Dillian Whyte claims Anthony Joshua is ‘scared’ of a rematch and urges old opponent to ‘pull his finger out’
DILLIAN WHYTE thinks Anthony Joshua and his stable have “lost their bottle of real fighting”.
Brixton body snatcher Whyte was promised a third fight against AJ if he beat Jermaine Franklin last November.
He did just that, but London 2012 Olympics hero Joshua chose to fight American Franklin instead and earned a points win.
British fight fans have been promised three Joshua fights in 2023 as he seeks to work alongside new trainer Derrick James.
But it now looks like his Saudi backers will put him on hold pending a clash with Deontay Wilder in December.
Then this month Joshua – who also acts as manager of fellow heavyweight Frazer Clarke – successfully lobbied the British Boxing Board of Control to make the Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist the mandatory challenger to Whyte’s protégé, British heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley.
But Joshua pulled Clarke out of the summer showdown when promoter Boxxer and broadcaster Sky Sports decided to back away from the price bids.
Now 31-year-old Clarke – who has publicly complained that weak opponents helped him make it 6-0 – is sidelined for a year from the British title fight after a failure.
Instead, he meets 43-year-old Polish fighter Mariusz Wach, who has lost seven of his last ten matches.
That makes little sense for free agent Whyte, who has helped Wardley transform himself from sparring partner to real star and who is passionate about the heavyweight business on a national and global level.
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Whyte, 35, told SunSport: “The fans have to be pissed because people promise and push these fights and then give them up when they’re about to.”
“A lot of big fights don’t happen, it’s annoying, but people see it coming and have to accept it.
“It’s crazy, but right now only five of the top 50 heavyweight boxers have agreed to fight.
“Inactivity destroys the sport and it needs a change. I’m waiting for my next fight – and should fight Joshua after Franklin.
“Joshua and his team said to everyone, ‘Winner of Whyte and Franklin fights AJ’ – and then they punched the loser.
“And now they asked Frazer Clarke to fight Fabio for his title, got exactly what they wanted and bottled it.
“It’s a joke, they look around and blame each other, make excuses and talk about other arguments in the future.
“But anyone who sees Joshua sit around for nine months waiting for a payout from Wilder — or see Clarke taking on a journeyman in a pointless undercard match — is going to see a team that’s lost their bottle.”
Whyte’s die-hard fans and even his most ardent haters would have to agree with most of his views.
The confusion surrounding this crucial part of AJ’s career is intriguing. And the Clarke debacle has turned into a farce.
Whyte laughed: “Joshua’s team do interviews and say he beats me in four rounds.
“But he can’t decide if I’m his dream opponent or his worst nightmare.
“I want the fight. I know DAZN wants the fight too because it would be an absolutely massive event.
“The only problem we all have is Joshua. He has self-confidence issues and is afraid to fight.
“He doesn’t want to risk his retirement in Saudi Arabia against Wilder – who’s also passed his sell-by date.
“Joshua and his team are making Clarke the future world champion.
“But they are terrified of fighting Fabio, who fought staff in Ipswich pubs a couple of years ago. These people are spineless.
“There is a long list of opponents to fight next and the deadline for Joshua to pull his finger out and find his pen is coming up.
“And there are a lot of British heavyweights like David Adeleye and Solly Dacres looking to challenge Fabio. Or he can turn to European and world goals.
“Joshua isn’t the golden goose anymore, the sport isn’t about him anymore.
“He and his people don’t seem to realize it but they dodge me again and they lose to Wilder in December and he and his team – who know so much but do so little – are finished.”