The clock is ticking ahead of one of Britain’s most anticipated heavyweight clashes between undefeated prospects in years.
Anthony Joshua MBE has told Dillian Whyte that his amateur win will count for nothing when they clash on a packed bill at The O2 on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Joshua and Whyte clash for the British and Commonwealth Heavyweight titles with Tyson Fury’s World title win firmly shifting the power-base of the division to the UK – both men know a win will put themselves into a great position for major fights in 2016.
Whyte’s approach in the ring might not be different from the 14 men that Joshua has KO’d inside three rounds in the paid ranks so far, but outside the ring it’s been a different story.
The Brixton man has reminded Joshua of the amateur win he holds over him at every opportunity, suggesting that the Watford hero has taken the role of good guy in the clash and digging up an interview with Boxing News back in 2009 with comments he made about Whyte’s ban for failing a drugs test – but Joshua says mind-games and memories of the past won’t help Whyte:
“He’s trying to get me to take my eye off the ball and abandon my game plan, just go in and swing wildly, I know that and it’s not going to affect me. He’s a good fighter, this could be the fight that I am taken past two or three rounds, which is what I’ve been doing so far, so I have trained for a long fight.”
The Olympic Gold medalist added:
“I am looking to box clever, pick my shots and break him down – there’s only so many clean shots you can take at Heavyweight. I think he’s capable of taking me past three rounds, but that will be the achievement he takes from the fight – he’ll be the man that took me past three rounds.”
“With or without the amateur win we’d be here. It has given him belief and something that he can say he has over me, and mentally he’s living off that. When I turned pro, Lennox Lewis said to me: ‘forget what you did as an amateur, you are a pro now’. I take that attitude into this fight, it’s come from a true great so I’ll take that mentality on-board as its come from a great. It’s a tactic to try to get into my head, that’s fine, it comes with the fight package.”
(Image credit: Lawrence Lustig)
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