After much postering back and forth, former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will in fact rematch fellow countryman Dillian Whyte in his next bout.
The announcement came Thursday afternoon from Joshua’s promoter Matchroom Boxing,
“British Heavyweight rivals Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte will meet in an explosive rematch at The O2 in London on Saturday August 12, shown exclusively live on DAZN around the world and on DAZN PPV in the UK and Ireland.
Two-time unified Heavyweight World Champion Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) and former World Title challenger Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) lock horns again nearly eight years on from their wild British Title clash in Greenwich, which Joshua won by a huge seventh-round stoppage to end a thrilling war.
Brixton’s Whyte has a long-running rivalry with Joshua, having beaten the Watford man on points as an amateur back in 2009 before Joshua won an Olympic gold medal at London 2012 which kick-started his meteoric rise to global stardom.
‘AJ’ went on to unify the Heavyweight division, winning the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO crowns as he became one of the biggest athletes on the planet with a string of wins against the likes on Charles Martin, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, Andy Ruiz and Kubrat Pulev.
The 33-year-old convincingly outpointed Jermaine Franklin at The O2 earlier this year as he returned to winning ways under new trainer Derrick James following back-to-back defeats to Ukrainian pound-for-pound great Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022.
Whyte, whose last win also came via a points decision against the USA’s Franklin last year, fell short in his record-breaking World Title challenge against undefeated WBC ruler Tyson Fury at Wembley Stadium in April 2022, succumbing to a sixth-round TKO loss.
The Jamaican-born warrior, 36, has aspirations of fighting for another World Title and knows that a win over his old foe Joshua next month will put him in prime position for another mega-fight against one of the division’s other glamour names later this year.
In the UK and Ireland the PPV will cost £26.99 via DAZN.com. Prices may vary on other providers.
“I’ve been clear that my plan is to be active this year,” said Joshua. “August 12 is the date, I’ll be ready to fight. I look forward to dealing with business.”
“I’m looking forward to returning to the London O2 on August 12 and going to war,” said Whyte. “It’s 1-1 so this is the decider!”
“I can’t quite believe this fight is happening and there was absolutely no stopping either man,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “The rivalry runs deep and there is something about these two where they will never back down from each other. At times it may have looked like a game of bluff but now we are set and with everything that’s on the line this is an absolute must win for both. Just like the first time at The O2, get ready for fireworks August 12 and a huge night of boxing live on DAZN.”
Tickets are available to O2 and Virgin Media customers via Priority from 10.00am on Friday July 7.
Tickets are available via The O2 venue presale and AXS presale from 10.00am on Saturday July 8.
Matchroom Fight Pass members will also be able to purchase tickets from 10.00am on Saturday July 8. Priority ticket info will be emailed directly to eligible members ahead of the on-sale time.”
As we wrote previously, there has been much back and forth on the possible Joshua-Whyte rematch. However, both money for Whyte and whether Joshua having a one-way rematch clause would be a factor?
Joshua, who is a two time unified champ, his belts on a TKO to American Andy Ruiz in June 2019 before regaining them on a decision six months later. in belts. He then lost them, again, and also lost a rematch to current unified champ, Oleksandr Usyk. Joshua has won a single fight with American Jermaine Franklin in a solid but not memorable decision back in April of this year.
Joshua, 25-3, 22 KOs, previously kayoed Whyte in a contender battle in the seventh round in December 2015.
Whyte, 29-3, has since also been kayoed by Alexander Povetkin in 2020 and again, by WBC champ Tyson Fury in front of 94,000 at Wembley Stadium in London in April 2022.