Dillian Whyte claims Anthony Joshua is ‘afraid’ to take rematch and urges old foe to ‘pull his finger out’

DILLIAN WHYTE reckons Anthony Joshua and his stable have ‘lost their bottle for real fights’.

Brixton Body Snatcher Whyte was promised a third fight against AJ if he beat Jermaine Franklin last November.

GettyAnthony Joshua has been accused of ‘losing his bottle’ for real fights[/caption]

AlamyDillian Whyte was promised a rematch with AJ that no longer looks to be happening[/caption]

He did just that but London 2012 Olympic hero Joshua chose to fight American Franklin instead, labouring to a points win.

British fight fans were promised three Joshua fights in 2023, as he tries to gel with new trainer Derrick James.

But it now looks like his Saudi paymasters are keeping him on ice until a December clash with Deontay Wilder.

Then this month, Joshua — who doubles as fellow heavyweight Frazer Clarke’s manager — successfully campaigned for the British Boxing Board of Control to make the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist the mandatory challenger for Whyte’s protege, British heavyweight champ Fabio Wardley.

But Joshua pulled Clarke out of the summer showdown when promoter Boxxer and broadcaster Sky Sports decided to swerve purse bids.

Now 31-year-old Clarke — who has publicly complained about low-level opposition helping him get to 6-0 — is ruled out of British title contention for a year after flip-flopping.

Instead he faces 43-year-old Polish fighter Mariusz Wach, who has lost seven of his last ten.

It makes little sense to free agent Whyte, who helped mould Wardley from sparring partner to bona fide star and is fuming with the heavyweight business at national and world level.


 Whyte, 35, told SunSport: “Fans must be getting p***ed off because people are promising and pushing for these fights and then bottling it when they are close to happening.

“Lots of big fights don’t happen, it’s annoying but people see it coming and have to accept it.

“It’s crazy but currently only five out of the top 50 heavyweight boxers have a fight arranged.

“Inactivity is killing the sport and it needs a shake-up. I am waiting for my next fight — and was meant to fight Joshua after Franklin.

“Joshua and his team told everybody ‘the winner of Whyte and Franklin fights AJ’ — and then they boxed the loser.

“And now they have petitioned for Frazer Clarke to fight Fabio for his title, got exactly what they asked for and have bottled it.

“It’s a joke, they look around blaming each other, making excuses, talking up other fights further down the line.

“But anyone who sees Joshua sitting around for nine months waiting for a Wilder cash-out — or Clarke taking on some journeyman in a pointless undercard fight — will see a team that has lost its bottle.”

Whyte’s diehard fans and even his most ardent haters would have to agree with most of his sentiments.

The confusion around this crucial part of AJ’s career is baffling. And the debacle over Clarke has ended up a farce.

Whyte laughed: “Joshua’s team are doing interviews saying he beats me in four rounds.

“But he can’t decide if I’m his dream opponent or his worst nightmare.

“I want the fight. I know that DAZN want the fight, too, because it would be an absolutely huge event.

“The only problem we all have is Joshua. He has confidence issues and is afraid to take the fight.

“He doesn’t want to risk his retirement payday in Saudi Arabia against Wilder — who is also past his sell-by date.

“Joshua and his team are talking Clarke up as a future world champion.

“But they’re terrified of fighting Fabio, who was fighting white-collar in Ipswich pubs a few years ago. These people are spineless.

“There’s a long list of opponents I can fight next and the deadline for Joshua to pull his finger out and find his pen is coming soon.

“And there’s a load of British heavyweights, like David Adeleye and Solly Dacres, who want to challenge Fabio. Or he can move on to European and world targets.

“Joshua isn’t the golden goose anymore, the sport doesn’t revolve around him.

“Him and his people don’t seem to realise it but duck me again and lose to Wilder in December and he and his team — that know so much but do so little — are finished.”

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