IT’S April now and Dillian Whyte, one of the world’s top heavyweights, is still without a fight.
He won’t be fighting Deontay Wilder, the WBC world heavyweight champion, nor Anthony Joshua, his big British rival. Tyson Fury is off the table, too, having recently confirmed a fight against Tom Schwarz for his ESPN debut in June.
This leaves Whyte somewhat in the wilderness, scratching his head and wondering why he has seemingly been left out. He needs an opponent to maintain the momentum he gathered in 2018 and he needs a good one to ensure some sort of parity when it comes to negotiating a fight with one of the division’s Big Three. This is clearly a bugbear for the Brixton heavyweight, as he explained to BBC Newsbeat.
“You can’t offer [Tyson] Fury £15m and offer me £4m,” Whyte said. “Fury’s not three times the draw that I am.
“I know what value I bring. Of course I believe I can become world champion. Anything could happen.
“I really wanted him to fight AJ because he puts me under so much pressure to fight for the world title. That would have been me finally saying, ‘Leave me alone, right go!’
“But he’s playing the long game, he’s backing himself. Others would have gone, ‘Where do I sign?’”
A few months ago, it seemed Whyte was in line to fight Dominic Breazeale in a WBC interim title fight. But then the WBC decided to do away with that idea and instead give Breazeale the shot at full champion Wilder in May. Naturally, the decision didn’t sit well with the rebuffed Brit.
“The WBC is a joke,” Whyte said. “Boxing is a funny sport. It makes no sense. These things only happen in boxing.
“It wouldn’t happen in the business world. It wouldn’t happen in normal life or in any other sport apart from boxing.
“It’s just boxing, and you get on with it.”
Dillian Whyte certainly needs to get on with it. There’s money to be made in the heavyweight division right now and opportunities to be grabbed. Regretful is the man who gets left behind.
A fatal accident inquiry has determined that a 2016 fight between Mike Towell and Dale Evans should never have taken place.
Towell, from Dundee, ended up in a coma as a result of injuries received during the Glasgow fight and tragically passed away the following day. Just 25 years of age, he was diagnosed with severe bleeding and swelling to his brain.
According to the inquiry, Mr Towell had been advised by doctors not to box three years earlier after suspected seizures and said if he had been “open and honest” about a medical condition it was “highly likely” he would not have been allowed to box from 2014.
As part of the injury, details of his medical examinations with a qualified appointed by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) in 2014, 2015 and 2016 were disclosed. In these notes, Towell had said in the examinations he had not suffered from headaches, blackouts or fits.
“Regrettably, it appears that Mr Towell’s love of boxing caused him to ignore the advice of doctors and not to accept the medical condition he had been diagnosed as suffering from,” said Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull in his written judgement.
“It is hard not to conclude that the very drive and commitment to boxing which Mr Towell demonstrated in his ascent to a final eliminator contest for the British welterweight championship in only his thirteenth professional fight is what led to his untimely death.”
He added: “Had Mr Towell been open and honest with the doctors who carried out his annual BBBC medical examinations, it is highly likely that he would not have been licensed to box from at least 2014 onwards.
“Indeed, it is possible, although not certain, that he may never have been licensed to box professionally.”
Nothing can bring back ‘Iron’ Mike Towell nor soothe the pain of his family and opponent, Dale Evans. But lessons certainly need to be learned.