Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte is applying pressure on Anthony Joshua to come to the table to discuss their rematch.
Back in 2015, Joshua secured a knockout win over Whyte in the seventh round of their grudge match.
In November of 2022, Whyte secured a close points win over Jermaine Franklin.
The winner of the fight was promised a crack at Joshua, but the former two-time world champion elected to fight Franklin.
Joshua would go on to win a tough twelve round decision over Franklin in April.
It was assumed that Joshua and Whyte would collide in the summer - but it now appears that Joshua might remain on shelf to pursue a December showdown with former WBC champion Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia.
There is also tension between Joshua and Whyte on the management front.
Joshua, who manages Olympian Frazer Clarke, pressed for his man to get a mandatory shot at British heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley, who is managed by Whyte.
The contest was heading to purse bid, when Clarke was unexpectedly removed from the fight.
Whyte feels Joshua is not the same boxer who was willing to take risks several years ago.
“Inactivity is killing the sport and it needs a shake-up. I am waiting for my next fight — and was meant to fight Joshua after Franklin. Joshua and his team told everybody ‘the winner of Whyte and Franklin fights AJ’ — and then they boxed the loser," Whyte explained to The Sun.
“And now they have petitioned for Frazer Clarke to fight Fabio for his title, got exactly what they asked for and have bottled it. It’s a joke, they look around blaming each other, making excuses, talking up other fights further down the line. But anyone who sees Joshua sitting around for nine months waiting for a Wilder cash-out — or Clarke taking on some journeyman in a pointless undercard fight — will see a team that has lost its bottle.
“Joshua’s team are doing interviews saying he beats me in four rounds. But he can’t decide if I’m his dream opponent or his worst nightmare. I want the fight. I know that DAZN want the fight, too, because it would be an absolutely huge event. The only problem we all have is Joshua. He has confidence issues and is afraid to take the fight."
Whyte believes Joshua and his team are looking to avoid any dangerous scenario that would derail a potential fight with Wilder at the end of the year.
“He doesn’t want to risk his retirement payday in Saudi Arabia against Wilder — who is also past his sell-by date. Joshua and his team are talking Clarke up as a future world champion. But they’re terrified of fighting Fabio, who was fighting white-collar in Ipswich pubs a few years ago. These people are spineless. There’s a long list of opponents I can fight next and the deadline for Joshua to pull his finger out and find his pen is coming soon. And there’s a load of British heavyweights, like David Adeleye and Solly Dacres, who want to challenge Fabio. Or he can move on to European and world targets," Whyte said.
“Joshua isn’t the golden goose anymore, the sport doesn’t revolve around him. Him and his people don’t seem to realize it but duck me again and lose to Wilder in December and he and his team — that know so much but do so little — are finished.”