Tag Archives: Anthony Joshua

Ogogo gone as AJ hits the heights

Anthony Ogogo last week formally announced his retirement from boxing, after over two years out of the ring.

Seemingly destined for great things after winning bronze at the 2012 Olympics, he was one of five British boxers to claim medals in London and seen by many as Britain’s most promising middleweight.

However, the Suffolk fighter has been forced to call it quits after suffering a succession of injuries, with his professional career coming to a premature ending after only 12 fights.

After picking up his bronze medal at the age of 23, Ogogo turned pro the following year, along with fellow Olympian Anthony Joshua.

His talent and ability marked him out,, and he was signed by Richard Schaffer and Golden Boy promotions (pictured right).

Being signed to an American promotional company increased the prospect’s star power internationally.

In a tale of two Anthonys, Ogogo’s and Joshua’s careers appeared to run parallel, both being the same age and appearing on the same undercards early in their careers.

However, Ogogo may have got his big break before AJ; landing a spot on a Floyd Mayweather show.

Greater rewards

It is extremely rare for British prospects to fight overseas so early in their career, especially on the card of the biggest draw in world boxing at the time.

But Ogogo was already being moulded into one of the sport’s brightest young hopes, with his slick boxer-puncher style winning over fans at home and in Germany, as well as the USA.

‘British boxing has seen the last of one of the most promising talents of his generation’

After 11 wins, he was set to fight for the vacant WBC international middleweight championship, an interim belt that lines you up for much greater rewards and eventually a full world title.

The contest was against fellow Brit Craig Cunningham, who had only one loss going into the fight, but Ogogo went in as firm favourite.

However, things didn’t go to plan as Ogogo’s head clashed with Cunningham’s forearm, leaving him with a shattered left eye socket.

Even though he couldn’t see properly, he bravely fought on for a further eight rounds before his coach decided to pull him out.

Maybe too courageous for his own good in terms of his long-term health, he was said to be 75% visually impaired for the rest of the fight.

Best efforts

It wasn’t the first time Ogogo had suffered an injury setback, so he was no stranger to rehabilitation. However this battle was the biggest and final test the fighter would have to face.

Ogogo has spent the last three years trying to get back in the ring and continue his quest for a world title. In that time, he has had several surgeries in different countries, and is said to have spent £250,000 on treatment to his eyes.

Despite all his best efforts, he has had to call an end to his career at the age of 30, and British boxing has seen the last of one of the most promising talents of his generation.

The now-retired fighter has been dealt the worst hand possible. As well as the shattered eye socket, his list of injuries include:

Anthony Ogogo’s injuries

  • Broken hand
  • Three dislocated shoulders
  • Damaged Achilles tendon
  • Knee tendon problems

So whilst Joshua has signed multimillion-pound promotional and commercial deals, Ogogo has been left penniless by his injury struggles.

Since Ogogo has been out of the ring, AJ has fought seven times and picked up three world titles long the way.

It is a shame to see such a great prospect’s career cut short, especially when looking at the strength of the current middleweight scene, with the likes of Genady Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders.

Not to mention the cash cow Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who was in the same stable as Ogogo at Golden Boy.

The thought that Ogogo could have shared the ring with those fighters must be a devastating for him, as is knowing he will never step in the ring again.

Klitschko v Joshua

Joshua’s toughness and grit compare to Ali’s, says Mitchell

Anthony Joshua already shares some of the attributes that helped to make Muhammad Ali ‘The Greatest’, according to acclaimed sports writer Kevin Mitchell.

The Guardian’s boxing correspondent also believes that Joshua won’t be overly troubled when he defends his WBA IBO, IBF world heavyweight titles against WBO champion Joseph Parker at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on March 31st.

Like the majority of boxing experts and pundits, Mitchell backs the bigger stronger man, stating: “Parker doesn’t have the one-punch power to inconvenience Joshua.”

The Briton emulated Ali at amateur level by winning Olympic gold, and since turning pro has become the most accomplished fighter on the global heavyweight scene.

Only New Zealand’s Parker and American Deontay Wilder, who holds the WBO belt, stand between him unifying the division’s various world titles.

Joshua’s toughest fight so far came against Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017, when he survived a mid-fight knockdown to beat the formidable Ukrainian in 11 rounds.

Resilience

Mitchell told Elephant Sport that Joshua shares a similar resilience to Ali, in the way that each man can bite down on his mouth-piece and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

“Ali and Joshua have the same quality of wanting to keep going,” he said. “When Joshua got up [in the sixth round] against Klitschko, he was smiling… he was actually smiling.”

