Anthony Joshua wasn’t ringside for the fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, but he was in attendance at the O2 Arena for the heavyweight bout between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora.
The 29-year-old, who secured the 22nd victory of his professional career against Alexander Povetkin in September, has a date set for his next fight - April 13, 2019 - but the identity of his next opponent remains unclear for now.
Joshua has made it clear that he wants to fight Wilder, but the American is expected to take on Fury in a rematch following their entertaining draw in Los Angeles earlier this month.
Whyte passed his audition for a world title shot at Joshua with his devastating knockout of Chisora on Saturday night.
The 30-year-old lost to Joshua back in December 2015 but has won all nine fights since then - including his latest victory over Chisora - and made it abundantly clear that he wants another shot at British boxing’s golden boy.
"I want that lanky piece of s*** over there [Joshua]. Let's go,” Wilder said of Joshua after his latest win, per talkSPORT’s Michael Benson.
Following Whyte’s call-out, Joshua - who was providing analysis for Sky Sports - went into the ring to respond.
“Dillian, let’s forget what happened in the past in that fight,” Joshua said. “We’re both at world level now and we can see what we’re about. Good fight back then, but now we have to see where we’re at right now.
“But first of all, we know how the list goes: number one, number two and, if they’re not available, let’s see how it goes.”
This annoyed boxing fans inside the arena who, unexpectedly, reacted by booing Joshua.
It must be the first time Joshua has ever been booed by British boxing fans inside an arena like that.
As Declan Warrington of PA Sport pointed out on Twitter, Joshua seemed unsettled by the booing and asked the crowd if they would actually be interested in seeing him fight Whyte again.
The crowd made their feelings crystal clear by cheering.
“So, if Dillian Whyte fight gets made, I don’t want to hear any boos and ‘it’s not the fight we want to see’ - do you know where I’m coming from?
“Deontay Wilder’s the target but, if it’s not him, it’s Dillian Whyte.”
Rattled by the Whyte’s call-out and the crowd’s reaction, Joshua was quoted as saying by Benson: "Dillian's an idiot. You know why? I showed him some respect... I'm quite respectful, but if Dillian steps in the ring with me, trust me, none of these heavyweights are on my level.
“If Dillian's serious, he can come get this work as well."
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