Dillian Whyte has been waiting for a world title fight since October 2017 when he beat Robert Hellenius for the vacant WBC Silver Heavy Title. Since then he has fought Lucas Browne, Joseph Parker, Dereck Chisora, Oscar Rivas, and Mariusz Wach, beating them all.
He became interim WBC Heavyweight Champion after beating Oscar Rivas in July 2019. Despite all this, Whyte has still not been given his shot at the WBC world title. The WBC has announced that he’ll get his title fight before February 2021, which will be close 3 years after we were first expecting to see it happen.
In May 2019, Dominic Breazeale fought Deontay Wilder for the WBC Heavyweight title, despite Dillian Whyte holding the interim title. It was odd to see Breazeale named mandatory challenger to Wilder, despite Whyte clearly being next in line. Whyte had been attempting to get his shot at Wilder, who was very vocally more focused on getting his hands on Anthony Joshua, leading many to believe he wanted no part of Dillian Whyte.
Then in November 2019, Luis Ortiz, the WBA interim Heavyweight champ, also got his shot at the WBC Heavyweight title against Wilder. Again, Dillian Whyte was leapfrogged, further lending fuel to the rumors that Wilder was ducking Whyte.
The explanation from Sulaimán and the WBC was that Whyte had been stripped of his mandatory status following adverse findings in his post-fight drug tests following his match with Oscar Rivas. The WBC said he would be reinstated as mandatory once the situation with UK Anti-Doping was resolved.
As a result, in the space of just one year, two challengers had gotten a shot at Wilder ahead of, then and still, interim champion Dillian Whyte. Whyte has only now been given a confirmed, guaranteed shot at the WBC title by Feb 2021, conveniently held by Tyson Fury and not Deontay Wilder.
While at the time Whyte placed most of the blame firmly on Wilder and his creative maneuvering, leaving the WBC out of it, Whyte has since taken aim at the WBC and head Mauricio Sulaimán. Speaking to Sky Sports recently, Sulaimán was repeatedly asked to clarify why Whyte had waited so long for a title shot, his repeated response was simply to state that Whyte would get his shot in Feb 2021.
In his own interview with Sky Sports, Whyte, despite being very forgiving of the WBC in past interviews, was quick to fire back “Mauricio Sulaimán says a lot of things, and don’t do a lot of things (sic). I don’t know. I have no idea what he’s saying, it makes me angry”.
Whyte further explained his frustrations by focusing on the preferential treatment Tyson Fury was shown on coming back to boxing, “Number 1, Tyson Fury refused to fight me in a WBC mandated fight for the WBC Diamond belt. Secondly, they took my mandatory away and gave Tyson Fury the mandatory position after fighting Otto Wallin, who is a million ranked in the world… It’s a joke how can he come back and fight… Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin, and whatever, and then end up being the mandatory challenger, after I been (sic) fighting back to back top ten contender. They suspend my mandatory position without true cause or proper evidence or anything… It’s a joke, it’s a joke.”
While Sulaimán was quick to hide behind the Tyson-Wilder-trilogy contract as a reason for Whyte’s title shot being further delayed, Whyte’s had an answer for that too. His answer, which we agree with, was that Wilder was injured in his last fight with Fury and underwent bicep surgery, meaning he can’t fight Fury in an immediate rematch anyway so the WBC should oblige Fury to defend against Whyte. While the WBC is not generally as strict as the IBF when it comes to enforcing mandatory challenges on a strict timeline, they have in the past ruled that a titleholder needs to defend their WBC belt before other contractual organizations or else vacate their WBC position.
It’s easy to argue that Whyte is being underappreciated by the WBC and habitually overlooked, it is also easy to argue that had he not been flagged for possible doping violations he would have seen himself in title contention much sooner. Either way, we’re happy to see Whyte finally getting his shot. Whyte finally looks like he’s reaching the end of his patience and the WBC should be aware that Whyte could easily focus his efforts on one of the many Heavyweight belts besides the green and black. In doing so he’d be taking a big following with him and the WBC would be losing a very loyal and talented contender.
For Dillian Whyte’s WBC world title shot against Fury, mark your diaries for February 2021. But be sure to use a pencil.