‘Joshua never made any excuses, and that says a lot to me… He’s a real fighter’ – Kevin Mitchell

He compared this to Ali’s 1970 victory over Oscar Bonavena by TKO in the 15th round, highlighting the ‘Desperation Factor’ that grants truly great champions the ability to gather their strength and summon a win from the brink of disaster.

Mitchell is a big admirer of Joshua, saying: “He’s got a good range of punches,” and that “he’s always in shape.” But his most striking comment of all was: “He’s got a ruthless streak, Joshua… he loves knocking people out.”

Joshua’s menacing trait is so often overlooked, as his humble and friendly demeanour outside of the ring can easily camouflage his vicious competitiveness.

No excuses

Another admirable facet of Joshua is his attitude and refusal to make excuses when things don’t go so well.

Mitchell made this evident, when praising Joshua’s character, as the Brit has never spoken about the head-butt that broke his nose in the early rounds of his win over Carlos Takam last October.

“He never made any excuses, and that says a lot to me… He’s a real fighter.”

Mitchell’s analysis and breakdown of Anthony Joshua’s talents gave me a new-found admiration for the towering Adonis of heavyweight boxing, who over the past few years cemented himself as the man at 200lbs and over.

To have his qualities compared to the greatest heavyweight ever to set foot in the ring, in a career that has spanned just five years to date, is a testament to the potential of Joshua.

Should he emerge victorious in emphatic fashion on March 31st, he’ll be one step closer to fulfilling that potential, and one step closer to matching the achievements of ‘The Greatest’.

Kevin is on Twitter @kevinmitchell50

Klitschko v Joshua image by Karl-Ludwig Poggemann via Flickr Creative Commons under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Fury is true heavyweight king, not Joshua, says Frank Warren

When Anthony Joshua defended his world heavyweight titles against Carlos Takam at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, the biggest indoor crowd in boxing history cheered the British fighter to victory.

But one spectator who was slightly more restrained in his excitement was veteran promoter Frank Warren. Whilst he admires Joshua, Warren says he is not the fighter some fans would have you believe – and he believes the real king of the ring is former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who has already made it clear he wants a crack at the champion.

‘Joshua’s got plenty of heart, but he gets hit. He gets caught. So there is a chink there in that armour, and he’s got a long way to go’

Warren has been the UK’s biggest boxing promoters for over three decades. His list of fighters contains a who’s who of former world champions such as Ricky Hatton, Prince Naseem Hamed, Nigel Benn, and Joe Calzaghe to name a few. Currently, he promotes stars like Billy Joe Saunders, James DeGale and, of course, Fury.

Last weekend it was all about Eddie Hearn and his number one guy, the WBA, IBF, and IBO World heavyweight champion Joshua, who defeated Takam via a 10th-round technical knockout.

Matchroom Sports promoter Hearn’s show made a statement with all tickets sold and a massive pay-per-view audience watching on TV.

But what did Warren, as someone who has been involved in many of the biggest events in British boxing history, what make of the evening?

“Well, quality wise, I thought the undercard was very average. I don’t think it was great. Takam fought much better than I anticipated. I based it on the facts of having seen the fight against Joseph Parker, who I thought handled him better,” commented Warren.

‘He’s no Ali’

Warren has previously promoted former world champion Fury, who called out Joshua on Twitter following his latest fight. And whilst he admits ‘AJ’ is a good fighter, he says he is no way comparable to some of the all-time greats, as is cheerleaders would have you believe.

“Anthony Joshua for me is a very good heavyweight. I’ve always admired him. He’s a big puncher, he’s got plenty of heart, but he gets hit. He gets caught. So there is a chink there in that armour, and he’s got a long way to go.

‘The number one heavyweight, as soon as he gets his license back, is Tyson Fury’

“Had [Evander] Holyfield been there and catching Anthony Joshua, it would have been lights out. You can’t compare Anthony to Muhammad Ali as some people have in some quarters. Ali had a great chin, and we are talking about Muhammad Ali. I’m quite sure it must embarrass Anthony when people make those comparisons,” stated Warren

The fact, just as Warren pointed out, is that due to his exciting style, Joshua does get clipped at times.

“There are times when he looks vulnerable. He’s won the fight, don’t get me wrong, but he can be caught. [Wladimir] Klitschko [who floored Joshua in their world title fight in April 2017] had him out.

