ANTHONY JOSHUA has revealed he wants Dillian Whyte to beat Tyson Fury even though he ‘hates him’.
After weeks of speculation, Fury and Whyte’s fight is officially confirmed for April 23 at Wembley Stadium.
And one man sure to be keeping a close eye on developments is former unified heavyweight world champion Joshua.
Speaking ahead of Lawrence Okolie’s cruiserweight showdown against Michal Cieslak at the O2 Arena on Sunday night, Joshua revealed who has his backing in the Fury vs Whyte battle of Britain.
AJ also hinted he is keen to come to blows with Whyte again after the pair first fought as pro’s back in 2015.
He told iFL TV: “It’s a good opponent [for Fury], it’s a good [title] defence against Dillian Whyte.
“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 tenth 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.”
AJ and the ‘Brixton Bodysnatcher’ met in the ring for the British title over six years ago, with Joshua winning via a seventh-round TKO.
Plans were also in place for Joshua and Fury to fight in a mouthwatering undisputed clash last year, before a court of arbitration ordered the latter into a trilogy battle with Deontay Wilder.
Joshua is currently gearing up for a rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, but Russia’s invasion of Usyk’s home country, Ukraine, may cause uncertainties regarding that bout.
When asked whether he was concerned for Usyk, AJ seemingly referenced Usyk and his countrymen, and former heavyweights, Vitaly and Wladimir Klitschko.
AJ said: “I’ve learnt [that] sport and politics go hand in hand, and they’re powerful voices, and it’s good that they’re speaking up.
“They’re not pushing for war, they’re saying ‘let’s find peace’.
“So good luck to them, and that’s it really, before I go on and say something wrong.”