Next weekend (Sat., Aug. 12, 2023), top Heavyweight boxers Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte are scheduled to throw down in London, England. Or at least, they were, until the promoter announced that Whyte failed a pre-fight drug test. The substance that Whyte tested positive for has yet to be revealed, but Matchroom Boxing explains that Whyte “returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol.”
Anthony Joshua is still expected to fight next week against whatever replacement foe can be scrounged up.
As for Whyte, he’s already responded on social media. In a length Instagram post, Whyte vehemently denied taking the accused substance. Whyte says he is “shocked and devastated” by the report and maintains his complete innocence regarding any kind of performance-enhancing drug (PED) abuse.
He expects to prove his innocence in the coming weeks. It’s happened before for Whyte, who dealt with a similar failed test in 2019 before later being cleared.
Joshua (25-3) is looking to begin his third reign as a Heavyweight boxing champion. A pair of recent defeats to Oleksandr Usyk ended his most recent championship, but Joshua returned to the win column earlier this year with a 12-round decision win over Jermaine Franklin.
As for Whyte (29-3), he was defeated by Joshua in 2015 and may miss out on any chance at revenge. A longtime Heavyweight contender, Whyte also was supposed to enter this contest following a decision Franklin.
Stay tuned for further updates.