Dillian Whyte will need to wait possibly until 2022 to get a title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who is telling him that he needs to get in line and wait.
Fury has three important fights ahead of him against Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua [x 2], and he’s not going to change those plans for a lower-paying title defense against his WBC mandatory Whyte.
Dillian (27-1, 18 K.O.s) is upset and wants his title shot in early 2021, and the WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said on Thursday that he’s expected to get that fight by February 2021. Sulaiman should have checked with Fury, though, as he’s saying Whyte won’t get a fight against him until he’s done with his two high-paying matches against A.J. next year.
Fury tells Whyte he must wait his turn
“I make him correct, I stole his mandatory position… My answer to Whyte is – Wait in the queue, mush. I’ve fought the most vicious punchers in their own countries. I don’t fear a stocky plodder who comes forward with no power,” said Fury to Lockdown Lowdown.
Fury doesn’t have much interest in fighting Whyte because he brings nothing to the table in terms of fan interest. The U.S. boxing fans won’t show interest in a Fury vs. Whyte fight, and it won’t bring in significant numbers in the U.K. either.
Whyte doesn’t want to be given the WBC title without fighting for it against Fury, but that may be the case. If the WBC strips Fury for failing to defend against Whyte, then we could see that scenario. Nothing would change for Whyte from where he is now as the interim WBC champion.
He would be made the WBC belt-holder, and would be viewed as what fans refer to as a ‘paper champion.’ They money that Whyte receives for his fights wouldn’t change for the better, and he would be stuck having to defend the WBC belt against guys like Luis Ortiz.
That’s probably not something that Whyte is looking forward to. Although Whyte says he wants to be the WBC champion, what he probably means is he wants the big payday fight against Fury. Being the WBC champion means nothing unless Whyte can use the belt to get fights against Fury, Joshua, or Wilder.
If the WBC installs Whyte as their new champion due to Fury choosing not to fight him, we could see the sanctioning body ordering him to face Luis Ortiz. The question is, would Whyte elect not to fight Ortiz?
We already saw Whyte choose not to fight Ortiz in the past when the WBC ordered the two to fight in a WBC title eliminator in 2018. Whyte decided not to fight Ortiz, and some boxing fans believe Dillian didn’t fancy the job. If the WBC makes Whyte their new champion in 2021, he may not last long if they order him to fight Ortiz.
Whyte looked terrible in winning his last fight against 39-year-old Mariusz Wach last December. If that performance is indicative of where Whyte is at this point in his career of what he has left in the tank, the 41-year-old Ortiz will beat him.
Sulaiman says Whyte will get his shot after Fury vs. Wilder 3
“We are not familiar in any way with the terms for anything other than Tyson Fury having Wilder as his next opponent because of the contract they have, and then we have a mandatory contender,” said WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman to IFL TV.
“We have not received any communication whatsoever from the promoters. That’s where the WBC stands right now, and we will wait to see. We are in the middle of a pandemic, and we don’t know when the activity will start. We are going to address every single weight category independently, and we will address the matters that have to do with that weight division.
“It’s not the same to look into the Tyson Fury situation. Every weight division will be addressed separately and independently, and the WBC will rule with the facts in that specific weight category, and the conditions of the countries with the fighters have to do with that regard, and then we will address it accordingly.
“The timings you can’t control,” said WBC president Sulaiman when asked if Whyte will get his mandated title shot by February of 2021. “If the [Fury vs. Wilder 3] fight takes place October, November, or December, we don’t know. But for the WBC position, it’s Wilder who is fighting Fury, and then the mandatory title defense [against Whyte],” said Sulaiman.
Whyte may get a title shot, but it might not be against Fury if he vacates or is stripped of the WBC belt for refusing to face him. If the WBC makes Whyte their new champion outside of the ring, they’ll miss out on the vast money in sanctioning fees that a match between Fury and Joshua.
Whyte is the interim WBC champion, and the WBC will likely install him as their new champion if Fury refuses to face him by next February. If the WBC orders Whyte to face the next highest-ranked available heavyweight in their rankings, then it could be either Oscar Rivas or Luis Ortiz.
Whyte should fight for WBC title by early 2021
“Yeah,” said Sulaiman when asked if Whyte will get his title shot in early next year. “It should be happening. First, there will be the fight with [Fury and] Wilder. It’ll depend on when it takes place. We don’t know.
“This is a crazy world we’re living in. Hopefully, the COVID-19 will be out of the picture for the planning of the sport. They talk about COVID-19 coming back to certain areas of the world.
“There’s so much speculation about it. What we can control is what’s available for a decision. So to be clear, we have the confirmation of Tyson Fury making the commitment that he has against Wilder, which is a signed contract, and then the mandatory title defense of the division,” said Sulaiman.
There’s a lot of things that could get in the way of Whyte getting a title shot in early 2021. If the second wave of the pandemic hits, then that’ll throw off Whyte’s title shot.
Also, the WBC could decide to make a ruling to allow WBC champion Fury to face IBF/WBA/WBO champ, Joshua, ahead of the mandatory defense by Tyson against Whyte. Historically, the sanctioning bodies let unification matches take place before compulsory defenses.