It looks like former unified heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua of England will get back in the ring later this Summer and do so against a countryman that he’s familiar with/kayoed already.
This, as Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, confirmed that their side has sent a contract to former title challenger Dillian Whyte for a headlining contender fight August 12th.
Hearn told BBC Sport Monday afternoon of the former WBA/IBF/WBO champ’s short term plan,
“Our plan, which we’ve stressed, is for AJ to box on Aug. 12 and in December again against Deontay Wilder,” Hearn said. “The negotiations will be difficult but both AJ and Whyte want the fight. 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.”
Interestingly, both fighters are looking to get back in the heavyweight title picture and both last fought against American Jermaine Franklin. Joshua, now 25-3, 22 KOs, beat Franklin back in April by decision to get his career back on track.
This, after the former British Gold Medalist from the 2012 Olympics was beaten twice by Oleksandr Usyk on points and lost his titles. The second of those defeats came in August of 2022 and put his career at a cross roads. Joshua is now being trained by American Derrick James, who also works with the likes of Jermell Charlo and Errol Spence, in his Texas gym in an attempt to get him back to championship form.
As for White, he’s most known recently for having been kayoed by WBC title holder Tyson Fury in April 2022. Whyte returned to the ring, also against Franklin, and won a sloppier decision than Joshua last November.
There is appetite for this rematch, especially for Whyte, as Joshua holds an April 2015 KO victory over him in wild bout, where both fighters were hurt. The August 12th date is now in play, again, after K2 Promotions decided to move the Usyk-Daniel Dubois WBA mandatory title defense in Poland off that date to two weeks later on August 26th.
Hearn has repeatedly confirmed that he and Joshua want to fight former WBC titleholder, American Deontay Wilder, in Saudi Arabia likely in December. That fight could be part of a doubleheader of heavyweight bouts that possibly has an undisputed battle between Usyk and Fury, as the biggest one.
As for Wilder, he defended the WBC green strap 10 times from 2015-19 until Fury kayoed him twice, and hasn’t been in the ring since his one punch KO of Robert Helenius back in October. However, if Joshua wins over White in this proposed bout, it would be an attractive and lucrative non-title fight for the Alabama native.