DILLIAN WHYTE has rubbished claims Anthony Joshua overlooked Andy Ruiz Jnr on June 1 in New York and reiterated his desire to settle the score with his British rival before they both finish their careers.
Whyte was stopped inside seven rounds by Joshua back in 2015 but has rebounded in fine style, winning nine fights on the spin. He is now preparing for a vital clash of contenders against Colombian Oscar Rivas on July 20 in London and knows a win will move him a step closer to a world title shot.
Ideally, he would like that shot to be against Joshua, for revenge is as much a motivation for Whyte as any world title, but first he must wait and see how his rival responds to what was a shattering defeat at Madison Square Garden.
“I don’t think he overlooked Andy Ruiz Jr. If anything, he was a bit too respectful,” Whyte told Sky Sports.
“Ruiz Jnr is such a nice guy and he was giving him his belts and taking photos with him. I didn’t understand it when you’re about to go to war with this man.
“The whole thing was a bit strange, including Joshua’s demeanour. Maybe he just didn’t want the pressure of being champion anymore. Sometimes people get stressed out and can’t cope with the stress of being under that microscope 24 hours (a day).
“It’s good for British boxing if he comes back. We still have unsettled beef. If he loses 10 fights in a row, I still want to fight him again.
“Hopefully he does come back and comes back bigger, better and stronger. I’m a bit sad that Andy Ruiz Jr beat him instead of me, but it is what it is.”
Dillian Whyte wasn’t the only heavyweight who cut a dejected figure following Joshua’s first professional loss. Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk, the undisputed cruiserweight king moving up, appeared disappointed to have witnessed Ruiz do something he had hoped to do either this year or next, and countless others will have also lost out financially as a result of Joshua’s stock plummeting in New York.
Not that Andy Ruiz cares. One man’s collapse is another man’s crowning moment.
Tyson Fury says he could be a “chinny” or even “shot” fighter following his dramatic 12-round draw with Deontay Wilder in December.
Or at least that’s the angle being used to sell the ‘Gypsy King’s otherwise nondescript fight against unknown German Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas this Saturday (June 15).
Let’s face it, when pitched as a potential Andy Ruiz-esque banana skin scenario, it carries some weight and will attract a few eyeballs. When pitched as potentially Fury’s last, however, the intrigue level ramps up even further.
There can be no other reason for Fury to suggest he might lose to Schwarz, a man who has gone the 10-round distance only once and boasts not a single win of note.
“I’m the best of my era and if I can’t beat Tom Schwarz, I might as well retire,” Fury told Gareth A. Davies of Telegraph Sport.
“There is a difference between a man who fights well under pressure, and the man who goes to the office not feeling great and still gets a victory.
“I can have a bad day, but I can still grind victories out of bad days.
“It’s a difference in champions. If I can’t beat Tom Schwarz, then what is the point in boxing anymore? I must be ‘shot’.
“We won’t know until we get in there. A lot of people say I might be ‘chinny’ after the Deontay Wilder fight. We don’t know. It’s exciting times.”
Fury’s clearly teasing defeat in order to both build up Schwarz’s chances in the eyes of the public and, in turn, build up the importance of this weekend’s fight. It’s a clever ploy. It’s sensible. He should be thanking Deontay Wilder for decking him twice and, moreover, thanking Andy Ruiz for making every underdog on the planet suddenly seem dangerous. They have allowed him to take this approach.
However, while it’s Fury’ prerogative to tease, it’s highly unlikely he will actually suffer defeat at the hands of Tom Schwarz, much less retire at the ripe old age of 30. We can be fairly sure of that, even in a post-Ruiz-Joshua world.