Anthony Joshua’s scheduled rematch against Dillian Whyte has been cancelled after the latter “returned adverse analytical findings” from a random anti-doping test.

The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association said it had informed the Association of Boxing Commissions and the British Boxing Board of Control that a “random anti-doping protocol” undertaken by Whyte had returned the adverse findings, leading to the bout being called off and an investigation being launched.

The fight had been due to take place at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, August 12.

Fight promoter Matchroom said in a statement: “Today, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) informed Matchroom, the Association of Boxing Commissions and the British Boxing Board of Control that Dillian Whyte had returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol.

“In light of this news, the fight will be cancelled and a full investigation will be conducted.”

Whyte lost his unbeaten 16-fight record when he was stopped by Joshua at London’s O2 Arena in December 2015 when contesting for the vacant British heavyweight title.

A rematch was announced in early July after talks over Joshua taking on Tyson Fury broke down. Former world champion Joshua had also been linked with a fight against Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua’s win over Whyte almost eight years ago avenged a defeat to his Jamaica-born rival when they had met as amateurs.

Whyte recovered from his defeat to Joshua by winning his next 11 fights and after losing to Alexander Povetkin in 2020 he gained revenge by stopping the Russian in a rematch.

Defeat to defending WBC champion Tyson Fury at Wembley in April 2022 was followed by a points win over American Jermaine Franklin the following November.

Anthony Joshua has some admiration for Tyson Fury’s uncompromising attitude but believes his British rival should be fighting professional boxers and not mixed martial artists.

Fury argued he was unable to arrange a showdown with Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk, which led the WBC heavyweight champion agreeing to box MMA star Francis Ngannou on October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

While Fury’s handlers have denied the crossover bout is an exhibition, the 34-year-old will not be defending his world title against the former UFC heavyweight champion, who has never boxed professionally before.

Fury has been accused of holding up the division and Joshua, who has a rematch against Dillian Whyte on August 12 at London’s O2 Arena, admitted he has some sympathy with boxers having to stand by for a title shot.

“I’m not frustrated by that because I’ve been champion and I know my process and I’m on this rebuilding phase but I can understand for people waiting in line it must be massively frustrating,” Joshua said.

“To become champion for some people is the be all and end all. That’s all they want to do and then they can pack up. I feel sorry for the people who want to know where they are going with their career.

“But Fury has to do what Fury has to do for him. I admire the guy for his confidence to do what’s right for him – he has an ‘eff it’ mentality. I think we all need a bit of that in today’s society.

“If you want to hold him accountable then yes he should be fighting active fighters and he should wait until the end of his career, when he’s not champion anymore, to compete with MMA fighters.”

Negotiations for an undisputed fight between Fury and WBA, IBF and WBO champion Usyk broke down earlier this year, with the British fighter attracting the most criticism which intensified after the Ngannou announcement.

The WBC has given Fury special dispensation to take on his Cameroonian-French opponent, in a fight which is expected to be highly lucrative for both combatants, as there is no mandatory challenger in place.

Joshua ruefully reflected that he would still be a world champion now had he ignored his mandatory and vacated one of the crowns now held by Usyk, who outpointed the Briton twice.

“When all is said and done it will just be part of (Fury’s) legacy and I think we will all forget about it sooner or later,” Joshua added.

“Usyk was my mandatory and I ended up losing to him. I would have loved to have gone to Saudi to compete with someone else and make a s*** load of money and swerve my mandatory.

“I would still be champion if I could do that but I didn’t get that opportunity and I had to take it on the chin. But life isn’t always fair.”

Anthony Joshua insists he is not going to “waste his time” waiting to fight Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder as he prepares for a Dillian Whyte rematch next month.

After discussions over taking on Fury broke down, former world champion Joshua had been linked with a fight against Wilder in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua, though, will now face off against Whyte again, having defeated his rival in a British and Commonwealth title clash in December 2015 to avenge a defeat when they had met as amateurs.

