Dillian Whyte fails drugs test

Anthony Joshua’s much-anticipated fight against Dillian Whyte has been cancelled after Whyte failed a drugs test.

The two British heavyweights had been due to reignite their long-standing feud on August 12 at the O2 Arena in London, but the bout has now been called off.

A statement from promoter Matchroom on Saturday read: “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. Further information on the event will follow.”

Joshua had been hoping that Whyte would provide him with a stepping stone towards a $60million fight with American Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia in December.

“I’m definitely up for fighting. There are a lot of names in the division but look at what this fight does,” Joshua said in a press conference for the bout. “This fight does good business. Whyte is no longer a rival, I don’t see him that way. He’s just another body in the way.”

He added: “Forget Wilder and them lot. You have now seen the shenanigans that go on in the heavyweight division. I don’t look at him as a rival, I just think about myself.

“Staying in my lane and doing what I need to do. I am here now and I am ready to rock and roll. I don’t care what people think and say about me.”

Joshua and Whyte fought at the O2 eight years ago. Back in December 2015, Joshua stopped his opponent in the seventh round in a thriller for the British and Commonwealth titles.

Whyte, 35, lost to Tyson Fury for the WBC title in April 2022 at Wembley Stadium. He recovered by beating Jermaine Franklin in November, but the Joshua fight was a bout on a whole different level -Mirror.

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