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Eddie Hearn To Announce Dillian Whyte Replacement For Anthony Joshua Saturday’s Fight



Anthony Joshua will fight at London’s O2 Arena as scheduled on Saturday, and promoter Eddie Hearn is set to announce Dillian Whyte’s short-term replacement.

Whyte returned an “abnormal result” from a doping test last week, meaning the heavyweight bout was cancelled. “Devastated,” White, 35, says is “totally innocent.”

Hearn told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I believe that fight will be signed and an announcement made on Monday night or first thing in the morning.”

He added: “The absolute plan is to have a show on Saturday night. It’s a minefield because everyone puts their name in the hat and the credible ones want £10m, a private jet and my left lower limb in the contract.”

Joshua, 33, reacted “calmly” to the news of the cancellation of the fight after the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (Vada) informed promoters Matchroom and boxing authorities of Whyte’s test result.

“With a week to go before one of the biggest fights of the year I was shocked and dumfounded. AJ sent me a message which was unbelievably calm,” said Hearn.

“AJ is desperate to fight. He has looked unbelievable in camp. I have never seen him in such good shape.

“The plan is to get the most credible opponent and someone who can test him for Deontay Wilder.

“At this point, with such short notice, you need more than one plate spinning because people will try to disrupt things or outprice themselves. We have the guy who we think is the right guy, and others who are waiting as well.”

The showdown between Joshua and Whyte, a rematch of the 2015 match, was announced in July.

Joshua knocked out Whyte in the seventh round in a fiery British title match eight years earlier, also at The O2, when he avenged his amateur tour opponent’s loss.

Whyte, who lost his only world title fight to Tyson Fury in 2022, defeated Joshua by amateur decision in 2009 to start the fight.

Olympic gold medalist Joshua becomes a two-time world champion.