Dillian Whyte has now been sent an official offer to face Anthony Joshua on August 12, but promoter Eddie Hearn acknowledges that the negotiations will be ‘difficult.’
The domestic rivals battled it out for the British Heavyweight title back in 2015 when both were on the come up. Joshua won by seventh round knockout, sending him on his way to world honours and Whyte back down a level.
Having got the better of Joshua in the amateurs, Whyte sees the score as one-all, and has been calling for a second fight for some time now.
He has made his way up the ranks since that defeat and mounted an ultimately unsuccessful challenge for a world title against Tyson Fury. Joshua is in rebuilding mode, too, having lost his unified belts to Oleksandr Usyk over two fights.
He’s in deep negotiations to face Deontay Wilder in December, and is keen on a summertime scrap for more work under his new trainer, Derrick James.
All of the above means that the stars have aligned for the pair to run it back, and Hearn confirmed to BBC Sport that the official offer had been sent Whyte’s way.
“Our plan, which we’ve stressed, is for AJ to box on 12 August and in December again against Deontay. Dillian has a lot of value in the rematch.
This is not an opponent for Joshua, but a big fight between two world-class heavyweights and huge British names. The negotiations will be difficult but both AJ and Whyte want the fight.”
The promoter then said that they were awaiting ‘final offers and contracts’ for Joshua’s fight in December against Wilder – the staging of which will undoubtedly depend on him coming through Whyte unscathed and victorious.
Whyte had previously expressed frustration at the negotiations, believing he should’ve fought ‘AJ’ in April over Jermaine Franklin, whom he beat last November.
His latest words on the matter were positive though, if a little blunt. He demanded Joshua stop playing games on social media and make the fight.