“Klitschko, being a safety first fighter, let him off the hook. Somebody who is a good finisher… who knows what would have happened? He [Joshua] is exciting from that point of view and he will be a part of exciting fights,” Warren continued.

‘Tyson’s number one’

Fury is currently stuck in a battle with the British Boxing Board of Control and UK Anti-Doping after testing positive for a banned substance in October 2016. Fury admitted using cocaine while suffering with depression.

‘The Gypsy King’ was stripped of his titles and his boxing licence was suspended by the board. Fury’s legal team are currently setting up a date for the final hearing with UKAD which might happen in January according to Warren.

“The number one heavyweight, as soon as he gets his license back, is Tyson Fury,” the promoter asserted. “He will get his license back eventually and, more importantly, he’s got to get himself fit and well. And then we’ll see where it all goes.

“I think Tyson needs to get a couple of fights under his belt. Get the ring rust out and be ready to go.”

Should Joshua-Fury come to fruition in 2018, it would certainly be the biggest British heavyweight boxing fight of all time.

Do we really need boxing’s bad blood and feuds?

How far do boxers need to go in order to grab our attention when it comes to hyping up a big fight? And how far is too far?

These are questions that came to mind when Dereck Chisora threw a table at Dillian Whyte during a news conference to promote their recent contest in Manchester.

Are the months of sweat, pain and dedication that goes into preparing for a bout not enough to attract viewers? Does there have to be bad blood – or at least what appears to be real animosity between boxers?

“There was mutual respect shown in the end, but then we all know that they didn’t really hate each other’s guts in the first place”

That certainly seemed to be the case in 2002, when Mike Tyson sank his teeth into Lennox Lewis’s leg during a press conference brawl in New York.

A few years down the line, it was David Haye gatecrashing the media event after Vitali Klitschko had beaten Chisora (that man again).

A heated exchange of insults quickly descended into chaotic scenes in which Chisora was hit with a bottle and threatened to ‘shoot’ and ‘physically burn’ his fellow British heavyweight.

Ahead of their fight at West Ham’s Upton Park stadium, the two Londoners were kept apart by a fence and a battalion of security staff.

Sworn enemies?

Back to Chisora v Whyte, and was that airborne item of furniture really necessary just to sell a few more satellite and cable TV pay-per-views?

It resulted in their bout being stripped of its British title status, and could have resulted in someone – a journalist, photographer or passing PR person – getting seriously injured. All in the name of selling a fight.

As it turned out, that fight was a bona fide thriller, with Whyte winning by a split decision and the general consensus being it was one of the year’s best contests.

There was mutual respect shown between the two fighters in the end, but then we all know that they didn’t really hate each other’s guts in the first place.

Isn’t it fascinating how we lap up the pre-fight narrative of boxers being sworn enemies, only to commend them for sharing a warm embrace at the end of the fight.

Trash talk

Boxing is particularly prone to opponents trash-talking each other, and has a long tradition of fighters ‘calling out’ rivals and threatening to do all sorts to them once they step into the ring.

“There is a serious side of ‘the noble art’ that is being completely being ignored in favour of the gimmicky, the soundbite and the video clip that goes viral”

Surely what makes a fight is the match-up, the clash of style and tactics, the test of character and one’s chin inside the ropes, not at a press conference or weigh-in.

True, nobody was better at winding up opponents that Muhammad Ali, but this was a form of verbal showmanship – you never saw ‘The Greatest’ throwing tables at George Foreman or Joe Frazier.

Their fight build-ups involved no flying furniture, or any need for an army of heavies to keep two adults apart in case they couldn’t possibly resist the temptation to knock each other’s blocks off there and then, with no cheque, title or win-loss record at stake.

Struggles

Perhaps ‘the show’ is losing its credibility as a result of too much window dressing. Instead of magnifying meaningless spats that happened years ago, why don’t promoters focus more on the human stories of these boxers and their backgrounds?

Okay, so when Whyte fought Anthony Joshua in yet another ‘grudge’ bout, they were indeed former amateur opponents, with Whyte the winner over three rounds.

But when it came to Whyte v Chisora, we were told their feud was all down to a few sparring sessions in the gym a while back.

What about the struggle that each boxer has had to face throughout their careers? Why do they fight? Why do choose to risk their health every time they enter the ring?

There is a serious side of ‘the noble art’ that is being completely being ignored in favour of the gimmicky, the soundbite and the video clip that goes viral.

