The long awaited grudge heavyweight bout between two of the UK’s rising stars has now become a reality.
Someone’s ‘O’ has got to go
Anthony Joshua MBE and Dillian Whyte are predicting a knockout night when they clash for the British and Commonwealth Heavyweight titles in Bad Intentions at The O2 in London on December 12, live on Sky Sports.
Both unbeaten men landed big KO wins at the weekend to secure the hotly-anticipated contest and set a date to settle a rivalry that stretches back to their early amateur days.
Joshua topped the bill at the Greenwich venue once again and claimed the Commonwealth crown with a devastating first round win – blasting Gary Cornish away in 97 seconds, making his 14th straight win inside the distance his quickest to date.
Whyte watched on at ringside after stretching his unblemished pro record to 16-0 with a 13th KO win, having floored the American in the opening round on the way to landing the vacant WBC International Silver title.
Whyte beat Joshua early in their amateur careers before Joshua went on to claim gold at the London 2012 Olympics, and with sparks flying in the build-up to Saturday’s action, the blue touch paper has already been lit for a huge night in December.
Joshua relishing the fight
“I am glad that Dillian got the win,” said Joshua. “December 12 – the date is set. He is International Silver champ, I am Commonwealth champ and we will both fight for the British and move on from there.
“The amateur win is relevant; so relevant. He is 1-0 against me and now it is my chance to get it back and even the score. This is the beautiful thing about boxing; we have so many weeks now to get strong, get fit and get our mind in the right place and we will be back here at The O2 to dust up again in front of all of the wonderful fans that showed up on Saturday.
“When I first turned pro there was a massive decision and I finally got there. When I sat down with Eddie I said I would love to fight for the Commonwealth, British, European and World titles and these are all dreams that I had. One by one I am slowly filling the prophecy I made in 2013.
“There is no extra time but credit to Gary, he is a big man who has a solid jab so I made sure I dealt with that early on and I didn’t rush anything; it is a 12-round fight so I wasn’t trying to dish it all out in the first round but I managed to catch him with some shots which were painful and got the job done.”
Whyte says he is a machine and will spark Joshua
“I said he would walk through Cornish in the first round and that is what he did,” said Whyte. “Cornish came to get pasted and that is what he got. He did exactly what everyone knows he can do; he can punch a bit, and he has speed.
“I am a machine. I am not scared of nobody. I will go to camp, prepare myself right and listen to what my coach says. We will work on things, we will come back here and I will knock him out.
“Every Heavyweight has power. Mike Tyson had a lot of power and he still lost. There are a couple of chinks but that isn’t for me to say.”
Eddie Hearn’s Thoughts
Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “It is a great fight, two undefeated fighters.
This fight is going to excite a lot of people. It is two very, very talented Heavyweights stepping up for the British and Commonwealth and we could end the year with something very special here at The O2.
“Respect to Gary Cornish, he is 21-0 and didn’t have to take that fight, not enough undefeated fighters step up.”
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