BRIXTON’S Dillian Whyte has issued a stark warning to fellow unbeaten and bitter rival Anthony Joshua ahead of Saturday’s crunch Commonwealth and vacant British heavyweight title clash at London’s O2, declaring, “The odds mean nothing, I will derail the hype train.”
Bookmakers up and down the country are pitching Whyte as a heavy underdog against the London 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Watford, who with his fearsome 100 per cent knockout ratio is fast becoming one of the most popular young fighters in the country. Yet the history of heavyweight boxing is riddled with upsets, the most recent of which was Tyson Fury’s win over the long-dominant Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf, and, given Joshua and Whyte’s similar records, physical dimensions and experience, an ‘upset’ on Saturday night – a victory for Joshua’s former amateur conqueror – might not be such a big shock at all.
“Nothing that happens in heavyweight boxing is a shock to me,” Whyte told Boxing News. ” If you look at the history of heavyweight boxing, all these so-called shocks and so-called upsets, they’ve been around since the very start of boxing. When you have two big men throwing shots in there, you’re only ever going to be one punch from disaster. I’m not bothered about the odds, I know what I’m there to do and that’s to win. They’re just numbers on a piece of paper written by so-called ‘experts’ who study numbers and make predictions. It means nothing to me.”
Whyte – who shares Klitschko’s head coach Johnathon Banks – took himself out to the then-world champion’s Austrian training base at considerable personal expense in order to be fully prepared for Joshua, and is insistent he remains unaffected by pre-fight hype, praise or criticism ahead of what is to be far and away the most important night in the careers of both men. Yet “The Bodysnatcher” couldn’t help being ever so slightly buoyed by the comments of Alabama’s WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, who has publicly tipped him to emerge with his hand held high on Saturday night.
“He’s the WBC champion of the world, so for him to say that, he must see something in me,” Whyte inferred. “That’s a big statement for the WBC champion of the world to say that. It speaks volumes, he’s champion of the world and not stupid, he’s had what 35 fights? He knows his way around the ring. Yet even though Deontay Wilder said that, Muhammad Ali could come out and say that and it wouldn’t make no difference to me because I know I’m going to win. I’m not there to make up the numbers, I’m going there to fight and leave it all in the ring.”
Whyte would not be drawn on his strategy but questions Joshua’s chin and retains full confidence in his own power.
“I’m not going to tell you what my game plan is but I have Jamaican and Irish blood in me, so just put those two together!” he stated. “They are two very, very strong fighting countries. The plan is to go in and be smart and not to take any shots unnecessarily, but I’m not afraid to get hit, I’m not shy of getting hit. I know for a fact he is terrified of being hit. He doesn’t want to get hit at all because in his mind he has a lot of mental questions about his chin, his stamina and other things. I’m focused on getting this win whichever way I can, but I’m a million per cent confident, a thousand per cent sure, I can knock him out with either hand!”