Anthony Joshua has told Dillian Whyte he is prepared to make the next defence of his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles in a rematch against him – if Deontay Wilder cannot be tempted to abandon plans to again fight Tyson Fury.
Whyte produced a devastating stoppage of Dereck Chisora in the 11th round at London’s 02 Arena to further his claims to again fight his rival at Wembley Stadium on April 13, even with Joshua considering abandoning that date to instead fight in America for the first time.
Joshua has repeatedly spoken of his desire to fight the undefeated WBC champion Wilder for all four world titles, but with the American expected to fight Fury in a rematch in Las Vegas in April, he will likely require an alternative opponent and he insisted Whyte would then be the leading candidate.
A Joshua-Whyte rematch had appeared an inevitability until the fallout from Wilder-Fury threatened Joshua’s reputation and has potentially changed their plans.
America’s Jarrell Miller would be the favourite if he fought in the US.
The 30-year-old Whyte called Joshua out once Chisora had recovered from his chilling knockout, but Joshua, 29, and unusually booed by many of those present at The O2, said: “If Deontay Wilder is serious and he is going to fight Tyson Fury and doesn’t want to become undisputed champion, Dillian you will get a shot.
“Dillian’s an idiot, because I showed him some respect. I knocked him clean out when we fought (in 2015), but I said let’s forget that because we have both improved so let’s prove who is the better fighter now.
“He starts piping up, I said ‘All right, cool’. I’m quite respectful but if Dillian steps in the ring with me you better believe me, none of these heavyweights are on my level, and I keep my lid on because I don’t want to explode on none of them.
“If Dillian’s serious, he can come get this work as well, but when the crowd want to see the fight with Dillian, I don’t want to hear no talk when I whoop him, ‘Oh he has had an easy touch, you should have fought Wilder’. Any of them are free to step in that ring with me.
“Everyone knows I need to fight Deontay Wilder, I’m ready. I’m proud of what Dillian has done. If it’s not Wilder, it’s Whyte over Miller.”
It was in response to Whyte insisting: “I deserve my shot, I’ve worked my way up”, that Joshua labelled him an “idiot”, and the two fighters’ promoter Eddie Hearn said it was a case of “when not if” their rematch is made.
Revisiting his victory over Chisora, Whyte said: “I hurt him in the first round and thought ‘Hey, relax’. I knew it would come.
“I threw a lazy right hand and dipped a bit, (then) boom! That shot is going to put a lot of people away.
“Let’s go (Anthony), let’s go!”
Hearn explained: “It’s a matter of when, not if, because I think Dillian Whyte is going to become the WBO mandatory.
“Chisora and Whyte did themselves proud. It goes down as another classic.
“If Deontay Wilder doesn’t want to fight Anthony, then I think it should be Dillian Whyte.”
Saul Canelo Alvarez has become a three-weight world champion after knocking down Britain’s Rocky Fielding four times in three rounds to claim the WBA “regular” super-middleweight title at Madison Square Garden.
Alvarez, whose first professional titles came at welterweight, went into his first fight at 168lbs as the favourite, despite the fact he was fighting 21lbs and three divisions above where he first established himself.
The 28-year-old Mexican wasted no time in giving his opponent a taste of what was to come, bruising Fielding’s ribs with a huge body shot and sending him to the mat in the first round.
The 6ft 1in Liverpudlian recovered to get back on his feet, but the onslaught continued and he was knocked down again by another body shot in the second round.
A blow to the head sent 31-year-old Fielding to the floor for a third time in the third round, and it was when Alvarez’s relentless body shots sent Fielding crashing a fourth time that the referee decided he had seen enough.
He fought the absolute elite. The biggest star in boxing, and he was brave. Head high @Rocky87Fielding— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) December 16, 2018
Fielding, making a first defence of the title he won against Tyron Zeuge in July, managed to exchange some shots with his 5ft 9in opponent in the second round.
But he could not put his height advantage to good use and ultimately was outclassed by the world’s highest-paid athlete.
In October, the Alvarez signed a five-year, 11-fight contract worth a minimum 365million dollars (£290m).
Anthony Joshua claims he is ready to fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury when they are ready.
The British heavyweight, holder of three of the four world belts, has been accused by some fight fans of ducking the big match-ups, while rivals Wilder and Fury had a thrilling brawl in Los Angeles at the weekend.
Fury called Joshua a “chicken” and a rematch between him and Wilder looks inevitable in the wake of their controversial draw.
That could mean Joshua being frozen out of the division’s top fights for a little while yet, but the 29-year-old reckons he is ready to go.
After Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel suggested a Wilder-Joshua showdown could happen, Joshua wrote on Twitter: “What took this fool so long? Like we ain’t been interested?!
“Anyway well done Fury! They (Wilder) wanted to get to you because they assumed you was finished!! I’ll give you a fair one when your ready. Either one of you!”
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has gone to Los Angeles this week and says he is hoping to talk about an April date between his fighter and Wilder.
Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, however, hopes to open talks over Fury-Wilder II.
Hearn told the Daily Mail: “First we need to find out what is happening with a Wilder-Fury rematch and whether the rematch clause we are hearing about is what it seems.
What took this fool so long? Like we ain’t been interested?!! 🙄Anyway well done Fury! they wanted to get you because they assumed you was finished!! I’ll give you a fair one when your ready! Either one of you! https://t.co/RlytsIrnud— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) December 4, 2018
“If anything, the way that fight went on Saturday works in our favour in terms of getting Wilder. That has always been the fight we want because he has the last belt.
“It might also be the case that Wilder fancies his chances in a punch-out with AJ rather than another go at Fury. As far as AJ is concerned, he will fight anyone. He would love Wilder next and he has always wanted Fury.
“I am going out to LA and we will talk (with Wilder’s representatives) this week. It is a fight we definitely want for April and will work hard to make.”