Dillian Whyte is asked who he would like to fight next: “I don’t care, man. I wanted to smash Dave Allen’s head in but it ain’t happening now.” Charming.
Dillian Whyte beats Ivica Bacurin
On a packed undercard, Dillian Whyte – who took Anthony Joshua to the seventh round at the O2 Arena last year, further than anyone before or since – has just earned a technical knockout over Ivica Bacurin. It was a pretty messy win in a brutal encounter, with arms flailing all over the shop and several warnings from the referee, but the Londoner managed to stop the Croatian heavyweight in the sixth round.
Anthony Joshua’s journey towards world domination trundles on. Next stop: Dominic ‘Trouble’ Breazeale, the 6ft 7in unbeaten American who will take some felling. Even so, a performance close to that which relieved Charles Martin of his IBF heavyweight title in April should be enough tonight to take Joshua’s record on to 17 knockout wins from 17 fights.
The heavyweight division continues to bubble away tantalisingly as Eddie Hearne and the rest of Joshua’s team plot their path to the top. They have been gently inflating their protege’s confidence with every underwhelming fighter left splayed on the canvas. This steady approach has frustrated some but rushing his big moment risks leaving a blemish on that glistening record (and damaging a healthy cash cow).
Now though, the end of Joshua’s beginning is near. Wladimir Klischko, Deontay Wilder and – most enticingly – Tyson Fury await after Breazeale. Joshua cannot afford any mistakes tonight in his ambition to topple them all.
For Breazeale, this fight offers a rare platform to achieve something few believe he can. Taking the champion to the latter rounds would be hugely creditable, something no one has yet done to Joshua, and little expectation brings little pressure. Breazeale is considered a gentle giant and trash talk is not his speciality but he said this week he has Joshua ‘rattled’. The Californian has the ammunition to cause some damage – the problem is that any moments to inflict it will be scarce.
First bell: around 10pm BST