Home Sport Anthony Joshua removes stumbling block in Dillian Whyte negotiations

Anthony Joshua removes stumbling block in Dillian Whyte negotiations

Anthony Joshua removes stumbling block in Dillian Whyte negotiations
Britain's Anthony Joshua (R) lands a punch on Bulgaria's Kubrat Pulev (L) during their heavyweight world title boxing match at Wembley Arena in north west London on December 12, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW COULDRIDGE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW COULDRIDGE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The old rivals are in talks over an August clash, which looked under threat due to a rematch clause. Frazer Clarke reflects on Olympic boxing glory as he prepares for the biggest pro fight yet.

Anthony Joshua’s team has removed a rematch clause that was at risk of derailing a rematch with Dillian Whyte, according to Eddie Hearn.

Joshua and Whyte have been in talks over a 12 August clash, eight years after “AJ” knocked out his fellow Briton to avenge an amateur defeat by Whyte. However, the latter this week expressed frustration with a rematch clause inserted by Joshua’s team – one that has now been removed, per Hearn.

The 44-year-old, who promotes both heavyweights, told Boxing Social on Thursday (29 June): “Firstly, a lot of people talk about rematch clauses. When there’s such a huge A-side in the fight, you have to do your job as a promoter. Every huge name that I’ve worked with in boxing has a rematch clause in their fights.

“Secondly, it’s me that requests that. Let me tell you the main reason why: Anthony Joshua is about to fight Deontay Wilder for $ 50 million or $60m; he’s choosing to take a dangerous fight a few months before, where if he loses, he’s quite out in the wilderness – and also loses [the opportunity of] the Wilder fight in December.

Britain’s Anthony Joshua gestures during a public weighing ahead of the heavyweight boxing rematch for the WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF titles between Joshua and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk, in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah, on August 19, 2022. – The match, billed as Rage on the Red Sea, is set to take place on August 20, 2022, at the Jeddah Super Dome. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP) (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

“So if we’re giving that opportunity to someone else, of course, we’re gonna look for a rematch clause. Not against my will, but probably against my advice, Anthony Joshua came out last night and said: ‘I don’t give a f*** about the rematch clause, I’m gonna knock him out, so just tell him to sign the contract. Give him a complete, simple contract.’

“Dillian Whyte replied and said, ‘I’m not gonna do any promotion around the event, I don’t want a rematch clause,’ so we’ve just gone back now and given him no rematch clause, 12 August, done. The worry I have is: I sent that email, and 10 minutes later, Sky Sports are running a story… It’s like, do you want this fight, or is this some kind of mission to land another fight?

“The great news now is: They have the contract, no rematch clause, 12 August – absolutely nothing in the contract of any regard that’s gonna cause anyone any problems. Let’s see. I don’t think they’re gonna sign it; I hope they do. AJ wants this fight badly, it’s the fight that he wants.

“But we want to announce on Saturday. It’s Thursday now, we’ve got 48 hours. I’m not gonna put a deadline [on it], because it starts rattling people, but the deadline’s on us to announce the fight – and other opponents that we’ve got ready to go. I know Dillian loves a big fight, it’s there for him. Hopefully, he signs.”

Whyte, 35, last fought in November, narrowly outpointing Jermaine Franklin to bounce back from a TKO loss to Tyson Fury last April.

Joshua, 33, also beat Franklin on points in his most recent fight. The former two-time world champion defeated the American at London’s O2 Arena in what was a crucial win after two straight losses to Oleksandr Usyk.

Author: Linda .R. Jones

London, UK