The 33-year-old is continuing to build up his record again, having beaten Jermaine Franklin on points in April after suffering back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, the unified champion who is set to face Britain’s Daniel Dubois in Poland next month.

“I’m definitely up for fighting,” Joshua told a press conference to preview the sold out fight at the O2 Arena.

“There are a lot of names in the division but at the same time look at what this (fight) creates, I’m a fighter but I understand the business as well.

“Wilder and them lot have been doing my head in for years, you’ve seen now the shenanigans in the heavyweight division – even with Fury, saying he was training for Usyk, you can see all the lies going on so I don’t waste my time with time wasters.

“I just want to fight, get on with it. I’m going to be 34 this year, let’s crack on while I’m here, I’m not going to waste my time waiting for people and chasing for people.

“Even from the amateurs you could see the trajectory I was on; ready to get down, ready to put my neck on the line and fight whoever and it is still like that.”

If Joshua comes through his rematch with Whyte, which will be shown live by broadcaster DAZN, he is then expected to go on to meet Wilder in another lucrative heavyweight showdown.

“This is a massive night for my career,” added Joshua.

“Dillian is a credible and solid opponent, I have an underlying respect for every man I get in the ring with. I could fight now, it is in my heart. I just want to fight.”

For Whyte, 35, it is a chance to level up with Joshua in the professional ring after beating the Olympic gold medallist in the amateurs.

He suggested such victories could be all that are left for him as he enters the twilight of his career, having already avenged a shock knockout defeat to Alexander Povetkin in 2020.

“I have had three losses, avenged one, if I get the other two (Joshua and Fury) I don’t care about boxing after that,” he said.

“We have both had three losses but we both have a lot of hunger so I can’t wait to get in there – I am hoping for the best version of him, I don’t worry about what people say. I am coming to fight and have nothing to lose.”

Anthony Joshua says there "might be some truth" in reports that he could fight Deontay Wilder on a blockbuster night of heavyweight boxing in Saudi Arabia.

There has been talk that Joshua and Wilder could do battle on the same card as a unification bout between world champions Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk in December.

American Wilder has vowed to produce the first knockout in Saudi Arabia if he steps into the ring with Joshua.

Briton Joshua, who beat Jermaine Franklin this month following back-to-back defeats to Usyk, has suggested he could do battle with Wilder at the end of the year.

"Have you ever heard of anything like that before? Two heavyweight clashes on the same night," former world champion Joshua told Sky Sports News.

"The rumours that are circulating, there might be some truth behind it."

Joshua hopes he has two more fights to come in 2023 as he builds towards trying to become a world champion for a third time.

He added: "I'm preparing for that big fight, when it comes. I'm just taking it one fight at a time and building, so that by the time I get to that finish line, I've got something in the tank. That's how I'm getting on with this year.

"I've had my first fight; I've spoken to my coach, hopefully I can fight in July or August – keep that momentum – and then by December, there's rumours going around that I'm going to be in a big showdown – and I can't wait."

Deontay Wilder vowed to deliver Saudi Arabia's first knockout victim if a proposed heavyweight bout against Anthony Joshua goes ahead.

The two former heavyweight champions are widely reported to be in discussions for what would be one of the most fiercely anticipated fights in recent years.

Joshua is on the hunt for a new opponent after responding to back-to-back defeats with victory over Jermaine Franklin earlier this month, while Wilder beat Robert Helenius in October after consecutive losses to Tyson Fury.

Both fighters are keen to work their way up the rankings to earn another shot at the titles and, with the pair having history with Fury and Usyk, a meeting in the ring is a favoured option for many fans.

Should a blockbuster clash in Saudi Arabia occur, Wilder is confident he would see off Joshua with a knockout.

"What we expecting? I'm gonna just put it like this, I'll just keep it sweet, I'm gonna give Saudi their first knockout victim," he told ES News.

Earlier this week, Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn revealed he was travelling to the Far East to discuss the potential fight.