Reckoning

Nick Blackwell had to be placed in a medically induced coma for a week after his fight with Chris Eubank Jr earlier this year.

Eduard Gutknecht underwent surgery after his fight with George Groves, and Mike Towell died after his fight with Dale Evans as a result of severe bleeding and swelling to the brain.

Whyte and Chisora are both family men. Is there not a better story to be told here in light of recent events?

Chisora’s £30,000 fine and his suspended two-year ban isn’t going to do much in the way of deterring this sort behaviour in the name of selling a fight.

The irony is, when the hour of reckoning came, their fight proved to be truly memorable one.

But while actual tickets to a fight night are limited by the size of the arena, there are always more PPVs to be sold, so the hype and the press conference antics will continue.

One day, someone is really going to get hurt…

Peter Fury plotting a heavyweight dynasty

Top trainer Peter Fury has already guided his nephew Tyson to boxing glory and believes son Hughie is ready to follow suit.

Tyson gatecrashed the heavyweight elite with his shock victory over Wladimir Klitschko last November, taking his WBA, WBO, and IBF titles in Dusseldorf, Germany.

He became Britain’s eighth world champion in the top-weight division, ending Klitschko’s 10-year unbeaten run with a unanimous points decision.

The mastermind behind that resounding upset, Peter is confident that Hughie can join his cousin Tyson at boxing’s top table in 2016.

“There’s no more easy fights, he’s three years as a professional, he’s 18-0 with 10 KOs, he’s 21 years of age and he’s now ready to step up,” Fury Sr. told me.

Quality fights

“People say he’s, too young, I don’t care what anybody says, I do what I think is best. He is ready for any top-10 fighter in the world – he’s ready for a world title shot if it comes. So we’re ready – he will be taking good fights.

“We sent the contracts out and agreed on a figure, but they came back and asked us for four times the amount they’d agreed only a week before”

“My goal for Hughie is to have him fighting as many good fighters we can possibly get for him, to mix in high-quality circles. That’s what we want for Hughie – no more domestic fights, no more journeyman fights – it’s time for him to step up and have quality fights.”

Hennessy Sport, Fury’s promoters, are currently searching for a high-ranked contender who’s willing to take on the 21-year-old.

But Fury Sr. expressed his frustration with boxing’s byzantine politics and how he feels it is delaying his son’s progress in the ring.

“We tried negotiating with the Russian, Andrey Fedosov, who’s ranked number seven by the WBA and WBO, and 15th by the IBF,” he explained.

“We sent the contracts out and agreed on a figure, but they came back and asked us for four times the amount they’d agreed only a week before. If they hadn’t messed us around we’d be fighting him on February 26th.”

Big challenge

By comparison, London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua, who has a record of 15-0 with 15 KOs after turning pro three years ago at the age of 24, has secured his first world title fight with reigning IBF champion Charles Martin on April 9th at London’s O2 Arena.

“I’m looking at fighters in the top 10 or 15 – they should be number 30, 40 or 50”

With the pair being similar heights and both having perfect records, Hughie Fury v Joshua would be a fascinating pairing. Fury Sr says it would be a big challenge for his son, but one he would be up for.

“Every fighter is different. Joshua’s talented. I’m not going to judge anything. You never can tell, styles make fights,” he said. “Joshua’s a good fighter, he’s got excellent power. It would make for a great fight. We’re confident in Hughie’s ability, but you never know until you get in there.”

Unfortunately, as Fury Sr. reflects, the machinations of boxing’s movers and shakers mean so many longed-for match-ups end up never happening.

Rankings

“Boxing’s politics is a load of shit, businessmen get behind it and massage the ratings,” said Fury Sr.

“There are fighters in the top 10 that I don’t believe should be there. I’m looking at fighters in the top 10 or 15 – they should be number 30, 40 or 50 – it’s only because of who they are and who’s backing them that they get to where they are.

“There are aspects he can improve on. I believe we only saw 60, 65 percent of Tyson’s full capability [in the first Klitschko fight]”

“It’s all about leveraging your position. Now people are asking for a fortune to face Hughie, because they think ‘I don’t want to lose my ranking, because if I lose my ranking I could miss out’. They’ve got to protect those rankings. I don’t give a flying toss for them.

“It shows you what rankings are – well, they are Fedosov. There you are there’s your ranking. He’s ranked number seven against a guy that’s 45 on [the] Boxrec [website], my son. Guess what? They don’t want to take it, so that says enough on rankings.”

