The heavyweight boxing rematch between Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte has been cancelled after Whyte returned an ‘adverse finding’ to a random doping test.
The rematch was scheduled to hold next Saturday, August 12, at London’s O2 Arena.
According to a report from Dailymail on Saturday, Joshua’s promoters, Matchroom, are looking for a replacement opponent to meet him at the same location on the same day. The promotion of one of the heavyweights on the undercard to the main event is an additional choice.
After his third run-in with anti-doping officials during this episode, Whyte’s future appears to be considerably less certain as he is 35 years old. In a statement, he expressed his shock and devastation over the positive test results and his determination to “prove that I am completely innocent.”
After defeating Sandor Balogh of Hungary in October 2012, Whyte tested positive for the illegal stimulant Methylhexanamine, and he was given a two-year suspension.
The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which conducted the most recent test, notified Matchroom of the positive finding for a prohibited drug, whose identity was first kept secret.
‘The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association 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,’ Matchroom said yesterday [SAT] in a statement.
The fight will be cancelled in light of this information, and a thorough investigation will be carried out. More details about the event will be provided later.
The battle between Whyte and 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, 33, scheduled for next weekend was to be a repeat of their 2015 encounter, which Joshua won by knockout in the seventh round for the British title.
Whyte had won 16 straight games prior to that, marking his first loss in a professional match. In their previous amateur fight in 2009, Whyte prevailed on points to spark a protracted and acrimonious rivalry.
Joshua, who is now The Ring magazine’s fourth-best active heavyweight in the world, had intended to fight Whyte, who is ranked sixth, before facing Deontay Wilder, who is ranked third in the USA, and Tyson Fury, who is second in Britain, just behind Oleksandr Usyk of the Ukraine.
If Joshua and Whyte had gone according to plan, the winner would have been in line to face Wilder later this year in a match that was envisioned for the Middle East. Joshua and Wilder might yet clash in Saudi Arabia.