Dillian Whyte has a “very, very good” chance of being Anthony Joshua’s next challenger, according to their promoter Eddie Hearn.
In the event of victory over Dereck Chisora it was considered a near-formality that Whyte would fight the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion at Wembley on April 13.
Whyte produced a chilling, 11th-round stoppage of Chisora at The O2 Arena in London, but Joshua’s reputation has been somewhat undermined by the success of Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury, meaning the champion is considering further options.
Joshua told Whyte after Saturday’s fight that he will defend against him next if he cannot tempt Wilder to abandon plans to fight Fury in a rematch, but there regardless remains the possibility of him fighting in America for the first time and Hearn said he is only “80 per cent” certain to honour the date at Wembley.
Whyte could then end up fighting America’s Dominic Breazeale, and Hearn said: “Joshua wants the undisputed fight (with Wilder) but he also wants to fight Dillian Whyte. He got up on the ring; it’s quite unusual for him to do that. There’s a very, very good chance that will be next.
“Dillian deserves a world title shot and he’s in his prime or approaching his prime, and that’s the time to fight. Him and ‘AJ’ is a brilliant fight.
“We haven’t got long (to make Joshua’s next fight). I’m sure we’ll be on the phone to Dillian within the next week. The priority is he wants to fight Wilder, but I don’t believe that will happen. If it’s an April 13 date at Wembley you’ll need it on sale at the end of January. He’s 80 per cent likely to fight at Wembley on April 13.
“(Wilder’s team are) not showing a lot of willingness.”
Whyte, 30, said: “I can’t sit around and wait for him. I’m not wasting three or four months of my career waiting for what he’s doing; I haven’t got time for that. My careers needs to progress. Time’s ticking.
“We were supposed to hear about the Joshua fight directly after Wilder-Fury, what was supposed to happen, and there’s nothing again, so I can’t sit around and wait.
“The guy’s making a lot of money; he’s got four belts, I don’t think he really cares. It’s about what he’s doing; he’s the man at the moment. I’m sure Eddie doesn’t want the golden egg to get cracked.”
The latest damaging defeat of an already tough career, and the time it took for the 34-year-old Chisora to regain consciousness, suggested he should consider retirement, but when asked if he, would he responded: “F*** that s***, man.
“Every time everybody sees failure they think everybody should retire; that’s a disease we have in Great Britain. You just keep going. You go and go until you can’t take no more.
“I’ll bounce back. There’s fights out there. It’s not like I had a terrible loss or it was a c****y fight. It was a great fight and I enjoyed it.
“Getting hit on the chin you’re just going to end up on the floor. (I’m not going to hospital), I’m perfect, I feel good.”