The current IBF, IBO and WBA (Super) unified world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua (19-0) has recently revealed upon hearing the news of a shoulder injury to former mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev (25-1), an injury which would keep him out of action for the October 28th date; he instantly requested a rematch with his longtime local rival, Dillian Whyte (21-1).
The IBF eventually gave the status of the mandatory challenger to the proven contender, Carlos Takam (35-3-1) who it has since been revealed had been ticking over and preparing in camp in case of the possibility of an injury to Pulev. Takam officially replaced Kubrat Pulev on the October 28th bill on twelve days notice, while Dillian Whyte is scheduled to fight on the undercard for the WBC ‘international’ title against Finland’s Robert Helenius.
Joshua and Whyte have a thorough backstory, the bitterness began when Whyte knocked Joshua down in 2009 in an early amateur meeting en route to a points decision verdict in his favour. Joshua returned the favour when they clashed as promising, undefeated British-level fighters in December 2015. That memorable encounter saw Joshua on the verge of suffering a knockout defeat early in the fight, when he was hurt in the 2nd round; however, he managed to recuperate and rally to inflict the first stoppage of Whyte’s career in the 7th round.
Joshua felt that a rematch with Whyte would have allowed the maximum entertainment value for the 70,000 spectators at the Principality Stadium. “Dillian was the first person I asked to fight in Cardiff, because the two people who brought the best out of me entertainment-wise were Dillian and Klitschko … The type of fight it was, it was great. Dillian, the same reason, it was just a buzz, everyone had a good time. Let’s look back at certain careers — if you can pick memorable nights Dillian would be one and Klitschko would be one. Out of my career, there should be four or five memorable nights and we’ve already ticked off two.” Joshua said to Nick Parkinson
The promoter for both Joshua and Whyte, Eddie Hearn has however revealed that he has plans to put Whyte on a different path, as it is no secret he is aggressively hunting a matchup between ‘The Bodysnatcher’ and undefeated WBC Heavyweight Champion, Deontay Wilder before then pitting the winner against Joshua in a blockbuster summer unification. Eddie Hearn said on the matter “AJ will have a fight in March or something like that, then we fight the winner of Wilder-Whyte in the summer for the unification.”