British heavyweight hope Anthony Joshua has confirmed that old amateur rival Dillian Whyte was his first choice for September 12 but says the fight can now be allowed to build momentum for later in the year.
Joshua is set to oppose 21-0 Scot Gary Cornish, potentially for the British or Commonwealth title, instead of participating in the grudge match the fans have wanted for some months. The Londoner stated that the clash not happening is through no fault of his own though and outlined that an offer was made to Whyte by promoter Eddie Hearn
“The initial opponent we were trying to get organised was Dillian. He’s someone who’s beaten me as an amateur and been vocal about fighting me,’ Joshua told Sportsmail.
“We took up the offer and were very interested. We spoke to him, he seemed interested, but when it came to the final stages he wasn’t up for September – he wants a bit more time, which I understand.
“It’s a tough fight for both of us so we’ve both got to prepare.
“(The Cornish fight) will be perfect for setting me up for boxing Whyte later in the year. Not really style wise, but definitely to build up that momentum. It’ll build me towards the Whyte fight,” he added.
Whyte has called on Joshua to face him many times after knocking ‘AJ’ down before both turned professional and Hearn is a also keen admirer of the fight which should now take place by the end of 2015.