The World Boxing Council (WBC) has ratified its decision that Dillian Whyte must be given a shot at the world heavyweight title against the winner of Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3 – assuming he defeats Alexander Povetkin next weekend.
The sanctioning body’s annual conference – held virtually this year – made the decision after a meeting which involved board members and a number of interested promoters.
It said: “Matchroom (Whyte’s promoter) has requested for the August 22 fight between interim champion Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin, authorisation from the WBC for the winner to be awarded the the Diamond belt. This proposal has been authorized.
“If Dillian Whyte wins, he will be ratified as the official challenger to face the winner of Fury vs Wilder 3.
“Fury was confirmed to make a voluntary defence against Deontay Wilder, which is scheduled for December 19.
“The winner of Fury vs. Wilder III is required to fight Whyte if he wins his match against Povetkin.
“Queensberry Promotions (Fury’s co-promoter along with Top Rank) received clarification from the WBC after expressing their concern that February was the deadline for the mandatory fight, it was clarified that one day after the fight between Fury vs Wilder 3 the period of free negotiations will begin.
“Silver champion Daniel Dubois is defending his crown against Joe Joyce on October 24.”
The news is another boost for Whyte (27-1) as he prepares for that crucial showdown with Povetkin at Matchroom Fight Camp (live on Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view in the UK and DAZN in the United States), which does not come without significant risk to his aspirations. He had earlier been forced to take legal action in a bid to ensure that title shot does happen.
Now Matchroom supremo Eddie Hearn believes it is all systems go, potentially for Fury vs Whyte, though he does admit there are still hurdles in the way, notably if Fury were to vacate the title in a bid to face Anthony Joshua (also promoted by Hearn) in a blockbusting showdown. Those two already have the financial structure agreed for a two-fight deal.
“It doesn’t appear to me that there is a way around (Fury vs Whyte) not happening,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “Other than a ‘step-aside’ to Whyte, which I can tell you has absolutely no chance of happening. Or Fury vacating the WBC title which we don’t want to happen either. You can’t just dismiss Whyte and say: ‘No, that’s not happening’.
“You can avoid that fight, duck that fight. But it comes with consequence, which in this case would be to [vacate or be stripped of] the world championship. Nobody wants that to happen.
“If Fury (vacates) his belt he goes into the Joshua fight as a non-belt holder and we don’t really want that.”