The long-standing rivalry between Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte is well over a decade old, dating all the way back to 2009 when Whyte defeated Joshua in the amateur ranks.
Despite Whyte winning their 2009 bout on points, Joshua went on to outshine Whyte in almost every way. as he won an Olympic gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics and unified the heavyweight division, clinching the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO crowns. His dominance in the sport elevated him to the status of one of the most prominent athletes on the planet.
Along the way, Joshua achieved a string of impressive victories against formidable opponents including Charles Martin, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, Andy Ruiz, and Kubrat Pulev.
Under new trainer Derrick James, the 33-year old convincingly defeated Jermaine Franklin at The O2 earlier this year - a win that was desperately needed after back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022.
Could this have signalled the start of a comeback for Joshua? Well we may find out soon enough...
AJ has plans to take on all of the heavyweight class, including Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. But before he gets a shot at Fury, the two-time unified heavyweight champion, will battle it out again with the former world title challenger Whyte, almost eight years on from their wild British title brawl in Greenwich.
It would be [a dream scenario to fight Whyte, Wilder, and then Fury]. But dreams are fake. This is reality. Dillian fights with pride. And that's got him really far. You've got to be serious because even in the top 15 and heavyweight boxing, it takes one punch
On the other hand, there's reason to believe Whyte could also be on the rise. As he looks to rebuild following a points victory against Franklin after his WBC title fight loss to Tyson Fury at Wembley Stadium in 2022.
After some difficulties reaching an agreement for the fight. Joshua withdrew his rematch request early in July 2023, removing a significant hurdle in the negotiations. Whyte then returned the agreement on Sunday 9th bringing the deal much closer to an end.
Both fighters are hoping to face Wilder later this year, with Joshua already planning a bout in the Middle East, but it seems Whyte may be hoping for a similar outcome if he defeats Joshua in August.
But before either man gets a chance to solidify their legacy by challenging the biggest names in boxing, they'll battle it out to find a true victor in this rivalry, with no belts on the line. As Whyte puts it...
I’m looking forward to returning to the London O2 on August 12 and going to war. It's 1-1 so this is the decider!
On July 10 Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte were joined by Eddie Hearn as he hosted the launch press conference to announce the bout.
The Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte rematch will be shown live from the O2 Arena on DAZN on August 12th 2023. So, prepare for the best version of each boxer, as this will be no small fight. With no titles on the line, both men are fighting for pride - and a hefty cash prize of course, which will dwarf the mere £300 Whyte earned from his amateur victory over Joshua in 2009.
Who do you think will win the fight? Will we see a shocking KO or will the two go round-for-round until the final bell?
(Header Image Credit: JazzyJoeyD - Wikimedia Commons)