On December 12 Dillian, ‘The Villain’ Whyte will take on Anthony Joshua in what Sky Sports is billing as the biggest bout in British boxing right now.
Both fighters come in unbeaten, Joshua is 14-0 all by knockout, while Whyte is 16-0 with 13 of his wins by knockout.
Their heated rivalry, tracing back to an amateur bout in 2009, has been the focus of the fight’s promotion, Whyte beat Joshua that time round.
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Does Whyte have the Psychological Edge?
He certainly acts like it. To an extent, at the back of the minds of both boxers, Whyte is 1-0 up. Then there’s all of the smack talk that the Jamaican-born boxer has been preaching, which would make you think he’s mentally strong.
During the programme Joshua v Whyte: The Gloves Are Off, on Sky Sports, Johnny Nelson sat down with the two opponents in a stare down style interview.
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For the vast majority of the show, Whyte was chatting away, making various threats to Joshua and inviting him outside for a fight, like that angry kid at school used to do.
After a few rounds of Whyte’s spiel about having a child when he was 13, and how he’s responsible, Joshua rattled him.
When Nelson asked Joshua what he thought of his next opponent he simply stated: “He’s too fat, he don’t train hard enough.”
In Whyte's defence, there are a fair few people in the sport that look fat compared to Joshua. This “too fat” comment appeared to strike a cord with Whyte. Even Johnny Nelson commented to Whyte that he’d quietened down.
So maybe Whyte hasn’t quite got that psychological upper hand that he seems to gloat so frivolously. Joshua stayed cool and collected throughout the interview, keeping his crosshairs firmly on Whyte.
Is he “too fat”?
Whyte's certainly not as athletic as Joshua but that doesn’t mean that he can’t cause some damage.
‘The Villain’ tends to appear quite laid back in the ring, rarely wasting punches and waiting for his opportunities. He possesses knockout power in both arms, especially when unleashing his left hook.
This style optimises Whyte's strengths and minimises his weaknesses.
When it comes to Joshua, the Olympic gold medallist’s sheer athleticism and range will overcome this style. Joshua will be able to stand off and chip away with his jab until he works his chance to grind Whyte into the ropes.
Whyte’s sluggish style will be exposed as Joshua floats around him. However, the fight will test the 26-year-old's complacency, seeing how aware he is of Whyte's punches. If he gets in too close too early, there’ll be a chance for an upset, courtesy of Whyte’s left hook.
Is there a chance of a Tyson Fury-esque upset on December 12?
There’s an absurd amount of hype surrounding Joshua who is only 14-0 and relatively untested, but he’s just so good. Even Wladimir Klitschko, when speaking to the BBC, said: "Joshua has the qualities that not many guys have had.
"He definitely has the potential to become a real big star in boxing.
"Anthony has all the tools to become that great champion inside and, most importantly, probably, outside of the ring."
Joshua deserves the hype, but it’s fair to say that the upcoming fight against Whyte will be the biggest test of his professional career so far.
As with all boxing matches, they’re two blokes in a ring, theoretically anything could happen. It’s a possibility that Whyte changes his tactics, comes in hot, and gets an early hit on Joshua which shakes him up.
But, unlike in the Klitschko v Fury fight, Whyte has very little to no advantages on Joshua, the Olympian is just the superior boxer in terms of technique and physicality. Fury used his extra range and speed to better his Ukrainian foe,
Whyte will have to come out with something special to achieve his goal of sending AJ to the canvas.
Theoretically Whyte’s power punching could defeat Joshua, but it’s hard to see the fight going beyond four rounds before the referee mercilessly ends it in Joshua’s favour.
Can anyone stop Anthony Joshua? Give your opinion in the comment box below!
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