News | May 01 2019

Dillian Whyte condemns Anthony Joshua opponent choice

Joshua rival Dillian Whyte gives his take on Andy Ruiz as a challenger
Dillian Whyte
Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

DILLIAN WHYTE is often Anthony Joshua’s harshest critic. The two have crossed paths, as amateurs and in an exciting 2015 British heavyweight title fight. Whyte could not agree on conditions to fight Joshua on April 13 at Wembley Stadium but insists he was willing to challenge Joshua on June 1, once original opponent Jarrell Miller committed several doping violations and was cast out of the fight.

“We should have been fighting at Wembley. We tried to make the fight from last year, September. They came to me this year, January, after I fought [Dereck] Chisora and I was resting, to make the fight,” Whyte declared. “I’ve never turned a fight down. I don’t turn fights down. These guys just talk s***.”

“When Miller pulled out, I was already training for five weeks, he’d had eight weeks VADA testing, these are the things we wanted,” he continued. “We also wanted time to prepare. Because I’d just had a hard year, three big fights.”

It did not work out. “The negotiations with Joshua were never serious,” Whyte lamented. “There were no serious talks about the fight.

“All they’ve done is made some offers to cover their tracks.”

Unsurprisingly he is unimpressed with the choice of Andy Ruiz as the replacement opponent for Joshua. “I don’t think it’s a good fight. I just think they should pay Luis Ortiz the extra money and fight him,” Whyte said. “They should be overpaying him because who’s going to risk losing and getting bashed up if the reward isn’t worth it.”

Dillian Whyte

“I think Andy Ruiz just doesn’t hit hard enough. He’s got quick hands [but] he’s not the fittest, doesn’t look the part. But he’s a well-schooled guy and all of that. But if [Joseph] Parker can outbox him that easy, then what’s AJ going to do to him? But I understand it’s short notice and he’s saving the day so full props to him and hopefully he does well,” he added. “I don’t think Joshua looks bad in that fight. It just depends whether the needle he had with Miller and the mindset he has is still there. I think that’s the only way he looks bad, whether his concentration lapses or anything, [if he thinks,] ‘It’s a fat couch potato’ or whatever. I think he beats Andy Ruiz [in] six, seven rounds. Beats him up. Andy Ruiz’s feet are too slow. He’s a pressure fighter and he hasn’t got quick feet or good head movement. He’s a pressure fighter with his hands up. You can’t walk a six foot six, 250lbs guy with range down like that. You need head movement and quick feet and he hasn’t got any of the two. And he hasn’t got a concussive punch as well.”

But Whyte adds, “I don’t really care. Because they should have fought me at Wembley in the UK. I don’t really care, that’s his problem.

“If these guys want to fight, these fights will happen.”