Improvement

Whilst Hughie Fury waits for his shot at the big time, cousin Tyson, 27, is already there – and Peter Fury says he expects a full-on battle, and a stoppage victory, when his nephew’s rematch against Wladimir Klitschko takes place.

Even though there has been a significant improvement in Tyson’s boxing ability in the last four years under his uncle’s expert tutelage, Fury Sr. believes there’s more to come from the world champion.

“There are aspects he can improve on. I believe we only saw 60, 65 percent of Tyson’s full capability [in the first Klitschko fight].

“So we will be working on a lot of different things to get the job done.” He pauses and adds with a smile “…but I can’t say what those things are…”

Follow Peter Fury on Twitter @peterfury

Joshua on course for great things

We’ve known for some time that Anthony Joshua has got what it takes to become Britain’s new heavyweight boxing hero.

A world champion in the making, the Olympic gold medallist has made a smooth switch to the professional ranks, winning all 14 of his fights. But how would he fare against a man who beat him in the amateur ranks, Dillian Whyte?

I was among the the 20,000 capacity crowd gathered at London’s O2 Arena to find out as Joshua’s acrimonious clash with Whyte – also unbeaten in 16 fights as a pro – for the British and Commonwealth titles topped the bill.

It’s an understatement to say there’s no love lost between the pair, but could Watford’s Joshua had remain calm and composed in the build-up as he sought to avenge that early defeat against his Jamaican-born opponent.

Aggressor

After an evening of good bouts on the undercard, the atmosphere as the main event arrived was something like I had never witnessed – the buzz and sense of anticipation was huge.

“The ugly scenes caused a huge commotion in the packed venue, super-charging the already-electric atmosphere”

Joshua made his entrance to the ring to the backing of music from UK grime act Stormzy,  the title of his song ‘Shut Up’ acting as a repost to Whyte’s trash talk in the run-up to their meeting.

The first round started evenly. Whyte was aiming to be the aggressor with unpredictable round-house hits but he wasn’t a match for Joshua’s defensive skills and quickly became frustrated.

The bell sounded but a late punch by Joshua caused Whyte to retaliate while he was being held back by the referee, and this lead to both of the boxers’ entourages and security to invading the ring.

The ugly scenes caused a huge commotion in the packed venue, super-charging the already-electric atmosphere. The incident was also perhaps the cause of Joshua’s most tricky moment at the start of the second round.

Unfamiliar territory

As it began, he continued to taunt Whyte and paid the price as he was caught by a huge left hook. But although the 26-year-old was clearly hurt, Whyte was unable capitalise on his breakthrough.

“When Whyte offered to touch gloves as a sign of respect at the beginning of the seventh round, it seemed to be a sign of imminent defeat”

Although written off as a contender by many pundits and experts, it was clear by the end of the third round that Whyte had earned the full respect of Joshua who now found himself in the unfamiliar territory of an even-looking contest.

In the fourth, Joshua gained the initiative as backed Whyte up and created space with his quick, direct jabs which got the crowd going, only for his rival to counter attack with an impressive swing. Whyte was able to land some grazing hits of his own but his recovery wasn’t enough to upset Joshua’s gathering momentum.

It looked as if Whyte was starting to tire – he was taking in huge gulps of air by the end of the sixth round – and when he offered to touch gloves as a sign of respect for Joshua’s performance at the beginning of the seventh round, it seemed to be a sign of imminent defeat.

Retreat

Whyte, however, was still carving out opportunities and managed to land a shot to Joshua’s temple, but by this stage it was clear for all to see that his classy rival was not to be denied for much longer. 

Whyte had to retreat to the ropes several times until the point he was finally caught flush by an huge uppercut that looked to have finished him off, triggering a massive roar from the crowd.

“I give Whyte credit for landing some good shots which tested Joshua’s resilience, but he didn’t have enough to dominate an opponent who is destined for great things”

The 27-year-old gamely fought on but it was effectively all over as another big Joshua blow sent him to the canvas, delivering the victory, the belts and revenge.

Looking back, it was clear that Whyte’s plan had been to pile on the pressure in the first round, but even at that point the flaws in his gameplan – and Joshua’s superior fitness and conditioning – were obvious.

I give Whyte credit for landing some good shots which tested Anthony’s resilience, but he didn’t have enough to dominate an opponent who is destined for great things. He will surely fight for a version of the world heavyweight championship within the next 18 months.

