Brixton’s Dillian Whyte feels ready to upset the odds and beat Anthony Joshua to British heavyweight title

Sport needs heroes and there seems no clearer division than between Dillian ‘the villain’ Whyte and British heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua.

Brixton’s Whyte is, in many people’s eyes, the Yin to Joshua’s Yang and their British heavyweight title clash on December 12 at the O2 will be the most significant battle in the division for years.

Joshua’s hugely impressive professional career so far has been a series of devastating knockouts – 14 in 14 fights – but it is Whyte – with 13 knockouts in 16 professional wins – who poses the most significant threat to his meteoric rise.

But taking on London 2012 gold medalist and attempting to sway their supporters is like trying to make a builder swap their brew for a pumpkin spiced latté – it isn’t going to happen.

“At the end of the day, he is an Olympic gold medalist,” admitted Whyte.

“I’m not that naïve, he has good marketing and PR behind him, he is a bit more known than me at the moment.

“That said it is London, I will have a lot of fans.”

dillianwhyteinthegymSMILING ASSASSIN: Dillian Whyte is ready to ruin Anthony Joshua’s rise to the top

The two infamously met as amateurs, with Whyte scoring a knockdown and winning in relatively convincing fashion.

Their confrontation, billed as Bad Intentions, has been a long time coming, and with both men coming through fights on the same card in September, the bout will see years of bad blood coming to the boil.

Asked if their previous encounter would have an influence, Whyte said: “It does in a way and it doesn’t.

“It is in the past, but it was a proper fight, it wasn’t really an amateur fight, I busted him and broke him down mentally and physically.

“When you’re young and you catch your finger in the door, it hurts, you learn and you don’t want to put it in the door again.

“I knocked him down, I bashed him up and he’ll definitely be more panicked than he already is in the ring.”

While Joshua seems to be on an armchair ride to the top, behind a wave of public opinion and undoubted talent, the no-less gifted 27-year-old Jamaican Brixton boxer has had a bumpier ride.

Whyte, who trains out of Miguel’s Gym in Brixton, served a two-year doping ban from 2012 for inadvertently ingesting banned stimulant methylhexaneamine (MHA) before his fight with Sandor Balogh.

The MHA was found in now banned, high-street supplement Jack3d, which was recommended to Whyte by a member of his gym.

Irresponsible? Definitely. Villainous? Certainly not.

dillianwhytegymREADY TO RUMBLE: Dillian Whyte is well into a 10-week training camp ahead of the British heavyweight title fight

Since returning from his ban, Whyte has wasted no time, putting together a series of impressive knockout victories – the latest a stoppage of durable American Brian Minto shortly before Joshua halted Gary Cornish.

Whyte’s devastating form in the squared circle is bellied by an affable manner outside of the ring.

His ten-week camp for Joshua began at the end of last month, and his focus is sharper than ever.

“A couple of things will change, it will be a bit more professional with diet and training,” he added.

Given Joshua’s precedent for incapacitating his opponents, Whyte is impressively assured that he’ll upset the odds and claim the vacant belt, having taken that initial mental scalp in their 2009 meeting.

Whoever wins is likely to take a gilded passage to the heavyweight division’s top table.

All pictures courtesy of Dillian Whyte, with thanks

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