Anthony Joshua will face Dillian Whyte on August 12 at London’s O2 Arena and British boxing legend Ricky Hatton has made his prediction.
The two men first went head to head first on the amateur scene back in 2009, with ‘The Body Snatcher’ knocking ‘AJ’ down on the way to a unanimous decision victory.
Joshua got his revenge six years later as a professional – knocking Whyte out cold with a devastating uppercut in the seventh round to win the British Heavyweight title.
It’s now been confirmed that the two will lock horns once again in a fight billed as ‘History Of Violence’, to be shown live on DAZN PPV.
Just a few years ago this fight was seen by many as unnecessary – but times have changed. Joshua has since lost his unified titles to Oleksandr Usyk and has come in for criticism from some quarters for being gun-shy.
Whyte’s career has also had its ups and downs, with wins against the likes of Joseph Parker, Derek Chisora and Alexander Povetkin in a rematch, but having arguably his worst performance on the biggest stage of all against WBC champion Tyson Fury.
Like Joshua, Hatton is used to giving the British fans huge nights. Speaking to The Metro, although ‘The Hitman’ believes the former champion is the favourite going into the clash, he admits in the heavyweight division it only takes one punch for it to be ‘lights out’.
“In the heavyweight division, to fight a Dillian Whyte or a Deontay Wilder just to get your confidence back is easier said than done because they both pack a serious punch.
There’s two ways to look at it. He could fight one of them to get that confidence back, but in heavyweight boxing, there’s every chance that one of those fighters could put it on AJ’s chin and win.
I’m not saying that would happen. AJ would be the favourite in both of those fights. It’s a big risk in the heavyweight division. It only takes one punch and its lights out.”
It’s a big risk for Joshua given his promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed a fight against Deontay Wilder, which could see him earn upwards of £60 million, is ‘locked in’ for December.