Anthony Joshua channelling Mike Tyson against Dillian Whyte can strike fear into Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder

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Anthony Joshua’s make-or-break rematch with Dillian Whyte could be his last stand as an elite heavyweight – or a chance to send a warning shot to Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.

If AJ loses to a fighter he spectacularly knocked out in 2015 then nobody could deny his decline. Two defeats by Oleksandr Usyk, followed by a dominant but dull points win over Jermaine Franklin, then a loss to Whyte would leave Joshua’s rebuild in the rubble.

anthony joshua

But, as the multiple ‘second chances’ that Mike Tyson, Frank Bruno or Wladimir Klitschko got throughout their career showed: a top heavyweight is only one eye-catching victory away from making themselves relevant again.

If Joshua can double down on his victory against Whyte – still a top-10 contender, even if likely past his peak at 35 – and leave his old rival sprawled on the canvas, then he buries the memory of his limp display against Franklin.

Here’s what AJ needs to do to make a statement to fight fans.

KO Whyte faster than Fury

Joshua stopped Whyte in seven rounds in 2015, Fury stopped Dillian in six rounds last year, AJ could continue the pattern by halting ‘The Bodysnatcher’ in a quicker time than ‘The Gypsy King.

This is Joshua’s third career rematch and, to his credit, he’s improved each time previously. An out-of-shape Andy Ruiz was shut out over 12 rounds in 2019. And while Usyk beat AJ twice, the Ukrainian had to dig deeper to win a rematch where AJ showed more aggression in the middle rounds.

Whyte is in some ways a ‘no win’ fight for AJ. Triumph and he’s treading over old ground; lose or struggle to victory and he’s clearly slipped. Beating the time Fury finished off Whyte with a titanic uppercut – 2:59 of the sixth round – and AJ earns some bragging rights. But how does he do that?


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