It has been known for quite some time that former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) wants to fight three times this year. A potential return date has been pencilled in for August 12. One opponent that has been discussed is former world title challenger Dillian Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs).
The two men have fought once as amateurs in 2009 and again as professionals in 2015. Their bout in 2009 ended in a decision for Whyte. When they rematched as professionals, Joshua stopped Whyte in the seventh round.
Joshua vs. Whyte II details
Earlier this month, promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing said that an offer was made to Whyte’s team for a second fight against Joshua. However, that offer was rejected and Hearn claimed as such in interviews with a number of media outlets. Big Fight Weekend also reported that Whyte was out of contention to face Joshua in August. Some time later, Whyte claimed that he never turned down a potential rematch.
When Whyte made this admission, Hearn had an official contract drafted and issued. Now, however, it appears Whyte is displeased with some of the terms in the contract. One term that he wants removed is a rematch clause. According to that clause, he would have had to fight Joshua a second time in the event Whyte won.
The reason why Whyte wants the rematch clause removed is because he wishes to pursue a Deontay Wilder fight in December. Rematching Joshua would make him unable to set up a bout with Wilder in the desired timeframe.
“I’m not happy with the rematch clause for one,” explained Whyte in an interview to Talk Sport. “And then also there’s other little things in there that would tie me in. If I fight AJ and beat him, I can’t just move on and go and fight in the big fights. They want the ability to change the date and the venue. I’m like, ‘No, let’s just have the fight on August 12 and that’s it.’ It is about the opportunity, but with the rematch involved – if I beat him then I don’t get an opportunity, I’ve got to wait and fight Joshua again. Obviously the big carrot and the big prize is to fight Deontay Wilder in December in Saudi Arabia.
As of now, it appears both sides are still in the crux of discussions. Despite Jarrell Miller showing eagerness to finally face Joshua, a rematch between Joshua and Whyte may come to fruition after all. The following weeks will be crucial in getting this fight across the line. One thing that is for certain, however, is that Joshua does want to fight three times this year and is keen to return in August.