Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker: Dillian Whyte now in the mix with Deontay Wilder for world heavyweight title mega fights

Boxing

Dillian Whyte's win on Saturday means he has joined Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder in the mix for huge heavyweight mega fights this year.

Dillian Whyte’s devastating win over Lucas Browne shot his name to the top of the WBC rankings chasing Deontay Wilder’s version of the world heavyweight title and set up yet another potential super fight this year.

Before Whyte’s clinical demolition of Browne, the winner of Anthony Joshua’s fight with Joseph Parker was expected to line-up against Wilder in a fight that would finally unify the heavyweight division.

However, Whyte could muscle in on a piece of the action as he’s the number one on the WBC rankings and therefore the No.1 contender for his Wilder’s belt – and the WBC could well order a mandatory defence for the American.


Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker - Sky Bet odds


Wilder will be ringside in Cardiff as Joshua tackles Parker but the two sides have failed before to settle on a deal for the two to meet, so he could well end up being told to face Whyte before agreeing a deal with Joshua.

After Whyte’s display against Browne, a rematch with Joshua now suddenly makes even more appeal than before – and regardless of how it goes there are some huge fights now on the horizon.

Dillian Whyte v Deontay Wilder

Whyte 5/2 Draw 25/1 Wilder 2/7

Browne offered poor opposition in the end, but the manner of Whyte’s victory really made people sit up and take notice that this is a very different Dillian Whyte to the one we’ve seen before. The finish was as brutal as his boxing was beautiful as he picked apart his opponent with a new found calm and clinical edge.

Whyte looked in better condition than ever before, and his boxing skills also reached new levels as he jabbed Browne into virtual submission before then delivering a chilling finish showing power was no issue either.

Wilder has previously laughed off talk of fighting Whyte, but he now may not have any choice if the WBC order a mandatory defence against the Body Snatcher.

On closer examination, the fight actually makes sense for both parties in their pursuit of Joshua. Wilder would gain attention and raise his profile in the UK, while also sampling the unique big-fight atmosphere ahead of a future challenge with AJ.

A win over Whyte would also give him more bargaining chips at the negotiating table with Joshua’s team.

For Whyte, he gets to challenge for a world title in a huge fight at home while being the headliner himself, and he must feel Wilder is an easier option than Joshua at this moment in time. It also could be the path to a monumental rematch with Joshua to become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world – there may not be a stadium in the country big enough to stage that one.

Dillian Whyte v Anthony Joshua

Whyte 6/1 Draw 25/1 Joshua 1/12

This fight will happen, the only doubt surrounds the timing, whether it will come before either man has faced Wilder of after.

Compared to the Whyte that faced Joshua back in 2015, it was a completely different fighter that we saw on Saturday night – not only physically but also stylistically as well. That’s to say that he actually had a style and was not just launching windmill overhands like in the first fight.

Whyte did rock Joshua in the first fight before fitness and lack of finesse took hold, and while Joshua has also improved markedly the size of improvement from Whyte has been remarkable – another leap of similar size for his next fight would make him an intriguing prospect for Joshua.

Once an uncultured streetfighter, Whyte was transformed on Saturday, and while maybe not in the elite category he proved himself to be on world level and deserves a crack at a world title – fans will also love to see if he can still get under Joshua’s skin like the last fight.

A second loss to Joshua would also not necessarily prevent future world title bids against Wilder or others, and if he can combined the power that shook Joshua with the new boxing skill set and stay in similar shape, he’d be an entirely different challenge this time around.

Deontay Wilder v Anthony Joshua

Wilder 15/8 Draw 25/1 Joshua 4/9

Before Whyte’s headline-grabbing knockout this seemed to be a certainty and a logical next step for Joshua should he get beyond his latest test against Parker in Cardiff on Saturday night – a test which should not be underestimated.

Wilder has talked the talked for some time, but has failed to put pen to paper amid the wrangling over the financial aspects – namely the purse split. The Alabama fighter will have to bring his Bomb Squad over the UK for the fight, there’s no doubt about that as the UK is now where boxers go to get rich.

Wilder has been padding out his unbeaten record Stateside but has not been bringing in anywhere near the amount of fans or, more importantly, money as Joshua has on this side of the Atlantic, but this fight will provide both the payday the undisputed title he craves.

Being ringside for Joshua’s fight with Parker, he’ll no doubt have something planned for the end of the fight to get the wheels in motion – although if he waits too long the WBC may get involved and order a match-up with Whyte instead.

Barring that, fans will insist Joshua and Wilder square off to settle who’s the best heavyweight on the planet sometime in the summer, in probably another huge boxing date at Wembley Stadium.

And that’s all before Tyson Fury makes his comeback….

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