Dillian Whyte won’t hold his breath awaiting a shot at the WBC heavyweight title if he wins his rematch against Alexander Povetkin on Saturday night.
Whyte would at least expect to be reinstated as the WBC’s mandatory challenger, however, if he avenges his fifth-round knockout defeat to Povetkin on August 22. London’s Whyte believes he was the WBC’s mandatory challenger for more than 2½ years before Povetkin upset him seven months ago, yet he never received a shot at Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.
Even if the WBC were to implement Whyte as its mandatory challenger again, he’d likely have to wait quite some time before he would get a title shot. Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) appear headed toward back-to-back title unification fights, which could keep the WBC, IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO belts tied up for more than a year.
“They better f—ing acknowledge it,” Whyte said during a virtual conference call Tuesday. “I’ve waited long enough, you know? The mandatory situation is still going on. Me and Povetkin is in the contract. It’s not like I’ve lost to someone and then … no, it’s still a contract. So, the mandatory position is just on hold at the minute. So, the winner of this fight should just be mandatory and should be in line for the title fight next. Hopefully, I don’t have to wait a thousand days again or whatever it was.”
Russia’s Povetkin (36-1-2, 25 KOs) and Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) will fight for the WBC interim heavyweight title again at Europa Point Sports Complex in Gibraltar. Whyte values the interim title, despite that winning it in July 2019 didn’t lead to a shot at the WBC’s legitimate championship.
“The interim belt is a good thing because it’s just like a WBA regular, world title,” Whyte said. “It’s the equivalent of the same title, the WBA one, at heavyweight. You understand? It’s the equivalent of the same title Klitschko [once held]. I think it’s a good title and it’s a belt that gives you, the trinket that gives you – you hold your place in the rankings, obviously. We all know boxing. Boxing’s a shady sport, man. You know, you can be mandatory, you can be number one, you can do whatever – pay all the sanctioning fees, and still don’t get a title shot because if you’re dangerous, you’re dangerous.
“And guys will avoid you, you understand? Because I’m the kind of guy that can [ruin] these big fights to happen because I knock someone out. You understand? So, it’s difficult, man. But it is what it is. But I think the belt is a good thing because, you know, it’s still a world title. It says world champion [on it]. It doesn’t say interim world title. It says world title. But it is what it is.”
Mauricio Sulaiman, the president of the WBC, told Sky Sports last week that he would welcome an elimination bout between Whyte and Wilder to determine the mandatory challenger for the Fury-Joshua winner. Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) was owed a third fight with Fury in the contracts for their rematch, but the deadline by which it had to be scheduled expired, which enabled Fury to pursue his showdown with Joshua.
“Listen, if the fans wanna see it and it makes sense, then I’m all about that, man,” Whyte said in reference to fighting Wilder. “You know, I’m all about that. You know, I’ve never been one … how much time have I tried to fight Deontay Wilder? How many times?”
Wilder is ranked number one by the WBC, five spots ahead of the sixth-ranked Whyte.
The Povetkin-Whyte rematch will headline a Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view show in the United Kingdom (£19.95; 6 p.m. GMT). DAZN will stream it in approximately 200 countries, including the United States (3 p.m. ET; noon PT).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.