Remarkably, the proposals are to have Wilder and Joshua face off on the same card as a unification bout between Fury and Usyk.

"There have definitely been conversations that have taken place, just of plans, where people would like to host Fury against Usyk and AJ against Wilder on the same night," he told IFL TV.

"It will cost a lot of money, but it would be epic, and we will have those conversations."

Last week, Fury dismissed those rumours on social media but, in his latest update, promised fans of a "monstrous" fight in his return to the ring.

"I've got some massive, massive news coming. An imminent fight date, an absolutely monstrous fight. Keep tuned because the WBC heavyweight king is back in action, coming very, very soon," he said.

Tyson Fury has not heard anything from Anthony Joshua over an all-British heavyweight bout, claims the former's promoter George Warren.

A long touted fight between the pair has been on the cards several times over the years, but has failed to materialise for multiple reasons.

Fury was set to face Oleksandr Usyk in a proposed undisputed world title bout later this month, while Joshua defeated Jermaine Franklin earlier this month.

Hope for another round of negotiations with former two-time world champion Joshua had been mooted, but now Warren says no discussions have been had.

"I don't know the answer to that," he told Sky Sports. "The other side spoke a lot about wanting to reach out and contact us after the fight with Franklin.

"We've not heard anything, not had any contact, so there's been nothing to discuss with Tyson.

"They made it quite clear pre-Franklin fight that they wanted to maybe look at that fight for the summer. They thought maybe there was an opportunity.

"I haven't heard from them. I haven't had a phone call, I haven't spoken to anyone about it. You'd have to ask them."

Joshua, who lost twice to Usyk including in a rematch last year in Saudi Arabia, returned to winning ways against American Franklin earlier this month.

However, he has since indicated he will not fight again until December, leaving the rest of the heavyweight division to look for other opponents.

Fury meanwhile has not fought since a trilogy bout victory against Derek Chisora in December.

Anthony Joshua has revealed his next fight will not be until December.

Joshua had not stepped into the ring for over seven months before returning to beat Jermaine Franklin via a unanimous decision at London's O2 Arena on April 1.

The two-time world heavyweight champion stated that he wanted to fight again in the next three months in order to "get the ball rolling."

Yet Joshua on Sunday stated that his next challenge will not be until the end of this year.

He wrote in an Instagram story: "My next fight is scheduled for December. Not ideal but everything is part of a bigger picture."

There has been talk of Joshua doing battle with either Dillian Whyte or Tyson Fury after he got the better of American Franklin.

The Brit lost his world titles to Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September 2021 and lost his rematch with the Ukrainian In Jeddah last August.

Anthony Joshua is hoping to carry momentum from his victory over Jermaine Franklin by returning to the ring within the next three months.

Two-time heavyweight champion Joshua ended a two-fight losing streak with last weekend's unanimous points triumph over Franklin at London's O2 Arena.

Joshua went eight months between losing his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia and facing Franklin, but he does not expect the gap to be as long this time around.

"It's been nine months since I was last in the ring and I don't want to leave it that long again," he told BBC's One Show.

"I want to get back in there in the next three months, I'd say, and just kind of get the ball rolling."

Tyson Fury has been touted as the most obvious next opponent for Joshua, who called out his countryman after overcoming Franklin 118-111, 117-111, 117-111.

"I know who the fans want – they said Fury. The ball is in his court," Joshua told DAZN in his in-ring interview.

"I would 100 per cent be honoured to compete for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world. I stand here and I say that proudly. It would be an honour."

Drawn-out talks between the camps of Joshua and Fury have broken down on multiple occasions in the past.

Joe Joyce and Dillian Whyte have both called out Joshua over the past week, but the 33-year-old is still pondering his next opponent.

"I'm definitely going to be fighting in the next three months. But against who? It's still unknown," he said.

Joe Joyce expressed confidence he could overcome Anthony Joshua and feels he can provide a route back into title contention.

