Anthony Joshua reveals he’s ‘rooting’ for Dillian Whyte against Tyson Fury ‘even though I hate him’

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Anthony Joshua has revealed he’s siding with old rival Dillian Whyte ahead of his WBC heavyweight clash with Tyson Fury in April.

After a protracted saga, Whyte eventually signed his contract to face Fury on April 23 at Wembley in a huge all-British affair.

The bout marks the first time Whyte will get a shot at a world title and Fury’s return to the UK, having not fought on home soil since beating Francesco Pianeta inside Belfast’s Windsor Park in August 2018.

Joshua, who has a long rivalry with Whyte stretching back to their amateur careers, beat ‘The Body Snatcher’ via a technical knockout in December 2015 and was speaking to iFLTV before Lawrence Okolie beat Michal Cieslak to defend his cruiserweight title on Sunday night.

The 32-year-old admitted he still strongly dislikes Whyte but was rooting for him over Fury, who ended an era-defining trilogy of fights against Deontay Wilder in October.

“It’s a good opponent [for Fury], it’s a good [title] defence against Dillian Whyte,” he said.

“Dillian Whyte needs to come in, look at what Tyson Fury does and reacts to, and do the complete opposite. Maybe work the body, and be conditioned to go the distance.

“But I hope Dillian trains hard [and] doesn’t underestimate Tyson. Because it’s his first shot for Dillian, I think he’ll be hungry, do you know what I mean?

“This ain’t like his 10th time fighting for a title, you can have a little hiccup along the way. This is his first time fighting for the title.

“I’m rooting for Dillian, even though I hate him, and I want to smash him one of these days.

“Go on Dillian, I’m with you all the way.”