Dillian Whyte has accepted a lot of risky fights during his well-documented, frustrating pursuit of a heavyweight title shot.
Now that the London-based contender has avenged his knockout loss to Alexander Povetkin, Whyte wants a gimme. The WBC interim heavyweight champion called for a low-risk, high-reward opportunity as he stood alongside promoter Eddie Hearn on Saturday night in Gibraltar.
“Man, this guy, listen, Eddie likes to put me in these hard fights,” Whyte told Sky Sports following his fourth-round technical knockout of Povetkin in their immediate rematch. “It’s time he get me an easy fight and I can make some damn money, and not take so much risk.”
Hearn agreed with Whyte’s take on what should be next for the rejuvenated Jamaican. While Whyte and Hearn would love for him to finally land a fight against former WBC champion Deontay Wilder, it seems as though they’ll pursue a less imposing opponent for his return to the ring sometime this summer.
“I think he’s right,” Hearn said. “You know, I would like to see him box quickly again in the summer. Maybe let’s go over to the [United] States, have a fight over there, because we know there’s a logjam.”
The logjam has been created by the two-fight deal to which WBC champ Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs), the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champ, tentatively have agreed.
The 32-year-old Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) won back the WBC interim title from Russia’s Povetkin (36-3-1, 25 KOs) in their main event at Europa Point Sports Complex. There still is no guarantee that Whyte will be reinstated as the mandatory challenger for Fury’s WBC belt.
Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), who lost the WBC crown to Fury 13 months ago in Las Vegas, is the WBC’s number one-ranked contender. Fury owed Wilder a third fight per terms of contracts for their rematch, but the window within which it was supposed to be scheduled expired.
Mauricio Sulaiman, the president of the WBC, suggested during an interview with Sky Sports before Whyte topped Povetkin that a Wilder-Whyte elimination match might be ordered.
“Listen, for me, we called for the Deontay Wilder fight for a long, long time,” Hearn said. “He actually DMd Dillian Whyte and told him, ‘I will never, ever give you that fight.’ Right? That’s right. And now, he got knocked out, he’s calling for the fight with Dillian Whyte. So, for me, that’s a stadium fight. That’s a colossal fight. But that was a lot of pressure tonight. I’d like to get him back out quickly in the summer, maybe go over to the States and have a big fight as well.
“And, you know, the ultimate aim has always been for Dillian Whyte to challenge for the world heavyweight title. Everyone knows in boxing he’s a handful for anyone in the division. Tonight was about getting his career back on track, the world title ambitions back on track. Coming back from that knockout, it wasn’t easy. He showed tonight the determination. He wasn’t gonna be denied.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.