Usyk vs AJ: Dillian Whyte urges Anthony Joshua to be ‘nasty’ against Oleksandr Usyk, targets all-British revenge

Dillian Whyte

Dillian Whyte has backed Anthony Joshua to reclaim his world heavyweight titles against Oleksandr Usyk this Saturday, but insists his former rival must rediscover the bad streak that inspired his initial rise to the top of boxing.

Calls for an aggressive and imposing AJ have been a familiar theme throughout the build-up to the fight, with Usyk ready for a challenge that contrasted with a first meeting in which Joshua’s efforts to overcome the Ukrainian fell short.

More specifically, the Olympic gold medalist has been urged to rediscover the heart and forward confidence he showed against Whyte in their brutal 2015 grudge match.

“It’s a massive fight, the biggest fight of his career,” Whyte said Sky Sports. “I hope he recovers, he’s a British fighter like me and I only support ours so I hope he gets the job done.

“It’s good for me if he wins too.

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Whyte says Joshua will be feeling ‘nervous and cautious’ ahead of Saturday’s rematch against Usyk, live on Sky Sports Box Office

“I can understand that [rediscovering his aggressive side], because I also have the same mentality. In my last fight [against Tyson Fury] I wasn’t as aggressive as usual, I told myself the same thing, I need to get that aggressiveness back.

“I think it’s the right mindset you need going into the fight, it’s the only way to win the fight.”

Whyte played down the potential influence of a new trainer on Robert Garcia, reminding him that it will all be on Joshua tonight.

“Honestly, I don’t think it makes a big difference,” Whyte said. “He’s the one who has to make the decision, be dirty and be nasty.”

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Former cruiserweight world champion Johnny Nelson believes Joshua could retire from boxing if he loses to Usyk again

Joshua is no stranger to avenging a setback, but when he used a technical and patient approach on his way to restoring his heavyweight crown against Andy Ruiz, there is a sense that he cannot afford to do the same against Usyk.

Meanwhile, there are question marks about what kind of Usyk will perform in the light that seems to have increased since the first fight.

“When we fought, we fought twice, the two fights we had there was a lot of aggression between him and me in the fight, that’s the difference between fighting me and fighting Usyk, that aggression wasn’t there,” he added Whyte. “I was trying to send someone who has been boxing for 25/30 years.

“I think if he revises the aggression he had for me, he’ll do a much better job and probably beat Usyk and knock him out this time.

“Me and him are similar in a lot of ways, we come close and throw a lot of punches, we’re aggressive and we force our opponents, I think they’re going to try to get him back to that.”

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Joshua says he has the mindset that he will crush Usyk on Saturday night and feels he cannot claim to be the best in the world without beating Tyson Fury.

Whyte feels his own business with Joshua is very much unfinished business as he looks to bounce back from a title shot following his loss to Tyson Fury earlier this year.

The 34-year-old expects to return to the ring in a “big fight” in mid-to-late November, and he’s not short of targets.

“I want to fight both of them win, lose or draw. I want to fight the best fighters around,” Whyte said. “People want to see me fight Joshua, Usyk, Wilder, all those guys, and that’s what I want.

“We have a lot of offers on the table at the moment, I think this week and next week we should look at the offers and break them down. People are away on holiday so they need time to sift through these things.

“There’s a lot of fights there, there’s Joshua, Usyk, there’s Wilder, I’d love to fight Wilder, I’d love to try Tyson Fury again.

“Joe Joyce-Joseph Parker is there, Daniel Dubois is there, but my main goal is to get Anthony Joshua back, I’d love to have another fight against him, so let’s see. Hopefully I get the job done against Usyk and get. another chance to fight him.”

“I think he’s going to be extremely nervous and extremely alert and cautious, which isn’t a bad thing because this changes everything for his life, his career and his story. He may also feel no pressure because he’s not the champion now, he’s coming in as challenging. so he might be fine.”

Whyte on whether AJ will be nervous before the Usyk rematch

Whyte on Fury: He would be more aggressive in the rematch

As Fury glides into retirement purgatory, Whyte continues to make no secret of his desire to secure another shot at the WBC title.

Whyte admitted he remains frustrated by the manner of his sixth-round knockout defeat after feeling he was unfairly pushed to the canvas by Fury, although he is not in the business of making excuses.

“They caught me with a good shot, I was definitely stunned, he pushed me and I fell and I tore a ligament in my ankle and it was just a mess and he was telling the referee ‘stop the fight, stop the fight .'” He said.

“I’m not a whiner, I’m a worrier. The bell rang after I got knocked down, they should never have stopped the fight, they should have given you a chance to go to your corner and the medical examiner comes to check -ho. go out and see if you can keep fighting or not, which is annoying.”

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David ‘KD’ Ghansa, part of AJ’s camp, reveals how sparring sessions have gone ahead of Usyk’s rematch

As expected with Joshua at the weekend, Whyte plans to do things differently if he and Fury cross paths again.

“Yeah, it would be a lot more aggressive,” he explained. “Sometimes in life you make the wrong decisions at the wrong time.

“I was trying to box and I spent a lot of energy rethinking instead of being my usual raw, dirty, bullish aggression. That’s why I can understand Anthony Joshua’s mentality and approach in this fight.”

As for the final predictions before Saturday’s main event, expect the belts to go home.

“I supported AJ the first time and I will support him again.”

Listen to the latest Toe2Toe podcast from the heart of Usyk vs Joshua fight week

Anthony Joshua’s big rematch against Oleksandr Usyk will be on Saturday 20 August, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book Usyk vs Joshua 2 now!

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