Joshua returned to winning ways against Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena last weekend, albeit not with the most impressive performance.

The 33-year-old is rebuilding his career after back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, which saw him cede his three heavyweight belts to the Ukrainian.

Joshua has taken on a new trainer in the United States and called out compatriot Tyson Fury following his unanimous decision win against Franklin.

Discussions for that bout have previously fallen through, however, and Joyce believes he possesses a route back into the title picture that should appeal to Joshua.

"I'd knock both of them out with their performance the other night. I'd definitely force a stoppage on Franklin and Joshua's ripe for the picking," he told Sky Sports.

"It wasn't great but [Joshua] got the job done. He went 12 rounds, I thought he would come with some more firepower and aim to push a stoppage but he wasn't really putting shots together.

"He was [using] single shots and boxed kind of like he did in the [Andy] Ruiz second fight. So, it was a little bit disappointing.

"He seems to have gone, in my opinion, a bit backwards. He hasn't progressed. I think he lacked the combinations, but I think Franklin was a tough guy.

"That would be his route back in. It would definitely be his way back in because I'm in front of him now, at last, high up the rankings and obviously got the WBO Interim.

"I was always trying to catch up with him but now I've overtaken him, so that's good. That's what I wanted. But I haven't caught up to him financially yet so I need to have those big fights."

Dillian Whyte believes he should be Anthony Joshua's next opponent, claiming the 33-year-old is wasting his time by pursuing a bout against Tyson Fury.

Having suffered back-to-back defeats against Oleksandr Usyk to cede his heavyweight belts, Joshua returned to the ring to beat Jermaine Franklin via unanimous decision in London on Saturday.

After winning what was his first non-title fight in 12, Joshua called out WBC heavyweight champion Fury, who recently saw negotiations over an undisputed bout with Usyk fall through.

However, Whyte – who was ringside for Joshua's victory at the O2 Arena – does not believe Fury will accept the fight, and he wants a chance to atone for a 2015 defeat against Joshua.

Asked why he believed a rematch could be on the cards, Whyte told Sky Sports: "It's a logical fight. Fury is not a person to negotiate with, because he'll mess you around.

"If he's being offered unified heavyweight champion [by Usyk] and not taking it, what is Joshua going to offer him to take the fight? Nothing.

"He's obviously seeing Joshua as way beneath him, the fight isn't going to happen. I don't know why they are wasting their time.

"There is someone here who is willing to fight and ready to go, but for some reason Joshua seems to – I don't know if it's a tactic of his – brush it under the carpet."

Joshua had lost three of his previous five fights ahead of his win over Franklin, and Whyte believes his rival has been scarred by those defeats.

"Maybe he just doesn't want to take risks anymore," he said of Joshua. "I don't know if it's money that has made him soft, or if it's the defeats. 

"Getting knocked out and getting outclassed, I think it's more that than money, to be honest."

Anthony Joshua put the ball in Tyson Fury's court after calling his rival out following victory over Jermaine Franklin.

A unanimous decision triumph against Franklin at the O2 Arena on Saturday brought an end to a two-fight losing streak for Joshua, who swiftly set his sights on a bigger opportunity.

Joshua's clash against Franklin was his first non-title fight in 12 bouts and, if he gets his way, will return to familiar ground next time out.

Fury and Joshua have negotiated for a 'Battle of Britain' clash in previous years without securing an agreement, but the 'Gypsy King's' failure to set up an undisputed bout with Oleksandr Usyk has opened the door again.

With Usyk expected to defend his belts against mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois, Fury's next move is not clear, and Joshua has issued his challenge.

"I know who the fans want… They said Fury. The ball is in his court," Joshua told DAZN in the ring after his win.

"I would 100 per cent be honoured to compete for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world. I stand here and I say that proudly. It would be an honour.

"Wherever you are, if you're listening, you know my management, you know my promoter. We've had dialect before, so let's continue and hopefully we can get this done sooner rather than later. We're not getting any younger.

