No barrier now to Fury vs Joshua showdown – WBC

Dillian Whyte’s defeat by Alexander Povetkin removed any barrier to a Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua superfight, the World Boxing Council (WBC) has confirmed.

Whyte was the WBC mandatory contender for the title currently held by Fury, and was due a title shot against the winner of the upcoming trilogy fight between ‘The Gypsy King’ and Deontay Wilder – tentatively scheduled for Saturday December 19.

But ‘The Body Snatcher’ (now 27-2), who had been mandatory for more than 1000 days, saw his dreams shattered as he was stopped in round five by a brutal left uppercut from the veteran Povetkin (now 36-2-1)

The result means Fury (if he beats Wilder) now has no upcoming mandatory commitment to stop him fighting AJ next. The pair have already agreed in principle the financial structure for a two-fight deal – with the first widely expect to take place in the summer of 2021.

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman confirmed this, telling Sky Sports: “We don’t speculate, but the time limitations which were put by the WBC board, which had Dillian Whyte won, the winner of the third Fury-Wilder fight has to fight without an intervening bout against Dillian Whyte.

“That now has changed. Dillian has lost, so there are no limitations at the moment for the winner of Fury-Wilder to do any fight whatsoever.

“An ultimate unification would be something that everyone would like to see. It’s a matter that brings boxing to the highest level.”

While Whyte’s title shot would have been immediate had he overcome Povetkin, the Russian’s victory does not grant him the same right. As Sulaiman explained.

“That is a matter to be determined. The WBC will analyse the situation. Povetkin is the interim champion now. That’s a position in the rules that he is mandatory, so the timing of the enforcement of the mandatory has of course changed from the ruling what the WBC in the past months have ratified at the convention.”

Sulaiman confirmed that it is possible the mandatory contender status could be on the line if and when Whyte and Povetkin rematch. Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn has said he’d like their second fight to take place before the end of the year.