Anthony Joshua survives scare, brutally stops Dillian Whyte in seven
British heavyweight colossus Anthony Joshua scored a devastating seventh-round knockout of countryman and arch rival Dillian Whyte in London, England, on Saturday, but he did not have everything his own way in a dramatic fight.
The official time of the stoppage was 1:27.
Joshua, rated No. 10 by THE RING at heavyweight, started fast in Round 1 and Whyte was seriously wobbled by huge power punches on several occasions. When the bell rang to end the session Joshua continued to unload, which led to a minor riot when Whyte attempted to return fire. Both camps stormed the ring and it was a long time before order was restored.
If that got the crowd excited then what happened next almost blew the lid off the O2 Arena. Joshua was tagged in Round 2 by a short left hook on the inside and the punch had an immediate effect on his legs. Whyte instantly sprung to life and caused Joshua more distress with a sustained and accurate body assault.
It took a round or two for the favorite to regain his composure but when he did there was an obvious disparity in technical ability. Whyte’s attacks lacked sharpness and Joshua began to spear home a solid left jab which kept his man off balance. A sinister smile appeared on Joshua’s face as he landed with more and more frequency and the end was nearing.
A well-placed right hand to the temple was the beginning of the end. Joshua struggled initially with the second phase of attack but he saved the best for last and closed out in style. A flush, and terminal, right uppercut landed with crunching force on Whyte’s chin and he was out before he hit the canvas.
“This is heavyweight boxing and anything can happen,” said Joshua, when interviewed by Sky Sports in the UK. “People said I couldn’t do rounds but I’ve answered that criticism tonight and I’m the new British champion.”
Joshua (15-0, 15 knockouts) also claimed the Commonwealth strap but he is being moved fast by Matchroom Boxing. Whether his minor wobble leads his promotional stable to reevaluate his path towards a world title shot remains to be seen but rumors are rife that he could face off against former WBA heavyweight titleholder David Haye in the summer.
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing