Anthony Joshua could meet an old foe in the first quarter of 2018, rather than agreeing to a unification with Joseph Parker or Deontay Wilder, it has been reported.
Sky Sports have spoken to Dillian Whyte this week with the Londoner confirming Joshua’s next fight with either be against him or Parker.
As Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn are refusing to budge from 30% to 35% in order to seal a multi-belt battle with Parker, Whyte is now in pole position as ‘The Bodysnatcher’ explained.
“It’s either Parker or me, really,” Whyte told Sky Sports.
“As I’m older, I’m realising that this kind of fight – there is a lot of revenue and I bring a lot of value to the table as well.
“I’m happy to take the fight, but I’ve got to be compensated the right way, that’s all it is.”
Fans are sure to feel short changed should Joshua sign on to fight a rival he’s previously defeated with a devastating stoppage in 2015 as encounters with Parker or WBC ruler Wilder are much more high-profile.
Even the likes of Alexander Povetkin, Luis Ortiz, Kubrat Pulev or Jarrell Miller would be seen as better options, although as Hearn has admitted himself, the Matchroom boss wants to land Whyte a world title shot.
“The first, is that Dillian could fight him (Joshua) next in March or April,” Hearn said before explaining (with more hope than anything) getting Whyte a shot at Parker or Wilder could then lead to an all-British world title fight.
“He could fight Joshua in a unification fight (as) Dillian is on the verge.
“My aim for Dillian is to fight for the world heavyweight championship then fight Joshua in a unifier – that would be mega. We’ve got to get him a shot, which is difficult.”
Wilder has already denied Whyte as a future opponent, whilst Parker has a pre-fight agreement with Lucas Browne should talks with Joshua break down after stalling.
These reasons mean Whyte is unlikely to secure the shot his wants – at least in the first half of the year – and another reason why Hearn could push for the Joshua rematch before reopening any unification talks.