"I can't wait to get back to Texas, to develop and push on. You know how one fight leads to another; I can't wait to get the next big fight."

Promising a new dawn against Franklin, Joshua fell short of expectations despite having the upper hand throughout, acknowledging he should have earned a stoppage.

"Someone else would knock him out, probably, but Jermaine has a good duck and dive style," he added.

"There were opportunities there but he knows how to tuck up. Respect to him, he done well, I respect him for that.

"Well done to him and his team for preparing. I should have knocked him out but what can I say now, it's done, onto the next."

Anthony Joshua returned to winning ways by beating Jermaine Franklin via unanimous decision at O2 Arena on Saturday.

Entering the content having lost three of his past five, including the last two against Oleksandr Usyk to cede his heavyweight belts, Joshua faced his first non-title fight in 12 bouts.

The Brit's camp promised a new dawn for fans of the Olympian, but, despite being in control throughout against Franklin, he showed there was still plenty of work left on his comeback trail.

While Franklin did well to shrug off some heavy hits, he never truly mustered much of a threat and the scorecards reflected what was a largely one-sided affair.

Joshua came out of his corner firing, landing a powerful left jab in the first round and following it up with further shots in the second when he countered a Franklin hit to respond with a strike to the body.

Franklin then began to grow in confidence, sensing there may be an opportunity for an upset, before Joshua came the closest he would to a knockout blow after connecting with a big right-hand uppercut but missing his left swing.

Frustration then began to show for AJ, with Franklin halting any momentum he gained by holding his opponent, and Joshua struggled to create an opening to land a strong overhand right to follow up his consistent jabs.

Both fighters had big shots in the latter rounds, with Franklin surely aware he needed a knockout to clinch victory.

But that hit never came for the American and the scores ringside reflected a routine, albeit uninspiring, win for Joshua.

Scorecards: 118-111, 117-111, 117-111

Anthony Joshua weighed in at a career-heavy 18st 3lb for Saturday's bout against Jermaine Franklin, which Eddie Hearn suggested was a sign he had "bad intentions for this fight".

Heavier than at his previous top weight of 18st 2lb for his 2017 clash with Carlos Takam, Hearn anticipates an "explosive knockout" from Joshua at O2 Arena.

By contrast, Franklin has lost 23lb since facing Dillian Whyte, weighing in at 16st 7lb to seemingly give Joshua a clear advantage in terms of power, if not mobility.

"There's always an over-analysis with his weight, but clearly he's come in with bad intentions for this fight," said promoter Hearn.

"In some fights, where you need speed and agility, he comes in lighter. But I think you're going to get an explosive knockout."

Joshua is backing himself for the same, adding: "I know I've got the possibility of doing it, but there's a process to get there. I just follow the process."

Franklin claimed to have "a chin of steel", but that is set to be put to the test by the focused Briton, who has vowed to retire if he loses.

"I've got my gameplan, got my mind right, and I'm ready to go for war," Joshua said.

Anthony Joshua's return to the ring on Saturday to face Jermaine Franklin is a bout where both have plenty to prove.

Back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk saw Joshua lose his heavyweight titles, while leaving him with three defeats from his last five bouts.

Franklin, meanwhile, was undefeated and on a meteoric trajectory with 21 victories in a row, including 14 knockouts, before his unbeaten run came to a close at the hands of Dillian Whyte in November at Wembley – his first test outside the United States.

With Joshua in need of a win to stop the rot and Franklin looking to show his worth at this level, their clash at the O2 Arena is one where defeat does not bear thinking about.

Contender or pretender?

Dominating the heavyweight scene for years, the AJ of old was completely lost in the two defeats to Usyk which, although both went the distance, were bouts where the British Olympian never truly looked capable of victory.

The 2019 defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. was a shock, requiring Joshua to come back six months later to reclaim his belts, but the same cannot be said about Usyk, who was on top throughout almost every round across the pair's two meetings.

