ANTHONY JOSHUA has backed his friend and former Finchley Amateur Boxing teammate Dereck Chisora to beat Dillian Whyte.
Whyte and Chisora prepare to re-run their December 2016 classic as they headline at the O2 Arena on Saturday night.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has suggested the winner could be rewarded with a shot at Joshua next year with the unified heavyweight world champion pencilled in for an April 13 fight date.
Joshua told Sky Sports he predicts Chisora will ‘whoop’ the man he knocked out in 2015 – but the 29-year-old also claimed he will be happy to see either man win.
Joshua said: “I think Derek is going to whoop Dillian. I want him to.
“I want Chisora to win. I don’t want too much good for Dillian because he’s an enemy of mine.
“But I want Dillian to win as well, so we can have our rematch.”
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Whyte vs Chisora: Live stream, TV channel, start time, tickets and undercard
Whyte edged out a close split decision win against Chisora two years ago on the undercard of Joshua’s third round demolition of Eric Molina.
Since that fight Whyte has gone on to beat the likes of Lucas Browne and Joseph Parker as the 30-year-old finds himself on a four-fight win streak since his Chisora triumph.
Chisora on the other hand has suffered a more inconsistent spell since he and Whyte stole the show in Manchester.
Del Boy put in a underwhelming performance in Monte Carlo against Agit Kabayel for the European title in 2017 just 11 months after some believed he did enough to beat Whyte.
However, in July, just before Whyte outpointed Parker, Chisora would KO Carlos Takam after an eight round brawl.
The win has afforded Chisora the chance to avenge his defeat against Whyte, while Del Boy also insists he is physically and mentally better this time around.
Chisora has since linked up with former rival David Haye, who acts as his manager.
Despite the goalposts changing for both fighter since their first encounter, Joshua predicted the rematch could be an even better show – although he warned not to expect a KO.
Joshua added: “Can it be as good, this time around? Yes, I think it will be better, in terms of boxing skill.
“I think they will be a little more cautious – they know what [each other] can do. They gave a lot and it took a lot of out them last time.
“They learned from the first one. They put a lot on the line. In this second one, they will refine their skills. It will be a lot more technical.
“When it sparks, it will really kick off.
“When it sparks, it will go crazy because of that passion. They don’t like each other. It all comes out in the ring.
“They can’t knock each other out. They have old school granite chins.”