By John J. Raspanti
Heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) was staggered for the first time in his career, but still managed to knock out rival Dillian Whyte (16-1, 13 KOs) in the seventh round at the O2 Arena in London, England last Saturday night.
Whyte gave the powerfully built Joshua extra motivation by reminding him over and over again of how he defeated him (2009) in an amateur bout. Joshua took it to Whyte in the opening stanza. He landed numerous hooks that staggered his mouthy opponent on three different occasions.
Joshua, 26, continued his assault in round two until Whyte caught him with a check left hook. Joshua wobbled and fell into a clinch. Whyte pushed him away and fired combinations. A few seconds later a wicked body punch landed. Joshua was in trouble for the first time in his career.
He survived the onslaught but looked winded in round three. Near the middle of the round, he began catching Whyte with some long right hands. Whyte went back to boxing in round four, but Joshua was using his jab to set-up combinations.
Joshua was back in control in rounds five and six. Whyte looked tired as Joshua snapped his head back with hard lefts and rights. Whyte touched Joshua with some shots in round seven, but couldn’t hurt the 2012 the British Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist. As Whyte languished on the ropes, Joshua unloaded hard shots to the head body. Whyte staggered way, but a vicious uppercut sent him sprawling to the mat with one arm hanging over the bottom rope.
Referee Howard Foster immediately waved off the contest..
The time was 1:27 seconds of round seven.
Joshua will return to the ring April 9. Possible opponents are either Whyte in a rematch, or heavyweight contender Derrick Chisora.