Review – The Gloves Are Off – Joshua v Whyte

On the 12th December, Anthony Joshua faces the toughest challenge in his professional career to date at London’s O2 Arena.

His perfect record of 14 knockouts in 14 bouts will be tested as he fights nemesis Dillian Whyte for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles.

“The big difference was that when Nelson put questions to him, Joshua remained calm and composed”

Whyte defeated Joshua at amateur level. Since then, however, Joshua has won an Olympic gold medal, become a household name and is widely regarded as a future heavyweight champion of the world.

Whyte, on the other hand, despite an impressive record of 16 wins, 13 knock outs and zero losses, has largely gone under the radar.

And so, as the fight nears, Joshua and Whyte – as is now apparently a protocol for major fights – joined Johnny Nelson for Sky Sports’ The Gloves Are Off.

What was clear as these two bitter rivals sat opposite each other across a table, with Nelson acting as referee, is that they really don’t like each other.

Whyte actually said “I don’t like him” while Joshua sat, arms folded, staring at Whyte with a face so expressionless you could’ve mistaken him for a waxwork.

The big difference was that when Nelson put questions to him, Joshua remained calm and composed, as if he was used to these pressure-filled scenarios.

Agitated

Whyte, on the other hand, often looked out of place and seemed agitated by Nelson’s questioning. Joshua must surely have been licking his lips at the idea of getting under his skin and already winning the mental battle.

Anytime Whyte dangled a line for Joshua to bite on, the Watford boxer wasn’t having any of it. But whenever Joshua went on the attack, Whyte reacted.

“All Whyte could do was scan the table for a reason – it was as was as empty as his mind”

Whyte kept looking for any opportunity to irritate Joshua and get inside his head, but Joshua simply didn’t rise to it.

Bizarrely, on several occasions, Whyte offered Joshua out for a street fight. Even the ever-implaccable Nelson was visibly confused by his antics.

Nelson raised the issue of jealousy early in the programme. Whyte has previously beaten Joshua and is also undefeated. Yet Joshua is the poster boy of British boxing.

Whyte, unsurprisingly, denied any such feelings. “I’m not jealous, because I’m providing for my children,” he said.

He then accused his rival of being “fake”, humorously bringing up a time when Joshua borrowed his trousers for a night out.

Whyte continued to be riled throughout. “I’m composed, I’m composed, I’ll deal with you in a composed manner,” he said,  ironically in a far from “composed” tone.

Chastising

When asked by Nelson what made Joshua “fake”, Whyte replied: “I don’t need to explain anything.”

Nelson pressed for an answer but all Whyte could do was scan the table for a reason – it was as was as empty as his mind.

“Joshua clearly feels Whyte will simply be another one of his victims”

Deadpan Joshua responded with a smirk and a comment: “Who’s Dillian to me… nobody.”

Whyte let himself down again by demanding a street brawl, which seemed to annoy Nelson more than Joshua. “Street fighting and boxing are two completely different games,” he said, almost chastising Whyte.

As their TV bout entered its final rounds, a crucial moment occurred. Whyte stated that if he were to go down he would do so fighting. Joshua wouldn’t even allow the “if” factor to enter his head.

That is where the viewer was reminded that this is Joshua’s fight to lose, and that perhaps simply lasting 10 rounds will be an achievement for Whyte. You got the impression Whyte knew that too.

Stepping-stone

Joshua said the only fighters he’s worried about are those with a championship belt. On Whyte, he added: “He’s fat, he doesn’t train hard enough.”

He clearly feels Whyte will simply be another one of his victims, a stepping-stone to greater things.

Nelson then asked Whyte to give Joshua a little bit of credit. Whyte then seemed to turn his anger towards Nelson himself, as if he was his upcoming opponent.

The body language of Nelson, a former cruiserweight world champion, in his chair was telling. Putting his weight on his right shoulder in order to face Whyte, it looked as though both he and Joshua were up against him.

As the programme drew to a close, Nelson asked for the obligatory handshake. He knew what was coming next. We all did. Whyte refused, and Nelson jokingly asked for security to keep their eye on the two on their way out.

Whyte just had time for one more “Come on, lets go outside”. Maybe that would be the best place for him. No Sky Sports cameras to record his humiliation, but there will be when Joshua surely knocks him out on December 12th.

Feature image courtesy of Sky Sports. Joshua v Whyte is a pay-per-view event on Sky Sports Box Office.