What now for Dillian Whyte

Shots at Joshua, Fury and Wilder are all taken. So John Dennen finds out what options remain for Dillian Whyte

BRIXTON heavyweight Dillian Whyte deserves a big fight. He racked up wins over Lucas Browne, Joseph Parker and Dereck Chisora in 2018 and is ranked number one with the WBC. He rightly considered him well placed. He turned down a shot at unified champion Anthony Joshua as the WBC had ordered an Interim title fight between Whyte and Dominic Breazeale while world titlist Deontay Wilder was in negotiations for a Tyson Fury rematch. When those discussions stalled Breazeale stepped in suddenly as a Wilder’s mandatory challenger, leaving Whyte out in the cold.

“I mean forget the Breazeale mandatory stuff, how he’s even there I don’t know. But when you order Breazeale-Whyte before the actual order for Fury against Wilder, Fury pulls out, Breazeale being the mandatory slots in, understand, you can’t then say to Whyte, ‘Okay mate you crack on.’ Because he turned down opportunities because he had that fight and I believe he [Whyte] should just be made mandatory to the winner of Breazeale-Wilder. I appreciate there might be a bout in between, there might be a Joshua bout but Dillian’s going to box in July anyway. So let him box in July but at least make him mandatory for the next slot. That’s what we’re campaigning for,” promoter Eddie Hearn said.

Hearn, his lawyers, the WBC’s lawyers and WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman met for a mediation on Saturday. “What we’re hoping is that everyone can be sensible,” the promoter said. “There was a mediation, was their official terminology. There’s a process that you have to go through. We’ve put our request forward, and it will be heard by the WBC governors over the next two weeks. We’ll get decision around that time.

“What Dillian is saying is I could have boxed Anthony Joshua. I could have made $8 million or whatever I could have made, but I was told I had this opportunity by you and now I’ve not got it.”

Dillian Whyte

Whyte is expected to box in July in the UK, with Luis Ortiz, Alexander Povetkin and WBA ‘regular’ titlist Manuel Charr in the frame. The WBC could potentially grant him some sort of belt to box for, maybe even the Interim strap that he didn’t get to box Breazeale for, or perhaps they could create a ‘Diamond’ strap for him.

However US promoter Top Rank, whose shows are televised on ESPN, have approached the  Londoner. Hearn insists that Matchroom won’t hold Whyte back. “It’s always been a fight by fight [basis] so nothing’s changed. There’s an offer for him to box in America, which we’re looking at together, a good offer and if he wants to do it, I don’t have a problem with that. He’s told us he’s boxing in July in the UK, that’s what he wants to do,” Hearn said. “Nothing’s changed with us and Dillian, we’re fight by fight, we hope we continue that relationship, we’ve done a great job for him, he’s made a lot of money, but it’s an interesting time for the heavyweight division. I won’t hold anyone back. If a life changing opportunity comes along for Dillian Whyte I’ll support him 100 percent.”

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