Now, the big question is whether the downward spiral will continue, or whether Joshua can force his way back into contention with the heavyweight elite in a period of great change, with the old guard not getting any younger and fresh blood creeping into contention.

For now, Joshua remains in the conversation. Discussions for a fiercely-anticipated all-British bout against Tyson Fury fell flat but Joshua has been touted for a meeting with Deontay Wilder later this year.

Defeat to Franklin, however, would hit hard and would see Joshua's recent record extend to four losses in six fights, not the sort of calibre required to remain at the top of the game, with some already suggesting that such a loss should result in AJ hanging up his gloves, including the man himself.

Franklin's rise

For many, facing Whyte is seen as an entry test into the heavyweight elite, with the Brit having faced the majority of the division's top fighters – including Fury, Joshua, Derek Chisora and Alexander Povetkin.

Defeat to Whyte in November was a blow for Franklin, a majority decision ending the 21-fight win streak, and he is now looking to prove his credentials outside the US by taking a significant scalp in the form of Joshua.

What Franklin lacks in experience, he certainly makes up for in confidence, declaring he will either secure a knockout win or "brutally" dominate the fight.

"If it's not a knockout then it will be a domination brutally. I'll go at him, see what he's going to do and see if I can make him make mistakes early," he said.

Coming out the blocks flying may be the best approach for Franklin, quickly putting the pressure on Joshua and silencing the home crowd, particularly with AJ unable to muster a response in similar circumstances against Usyk.

Pound for pound

Though Joshua boasts height and reach advantage over Franklin, that may not provide a significant indication on the match up given AJ had similar upper hands over Usyk, and a bout may well go the full distance.

Four of Joshua's last seven fights have gone 12 rounds, including three of the last four, and the knockout dominating AJ of old seems to have been lost in the latter years of his career.

Franklin is in a similar position, with just one knockout victory in his last six – having had 14 KO wins in his first 16 professional fights.

Prediction: Joshua wins on points

Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua's long-awaited bout could finally come this year and would be the "biggest heavyweight match in the world".

That was the message on Wednesday from Top Rank president Todd DuBoef, a key member of Fury's United States promotional team who wants to see the all-British clash in 2023.

Joshua faces Jermaine Franklin on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, though speculation continues to swirl the former could face Fury after his undisputed bout with Oleksandr Usyk fell through.

Fury's promoter Hearn added fuel to the fire after expressing hopes of reviving negotiations with the entourage of Joshua, who DuBoef suggested would deserve a headline fight if he defeats Franklin.

"I've always said that that is the fight," DuBoef told Sky Sports.

"Both of them have great brands, huge fanbases, and fortunately both of them come from the UK, so it's wonderful that your country has been able to produce these incredible prizefighters.

"That fight is always there, and, to me, is the biggest heavyweight match in the world, because of the personalities and the stories."


Both camps have pointed the finger at each other after an April 29 meeting at Wembley between Fury and Usyk failed to come to fruition.

"The frustration is for all of us," DuBoef added on that bout. "All of us are frustrated, right?

"And I think timing has been an issue with trying to make this fight happen. I'm not going to say never, but I think we all want to see this unification, and we all have hope.

"But there was a timeline that was set up, and it just got ahead of everybody and it became very tight.

"Fortunately, there's always hope and an opportunity because I think both fighters really know that this is what the sport wants, and what they want."

While holding out hopes over the mouthwatering fight between Fury and Usyk, DuBoef says his client could even face both the Ukrainian and Joshua before the end of the year.

"That's the way we move," he continued. "We move with immediacy, and we move trying to figure out and get rationality to a situation.

"I think we've always wanted this fight for Fury and Joshua, and we've wanted to see Fury and Usyk, and Tyson has wanted that, and the Warrens, and we've worked hard in getting this done.

"I would love to see, and you've just laid out a great 2023 for the Fury side, if we could do Usyk and Joshua this year, it would be fantastic."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.