• Inside Boxing

'I've sparred with Klitschko and Fury - now I want Joshua'

Nick Parkinson
March 25, 2015
'I definitely don't like Anthony Joshua. When we fight it will be big - he knows it's a risk for them' © Getty Images

Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 26, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November. Having spent time working with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, former champ David Haye and unbeaten contender Tyson Fury, the Brixton boxer also rates the chances of him and Joshua settling their differences for the British title this year.

I'm happy with how things are going. I've had five stoppage wins in three months since I came back from the two-year ban and I'm more than happy with how it's going. It was great exposure to have my last fight on ITV and I was pleased with the performance.

I believe I'm making up for lost time and I've started ticking some names off.

Gary Cornish has just pulled out of fighting me in an eliminator for the British title and the British Boxing Board of Control has told me I should fight John McDermott for the English title instead, but I feel that's a backwards step for me. McDermott turned down the fight with me six weeks ago because he said he wants five months to get into shape. In five months' time, I want to be fighting for the British or Commonwealth title, not the English title, so I'm not waiting around.

There are a few things on the table for me to consider. Last week I was out of the country meeting some people, and promoters from Britain, Europe and America have been contacting me lately. I've got to see which is more beneficial for me.

But I've decided to stay independent for a few months so I can stay active and make up for lost time. When you are with a promoter you don't fight as much because they have lots of fighters to keep happy and only a certain amount of TV dates.

The ban was probably the worst time of my life. I got suspended for taking a [sports supplement] drink called Jack3D, which contained a banned stimulant not listed on the label. It's now banned in the UK.

I was hoping to fight McDermott for the English title when it happened. I could have won that and moved on. I was angry and disappointed because of something that I thought was minor. Others got smaller bans for the same thing. I got two years but I didn't moan or complain about it.

I've lost two years of my career but in that time I've developed myself physically and mentally. I've showed my character to come back stronger.

I kept training and I didn't give up because I knew it would take a lot more to break me. I stayed positive and I'm not the first boxer something like that has happened to, so I didn't get a job and kept training. I sparred with the likes of Wladimir Klitschko, David Haye and Tyson Fury. I always knew I was going to come back.

The ideal fight for me for the British heavyweight title would be against Anthony Joshua. It's a fight people are interested in seeing because we have a rivalry. It goes back to my very first boxing fight - which was against Joshua in 2009. I won it on points and it still bothers him.

I'd been a kickboxer growing up, like a lot of boxers have been, and when we met I was still really raw, had a lot of to learn. I knocked him down and threw him around like a rag doll. I didn't knock him out, but with 10oz gloves on I believe I would put him to sleep.

For me, the fight with Joshua happened and it was gone. I supported him after that, stuck my neck on the line and said he would win the Olympic gold medal. But then he said some bad stuff about me, about the drugs ban, and it has gone on from there.

I saw him at Wladimir Klitschko's training camp in Austria once and when I asked him about it he didn't want to know. I just dropped it because I felt sorry for him.

He's said some things on Twitter. He posted a picture of one of his opponents Paul Butlin after they fought with a busted up face, saying this is what I do to journeymen. It was aimed at me and it was disrespectful. I thought he had more class than that, especially after the nice comments from Butlin after they fought.

I definitely don't like Joshua. When the fight does happen between me and him it will be big. His promoter Eddie Hearn says he will put me in the ring with him inside six months, but he hasn't been in touch with me so I don't think it will happen in six months. He's not serious because he knows it's too much of a risk for them.

I want to beat him up for what he has said because I didn't provoke him, I only supported him. You don't slag people off when they are in a low point in their career like I was.

The way to deal with this now is for me and Joshua to get in the ring and sort it out.

Dillian Whyte believes Anthony Joshua's 'journeyman' comments after beating Paul Butlin were aimed at him © Getty Images
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