Despite how often it has been brought up to Anthony Joshua, the upcoming fight is not even on his radar.
The former two-time unified heavyweight champion is unconcerned by any discussion of an epic fight with Deontay Wilder, whether it occurs later this year or in the first half of 2024. Although Dillian Whyte currently has Joshua's full attention, the prospect of such a match inspired Joshua to return to the ring as soon as feasible.
“Forget Wilder and them,” Joshua stated, to the point of interrupting a question posed by promoter Eddie Hearn during a press conference held Monday to formally announce the Joshua-Whyte rematch. “That’s been going through my head for so many years now. I’ve seen the shenanigans in the heavyweight division. I’ll be for real. You’ve seen [lineal/WBC heavyweight champion Tyson] Fury saying he was training for Usyk. SugarHill came out and said, ‘Nah, I’m not training him.’ You can see all the lies going on. I don’t waste my time with time wasters.
“It’s only a fight. I just want to fight and get on with it.”
The O2 in London, where they first faced off in December 2015 when both fighters were unbeaten rising heavyweights, will host the rematch on August 12. Joshua (25-3, 22KOs) overcame Charles Martin in the second round to win the IBF title less than four months after his seventh-round knockout victory. Within a 55-week period, he made three title defences, including the knockout of Hall of Fame former lineal champion Wladimir Klitschko in the eleventh round of their fight in April 2017 that won the 2017 Fight of the Year award.
But Joshua has made it clear that he has set his sights entirely on Dillian Whyte and he is not thinking ahead of August 12 which might come as a mature move for the Brit.
“I can be here like. ‘I’m gonna smoke Dillian, I’m gonna run through Wilder. Then I’m gonna fight for the heavyweight championship.’ But that’s projecting a false narrative,” Joshua told DAZN after the press conference. “It’s not reality yet.
What my reality is, I got Dillian Whyte in front of me. Wilder, of course that would be amazing. But I’m not waiting around. I could have waited. But I need to stay consistent. I need to fight.
“I don’t know what he’s doing with his career. He ain’t fought (since October). That was one round. I just need to crack on and do what I need to do.”