WBC Re-Confirms Dillian Whyte’s Mandatory Challenger Status

Dillian Whyte In Ring

  • The WBC has confirmed that the winner of Fury vs. Wilder must face Dillian Whyte next.
  • Dillian Whyte is the WBC’s mandatory challenger.
  • However, Whyte must first defeat Alexander Povetkin on August 22, 2020.

Dillian Whyte has been reassured that he will get his long-awaited title shot.

During the WBC’s 58th annual convention which was held virtually in St. Petersburg, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman confirmed Whyte’s position. Said Sulaiman:

“The mandatory defense will be ordered the day after the Wilder-Fury fight. Of course, it’s impossible if the fight happens December 19 for the fight to take place in February 2021.”
“The date stated in February is not the set date. “The winner of Wilder-Fury is committed to fight Whyte if he is victorious on August 22. A letter will go out one day after their fight—which we were told will be in December—for negotiations to begin.”

Whyte has been the WBC’s #1 ranked heavyweight contender since 2017. However, his status as mandatory challenger was declared only after his 12-round decision win over the previously unbeaten Oscar Rivas in August of 2019. A ruling was made that Whyte wait out for the winner of the grudge match between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, with the winner honoring him as mandatory challenger straightaway.

The Wait Continues

But then the COVID-19 pandemic struck and has furthered delayed the third fight between Fury and Wilder. Fury won the WBC belt when he knocked out Wilder last February. Wilder exercised his rematch option and the fight was initially booked for July 18, 2020. The current health crisis pushed the date to October 3rd, and now it is tentatively scheduled for December 19, 2020.

Fury announced last June that he and unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua have agreed to fight each other twice in 2021. Joshua still has to defend the IBF, WBA, and WBO titles against Kubrat Pulev. That bout was also postponed due to the pandemic and is being targeted for December as well.

A lot of things can happen in a division where one punch can alter destinies. Fury could lose to Wilder and Pulev could pull off the upset against Joshua. But regardless of who wins in these two fights or if Fury decides to face Joshua after beating Wilder, one thing is certain: Dillian Whyte is next in line for the WBC belt. The wait though, more than 1,000 days as Whyte claims, continues.

Whyte Must Do His Part

Meanwhile, Whyte will have to do his part first before he could even think of winning the WBC title. The interim WBC heavyweight champion will face former WBA (regular) heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin on August 22, 2020 in a Sky Sports Box Office event which will be held in Essex, England.

During the WBC convention, it was also announced that the bout will not only be for the interim WBC title but to sweeten the pot, the WBC has added the Diamond Belt as prize for the winner. Said Sulaiman during the convention:

“The WBC Diamond belt is going to be awarded to the winner. This is the best fight since the pandemic. Dillian Whyte is the interim champion and mandatory contender. If he is victorious, he is going to fight the winner of Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder which is scheduled for December.”

The wait has been long for Dillian Whyte. But he has never been this close to the belt before. The WBC has confirmed his mandatory challenger status and has added the Diamond Belt as prize in his next fight. The rest is up to Whyte now.

Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher.