Dillian Whyte (13-0) squares off against reigning Commonwealth heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (14-0) on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London.
The two heavyweights have made no secret of the bad blood that exists between them and it’s something that is quite apparent when you see any of the public appearances or interviews made by the pair in the build up to this fight.
Whyte and Joshua met some time ago when they were amateurs with Whyte emerging victorious. However, Joshua has progressed leaps and bounds since then, winning Olympic gold along the way. Whyte to his credit is also a much more rounded fighter than when the two first met and he feels their first encounter is causing Joshua some mental anguish as their showdown approaches.
Joshua could well be having “nightmares” about his opponent as Whyte recently claimed during ‘The Gloves Are Off’ on Sky Sports. A lot of pressure has been placed on the shoulders of this Olympic champion. He’s the face of British boxing and he’s facing his toughest test to date. A test with plenty of history.
Whyte said “He [Joshua] gets nervous around me and then tries to turn it around on me and say that I’m the nervous one. But he gets very, very nervous around me,” and Joshua certainly did seem less than comfortable during ‘The Gloves Are Off’.
Whyte has also repeatedly called Joshua “fake” and seems to stop short of explaining exactly what he means but went as far as to say “He’s [Joshua] had a lot of media training and mind coaching and he brings it across well to the public and the media, but if you look deeper, you’ll see. He’s a robot and does what he’s been told to do and says what he’s been told to say.”
Perhaps this is a fighter from the streets calling another fighter from the streets out for acting like he’s above board when he isn’t. Perhaps Whyte doesn’t want to betray the unwritten rules of the streets in front of the media.
Perhaps Joshua could simply be trying to further his career by choosing not to bring elements of his life into the ring and actively tries to rise above the “street mentality”.
Only the two fighters know the truth of the matter and both will look to resolve it on Saturday evening.