Dillian Whyte could get his long-awaited world heavyweight title shot against Tyson Fury this year, according to the World Boxing Council (WBC).
Whyte has been waiting for seems an eternity as mandatory contender for the hallowed green belt currently held by Fury (30-0-1) – with the deadline for that title challenge set as the end of February 2021.
‘The Body Snatcher’ (27-1) recently took legal action in a bid to ensure that deadline is enforced, on the back of the announcement that Fury had ‘agreed in principle’ the financial structure of a two-fight deal with fellow British world champion Anthony Joshua.
Before Fury vs Whyte can happen, Fury must first meet former WBC king Deontay Wilder (42-1-1) in their third fight, which had been expected to take place first in July and then in October. But the global COVID-19 pandemic scuppered both those dates.
Wilder though has been silent as he recovers from bicep surgery, leading Eddie Hearn – promoter to both Whyte and Joshua – to open question whether the fight will actually happen.
And WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has confirmed that if for any reason it did not, his organisation would have no issue with Whyte moving in to take Wilder’s place before the end of 2020.
He told Sky Sports: “It could happen if they reach an agreement, and they accept that to happen. It could happen yes.”
As of now though, with Fury vs Wilder 3 in theory still very much on, Sulaiman re-iterated the WBC’s current stance.
“There’s so much hype, so much speculation about so many different things. There’s the position that’s very clear. The third fight (between Fury and Wilder) and then the mandatory must take place,” he said.
“There are resources known in the sport that could lead to other scenarios, but the WBC’s position and ruling is as I stated.”
Currently Whyte – who has not boxed since outpointing Pole Mariusz Wach on the undercard of Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr 2 in Saudi Arabia last December – is preparing for a tricky assignment against Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1) on Saturday August 22 (live on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN). That bout will be the showpiece of Hearn’s Matchroom Fight Camp – staged in grounds of the company’s palatial Brentwood, Essex HQ.
Povetkin, even at the age of 40, is a dangerous foe for Whyte, having only lost twice in a long career – against Wladimir Klitschko and Joshua.