Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian Whyte off, failed VADA test

Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte is off due to a failed VADA drug test. No replacement has been confirmed as of yet.

By: Blaine Henry | 2 days ago

Next week’s bout between Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte is off due to Whyte failing a VADA in-competition drug test. The event was supposed to take place on August 12th at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Now with the failed test, it is unsure if Joshua will stay on the card against a replacement or if he will remain on the card at all.

April 22, 2022, London, London, England, UK: LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Boxer Dillian Whyte poses on the scale during the official weigh-in for his bout against Tyson Fury at the Boxepark on April 22, 2022, in London, England, UK. He has been pulled from his schedule bout with Anthony Joshua.
IMAGO | ZUMA WIRE by Matt Davies.

The announcement came this morning as Matchroom Boxing president Eddie Hearn posted to his X account that he was out of the fight with more details to come.

Anthony Joshua’s Options

Options for Anthony Joshua are somewhat slim. After the Andy Ruiz disaster, where Jarrell Miller failed a drug test, Joshua was knocked out and embarrassed on the world stage. Taking a short notice fight again will be something Joshua possibly wants to avoid, especially with a potential Deontay Wilder bout on the deck for January.

On the card, Filip Hrgovic is fighting for a IBF mandatory position, a belt held by Oleksandr Usyk. That would get Joshua the biggest results as far as his return to the title. Hrgovic is 15-0 and would present a big chance for both fighters. But with so much risk in that fight, I wouldn’t expect that fight to be made.

Andy Ruiz also threw his name into the ring (pun intended) when he said that the trilogy needed to be completed. In tradition to how Joshua and Ruiz’ history played out, a short notice tie breaker would be apt.

The most likely outcome will be Joshua sitting out and waiting until January to fight. The Deontay Wilder-Anthony Joshua fight is still among the biggest in boxing and would be a huge payday for both despite the lack of champion status.

Not the first time Dillian Whyte has failed a drug test

Dillian Whyte being pulled from the card is unfortunate. But this isn’t his first time he’s been in trouble for banned substances. In 2012, after his win over Sandor Balogh, Dillian Whyte failed a drug test for Methylhexanamine (MHA).

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) suspended Whyte for two years. Dillian Whyte would appeal the suspension and claimed he did not knowingly take MHA. The National Anti-Doping Panel accepted that Whyte may have unknowingly taken MHA but rejected the appeal saying he should have checked the supplement’s ingredients.

Whyte has gone on his Instagram Stories to say that he’s innocent and disappointed with the recent news. He also points out that this has happened to him in the past.

The event at the O2 could still have Anthony Joshua on it but with Dillian Whyte having failed a drug test in 2012, there will be no compromises on that matchup for the time being. Joshua staying on the card is still on the table but nothing has yet been confirmed.

Whyte issues statement

Per Bad Left Hook, Dillian Whyte has released a statement in response to the VADA failure.

“I can confirm without a shadow of (a) doubt that I have not taken the reported substance, in this camp or at any point in my life. I am completely innocent and ask to be given the time to go through the process of proving this without anybody jumping to conclusions or a trial by media.

“I insisted on 24/7 VADA testing for this fight, as I have done voluntarily and at my own expense for all of my fights for many, many years.

“This is not the first time that I have been reported as having an adverse finding for a substance which I have not taken, and as I did last time, I will again prove that I am completely innocent.

“In the meantime, all I can do is express my extreme disappointment to boxing fans, who will miss out on what was sure to be a great event.”

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Blaine Henry
Blaine Henry

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