Dillian Whyte will finally get his shot at the WBC world heavyweight title against the winner of Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3 – assuming he defeats Alexander Povetkin later this month.
Whyte (27-1) has been the mandatory contender for the hallowed green belt for more than 1000 days without getting a crack at the title, and puts his interim champion status on the line against dangerous Russian Povetkin (35-2-1) at Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Fight Camp on Saturday August 22 (live on Sky Sports Box Office).
And the WBC has now confirmed that if successful there, Whyte will finally get his chance against the winner of the trilogy fight between Fury (30-0-1) and Wilder (42-1-1) – which is currently planned for Saturday December 19. Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas (the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders) had been the favourite to host the bout before the Raiders announced this week that it will remain closed for the entire NFL season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement the sanctioning body said: “The WBC has confirmed that if WBC Interim World Champion Whyte is triumphant against Povetkin, the winner of the upcoming Fury v. Wilder III bout, which is scheduled for 19 December, must face Interim Champion Whyte in the mandatory defense of the WBC World Heavyweight Title early next year.
“The WBC is very much looking forward to this tremendous activity in the heavyweight division.”
Whyte had been due to get his title shot by the end of February 2021 but that deadline looks unlikely to be met given the delays caused by the pandemic. And this potentially then delays the likelihood of an all-British unification fight between Fury and Anthony Joshua. Fury would have to beat both Wilder and Whyte before he could think about Joshua.
Joshua (23-1) meanwhile has his own commitments to take care of before he can meet Fury – with mandatory defences against IBF contender Kubrat Pulev (28-1) later this year and WBO contender Oleksandr Usyk (17-0) after that.
Fury and Joshua have agreed in principle the financial structure for a two-fight deal, with a 50-50 split for the first bout and the winner getting a 60-40 share for the second. It had been expected the first of those two eagerly-awaited fights would take place in summer 2021, but that must now be in doubt given the mandatory commitments for both fighters, and the shifting timescales caused by the pandemic.
All the world heavyweight title belts currently reside in Britain, with Fury being the WBC king (as well as Ring magazine and lineal champion) while Joshua holds the IBF, WBA and WBO titles.