Great Britain

Dillian Whyte accuses Anthony Joshua of 'pretending' to want heavyweight rematch last year

British heavyweight boxer Dillian Whyte has accused old rival Anthony Joshua of “pretending” to want a rematch last year, but says he still wants to fight the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion.

Joshua avenged the sole defeat of his professional career in December by beating Andy Ruiz Jr to regain his heavyweight title belts, while Whyte defeated Mariusz Wach via unanimous decision earlier on the night.

In 2015, Joshua knocked out Whyte in London.

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“I’ve been saying I want the rematch since the fight,” Whyte, who defeated Joshua in the amateurs before his professional loss in 2015, told Sky Sports.

“I know they were going to fight Miller in June in America, which I said months before the fight.

“They came to me and tried to kid me. You guys gave Miller 20 weeks, why are you trying to give me seven weeks? Because they wasn’t serious about the fight.

“Just using me as a scapegoat, pretending they wanted to make the fight. If he wants to fight, I’m here, he knows where I’m at. They know where my value is, I know the game inside out. If they want the fight, we can make the fight happen.”

Whyte also spoke about the challenges of training during the coronavirus lockdown ahead of his scheduled fight against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin on 2 May – a fight that is likely to be postponed amid the pandemic.

“It is very hard and very challenging, because obviously you have to take it in good spirit,” said Whyte. “I’m a big guy. Training and running and sparring takes a lot of me.

“I’ve got a new strength and conditioning programme now. We’re working on my technique, working on building my strength and other things.

“My boxing coach is working on things, getting the game plan in place. The more time I have, the better it is for me, doing a lot of new things.

“At this stage of my career, I’m still learning and improving. It’s frustrating, but it’s time for me to keep building layers, keep practising what I’ve been taught. By the time the fight comes, I’ll be flying.”

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