DILLIAN WHYTE might never become the best heavyweight in the world, but he might currently be the hungriest of the lot.
Seemingly happy to call out and fight about just everyone in the division, so long as it pays, Whyte has now taken to targeting a fighter-manager combination: Dereck Chisora and David Haye.
Whyte, of course, rematches Chisora on December 22, two years after the pair’s first fight, but, interestingly, the Londoner appears keen to also lure Haye, Chisora’s new manager, out of retirement for a fight in the future.
Haye and Whyte have sparred plenty over the years, predominantly at the start of Whyte’s professional career, and ‘The Body Snatcher’, the favourite to fight Anthony Joshua in April next year, wouldn’t mind sharing a ring once again, this time with some pay-per-view money involved.
“The option is there, if he wants it, after I beat Chisora,” Whyte told Sky Sports. “He can roll the dice one last time. I would smash David.
“I wanted the fight from years ago. He looks like he’s a light-heavyweight now.”
Haye, now 38, retired from the sport this summer following a fifth-round stoppage loss to Tony Bellew at London’s O2 Arena. Frankly, having won world titles as a cruiserweight and heavyweight, it’s unlikely he’ll be tempted to return to the ring to face Dillian Whyte of all people.
Equally, Whyte would be foolish to renege on a rematch opportunity against Anthony Joshua, the undisputed money man in the division, in favour of a non-title fight against a retired former cruiserweight who has been candid about the fact his best days are long behind him. It would make far less money and carry nowhere near the same lustre.
However, stranger things have happened in boxing and if there’s one thing we know by now it’s this: where there’s a bit of history and needle, there’s often the potential to make money, and, moreover, whenever ‘The Hayemaker’ is around press conferences and events, and presumably still in shape, it would be naive to completely rule out a comeback.
WBA bantamweight king Ryan Burnett is on course to fight WBO world bantamweight champion Zolani Tete in Belfast next year, but only if he manages to retain his title against Filipino superstar Nonito Donaire this Saturday (November 3) in Glasgow.
That’s the prize waiting for the Irishman should he stay unbeaten and keep hold of his belt, and is one he will be encouraged to forget about, at least until Sunday morning.
Tete, however, having already aced his World Boxing Super Series quarter-final test against Mikhail Aloyan, is more than happy to talk about it. “I want to face Burnett in Belfast; I want to beat him in front of his own fans,” he has said.
A good thing too, because it is believed Belfast’s SSE Arena is on hold for March 9 and that the WBA champion’s home city is very much the front runner to host a prospective Burnett vs. Tete matchup.
“It’s odds-on, though he has to get past Donaire first,” Kalle Sauerland, promoter of the WBSS, said this week. “It’s an extremely strong chance that if Burnett wins you’ll see him in the semi-final in Belfast.”
Burnett, 19-0 (9), isn’t counting his chickens, though. He knows the size of the threat facing him this weekend in Scotland and knows, also, how unforgiving the sport can be for those who look too far ahead.
“The bantamweight division is flying at the moment and this is a massive opportunity for me,” he said. “This is the best against the best, the elite in the division, and this is the kind of competition I have always wanted.
“By the end of this series you’re going to know who the number one bantamweight in the world is and that’s going to be Ryan Burnett. The World Boxing Super Series has been great for boxing. It has created a lot of interest and everyone across the world will be tuning in.
“I’m not even thinking about Tete at the moment.”
Sensible. Very sensible.
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