Yesterday it was announced that Dillian Whyte had begun litigation against the WBC, of which he is the mandatory Heavyweight challenger to Tyson Fury. The news of Whyte’s litigation came following announcements from Arum and Top Rank that they would be discussing the postponement of Dillian Whyte’s WBC title fight against Tyson Fury, currently slated for February 2021.
Arum told Sky Sports “We will be talking to the organizations to eliminate mandatories, or to postpone them all for at least one year,” comments which will have no doubt caused Whyte to anger at the proposition that he would be once again overlooked in the Heavyweight division.
To Whyte’s credit, he has done more than earn his shot at the WBC title, going from strength to strength since his lone loss to Anthony Joshua in 2015. Since then Whyte has fought 11 times against genuine opposition in Oscar Rivas, Derek Chisora, and Joseph Parker, bringing his impressive record to 27-1. Whyte seems to be in the prime of his career, having made numerous adjustments to his style since his AJ loss and looking to be a more multi-faceted contender.
Whyte was due a shot at Wilder, which eventually went to Fury, but UKAD erased years of his hard work to become interim Heavyweight champion by falsely recording ‘adverse findings’ in his post-fight urine test following his win over Oscar Rivas. Despite the WBC accepting UKAD’s retraction and reinstating Whyte as interim champ and WBC mandatory, he had already lost his shot at Wilder who had been beaten by Fury.
Mauricio Sulaiman, WBC president, has now looked to possibly undermine Whyte mandatory position once more with news that Arum’s request to delay Fury’s title defense vs Whyte might be granted. Sulaiman was quick to state that “There is a procedure with regards to the date of the mandatory in the Heavyweight division”, in response to the legal action taken by Whyte against the WBC. However, if we’re being honest, that procedure looks to be that WBC will choose to allow the more profitable fights, like Fury v Wilder III, happen above less profitable but more necessary fights like Fury v Whyte.
Frank Warren shoots his shot.
In the midst of all of this though, Frank Warren said something I think could develop into something more over the next few weeks. Speaking on his Queensberry Promotions YouTube channel, then making sure to screenshot and Tweet the exact same message, Warren said, “You can see why he’s upset. He doesn’t feel he’s been looked after. If Dillian Whyte was with me, he would have fought for a World title by now. I had Tyson Fury fighting for a World title within 6 months of signing him, we kept him nice and active and then got him the Wilder fight.”
This is much more than an off the cuff observation about Whyte’s situation, with one man openly empathizing with another. Warren is no fool, Whyte has been extremely vocal about his anger and frustration at the WBC for seemingly sidestepping him at every opportunity. As the WBC situation continues, Whyte’s frustrations with them will likely fall on Hearn too, the man whose job it is to get him the big fights so he can progress.
Just last month Hearn was quick to offer Whyte up to Ngannou, a situation that went from a tweeted challenge to solid discussions in less than 3 weeks. Hearn moved so quickly on this, bringing Whyte and Ngannou together and getting Dana White onto the Matchroom show to discuss in, but has been completely empty-handed for Dillian Whyte with regards to a title shot. Now Hearn has started arranging Fury v Anthony Joshua for 2021, already getting a provisional agreement in place for two fights next year, while he still has nothing for Whyte.
Warren publicly making comparisons between how quickly he progressed Fury, with how slowly Hearn has progressed Whyte will surely be playing on Whyte’s mind as he is feeling most stressed and underappreciated.
On the other hand we are sure Whyte will not easily forget Warren’s constant mentions in interviews in 2019 being critical of his adverse test samples even though Whyte had not been found guilty of anything.
Fury recently made public claims that he will be ending Hearn’s career by beating Joshua in 2021. With open hostility between Hearn and Warren, Warren making a play for Hearn’s second-best Heavyweight could be a calculated move to further undermine Matchroom’s earning potential.
With Whyte being pushed to the point that he thought it necessary to take the WBC to court over his perceived mistreatment, it’s not a big stretch of the imagination to say he might consider jumping ship entirely after his fight with Povetkin on August 15th if Matchroom doesn’t have anything to offer him for February.
Personally we cant see him making a move from Matchroom… can you?