Anthony Joshua has questioned Dillian Whyte’s finishing instincts following his shock defeat to Alexander Povetkin.
Whyte appeared on the brink of victory after flooring Povetkin on two occasions in the fourth round, but the Russian rallied back, uncorking a monster left uppercut to leave Whyte out cold and his world title hopes in shatters.
Unified Heavyweight world champion, Joshua who was caught himself and knocked out as he looked to stop Andy Ruiz Jr in New York last June was ringside and admits he was expecting Whyte to close the show in Matchroom’s Fight Camp finale in Brentwood.
“Does Dillian [Whyte] still have that instinct in him?,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
“Because the fight was called maximum violence.
“When he had the opportunity to take him out, I wanted to see that maximum violence.
“That’s why for me, when I smell blood, I go in there to take someone out, but sometimes you can get caught in the exchange.”
Whyte, who lost his WBC interim Heavyweight title was one win away from finally receiving his mandatory world title shot against the winner of the proposed trilogy between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
Joshua, who stopped Povetkin in seven rounds in September 2018 has backed his old rival to bounce back from his first loss in 11 fights, since defeat to him in 2015.
“Dillian spent months and months in Portugal training, preparing and something like that can happen,” the 30-year-old added.
“I feel like the training doesn’t only add up to this fight with Povetkin, he’s got how many years in the sport, so this is just a blip in the career.
“Dillian fights for himself, people would say loads of things now, people are going to talk all sorts of stuff about Dillian’s performance.
“Dillian’s a fighter so I stick with him as a fighter and say, dust yourself off, get back up and go again.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that he would look to invoke the rematch clause for December.