Joshua-Whyte 2: Aborted Over Doping Findings

Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte prepare for a confrontation.

Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte’s heavily-anticipated rematch has been abruptly cancelled due to the emergence of an adverse drug test finding. The match, which was set for the next Saturday, August 12, at London’s O2 Arena, has now been called off due to an announcement from Eddie Hearn, the show promoter.

Eddie took to Twitter on August 5 to deliver the somber news, “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.” He further added that the fight will be cancelled due to these developments, and a thorough investigation is set to follow.

Repeated Doping Offences

This abrupt cancellation leaves a mark on the sport that’s been trying its best to regain its glory with a string of high-profile matchups scheduled for 2023. Whyte isn’t unfamiliar with doping-related controversies. In 2012, he was found positive for methylhexaneamine (MHA) following his victory against Sandor Balogh.

During a tribunal in March 2013, Whyte claimed he hadn’t intentionally taken MHA. However, his appeal was rejected because he failed to adequately check the supplement’s ingredients. This resulted in a suspension until October 12, 2014.

His comeback to the ring was on August 1, 2015, when he knocked out Irineu Beato Costa Junior in the first round. Five months later, he faced Joshua, their amateur boxing rivalry turned professional, for the British heavyweight title. Despite a heated fight, Joshua stopped Whyte in the seventh round.

Whyte’s Doping Controversies Continue

Fast forward to the summer of 2019, Whyte found himself in hot waters again, this time against Oscar Rivas for the vacant Interim WBC strap. Prior to his points win, where he was dropped in the ninth round, Whyte tested positive for a banned substance. The news broke several days later, causing an uproar in the sporting community.

Thomas Hauser of Boxing Scene revealed that Whyte had tested positive for the banned substances epimethandienone and hydroxymethandienone, byproducts of the anabolic steroid Dianabol. However, in a dramatic turn of events, UKAD dropped the charges in December 2019.

The UKAD statement read, ‘UK Anti-Doping and the professional boxer, Dillian Whyte, can today jointly confirm that Mr. Whyte was charged with an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) earlier this year. That charge has now been withdrawn.’

What’s Next for Joshua?

After this major setback, Anthony Joshua will now have to reassess his next steps. The decision to find another opponent or proceed directly into the rumored Deontay Wilder clash in early 2024 remains to be seen. As of now, both fighters have not commented on the issue.

In a post on his Instagram profile yesterday, Whyte shared a picture of himself with trainer Buddy McGirt in camp, showing no signs of distress.

Professional boxer Anthony Joshua ready for a fight.

Interesting Facts about Joshua-Whyte Face-off

While this doping controversy has overshadowed their history, Joshua and Whyte have had some significant face-offs in the past. Here are some interesting facts:

  • Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte first faced each other in the amateur ring before their rivalry moved into the professional ranks.
  • In their first professional face-off, Joshua stopped Whyte in the seventh round in a fiercely contested match.
  • Since their professional face-off, both fighters have grown in their careers with notable victories.
  • The highly anticipated rematch was to take place at London’s O2 Arena.
  • Their rivalry has often been lauded as one of the most exciting in contemporary boxing.

The future of this rivalry now hangs in the balance as the boxing community waits to see how the doping saga unfolds. Regardless of the outcome, the legacy of their encounters will continue to spark interest among boxing enthusiasts worldwide.

Career Highlights and Achievements

In the world of heavyweight boxing, both Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte have carved out significant careers for themselves. Despite the recent setback to their scheduled rematch, it’s worth taking a moment to recognize the substantial achievements of these two remarkable athletes.

Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua, a name etched in the annals of boxing, has a remarkable list of achievements:

  • Olympic Gold Medalist: Joshua won the gold medal in the super-heavyweight division at the 2012 London Olympics.
  • Two-Time Unified Heavyweight Champion: Joshua became the unified heavyweight champion by winning the WBA (Super), IBF, and IBO titles in 2016, and the WBO title in 2018. He became a two-time unified heavyweight champion in 2019.
  • British and Commonwealth Champion: Earlier in his career, Joshua held the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles from 2014 to 2016.
  • Impressive Win Record: As of this writing, Joshua has an impressive record of 25 wins in 27 fights, with 19 of those wins coming by way of knockout.

Dillian Whyte

Dillian Whyte, while often under the shadow of more renowned boxers, has a respectable record:

  • British Champion: Whyte held the British heavyweight title from 2016 to 2017.
  • WBC Interim Heavyweight Champion: He won the WBC interim heavyweight title in 2019.
  • WBC Silver Heavyweight Champion: From 2017 to 2019, he held the WBC Silver heavyweight title.
  • Formidable Record: Known for his tenacity, Whyte has 28 wins in 32 fights, with 19 victories by knockout.

These impressive records and achievements underline why the Joshua-Whyte rematch was one of the most eagerly anticipated fights in recent boxing history. However, with recent events, the future of this rivalry remains uncertain.

Boxing Expert Curt Delroy
reviewed by: Curt Delroy (Boxing Expert)

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