Anthony Joshua will face Dillian Whyte on August 12 at London’s O2 Arena following a will-they-won’t they set of negotiations.
The two domestic rivals faced once on the amateur scene – a Whyte win – before turning pro and meeting again in 2015 for the British Heavyweight title.
Despite being wobbled in the midst of a fire-fight, Joshua recovered to knock Whyte out in the seventh round. He would go on to become unified world champion with all but one belt over the course of his next six fights.
Whyte was forced to build again, with wins over domestic contenders before mounting his own world level campaign that was cruelly set back in 2022 via a Tyson Fury knockout.
Joshua has tasted defeat too, once against Andy Ruiz Jr and twice against Oleksandr Usyk, who currently holds the belts.
It’s the losses – plus a win each over American heavyweight Jermaine Franklin – that put both men in a good place to reignite their rivalry. A true test of where they are and where they might still go.
Despite being the frontrunner for some time, Whyte recently cast doubt on the fight after claiming the communication with Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, was lacking. He then took issue with a rematch clause on the part of the former champion.
That contract term was removed, Whyte signed relatively quickly, and the bout has now been made official by Matchroom.
On the fight, Joshua said he looks forward to ‘dealing with business’, whilst Whyte branded it ‘the decider’ after their previous meetings.
It will be broadcast on DAZN PPV at a price of £26.99, and should feature Ammo Williams vs Felix Cash amongst others on the undercard, potentially British Heavyweight champ, Fabio Wardley.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) July 6, 2023
The bout with Whyte is double jeopardy for ‘AJ’, who has been deep in talks to face Deontay Wilder in a mega money Middle East fight at the end of the year. Should that stay the plan, he must win and come out the other side injury-free.