited rematch between world lightweight champion Katie Taylor and Belgian star Delfine Persoon. They waged an absolute war in their first meeting at Madison Square Garden in June 2019, with Taylor gaining a controversial points decision after a cracking fight.