If Tyson Fury remains the WBC heavyweight champion and Dillian Whyte keeps winning, a Fury-Whyte fight must happen at some point.
Whyte is the mandatory challenger for Fury’s title. Before the COVID-19 pandemic changed every boxer’s schedule, the WBC announced that Whyte would have to get that title shot by February 2021.
Mauricio Sulaiman, the president of the WBC, told BoxingScene.com recently that deadline could change because the pandemic pushed back the third bout between Fury and former champion Deontay Wilder.
If Fury beats Wilder again, he wants to square off against Anthony Joshua, and then fight Whyte. Fury-Joshua would be the biggest fight in British boxing history, but Whyte has been the WBC’s number one contender for well over two years.
“You know, I got this Wilder rematch and then we’ll hopefully get the Joshua fight done,” Fury told Sky Sports in an interview. “But if that fight doesn’t happen, then yeah, we’ll take on Dillian Whyte, give him a beating. Why not?”
Whyte won the WBC’s interim championship when he out-pointed Colombia’s Oscar Rivas (26-1, 18 KOs) in their 12-round fight July 20 at O2 Arena in London. That’s the fight, according to Sulaiman, that made Whyte the mandatory challenger for the title then held by Alabama’s Wilder.
London’s Whyte would have to beat Russia’s Alexander Povetkin in his next fight to remain the mandatory challenger for Fury’s title. Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) and Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) were supposed to meet May 2 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, but their fight was postponed until July 4 due to the coronavirus crisis.
Whyte and Povetkin now are expected to fight at some point in July or August at a makeshift venue on the grounds of Matchroom Boxing’s headquarters in Essex, England.
The 31-year-old Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) is contractually obligated to a third fight with Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs).
The date and site for Fury-Wilder III aren’t set. That third bout was postponed from July 20 to October 3, and then indefinitely due to COVID-19.
England’s Joshua will make a mandatory defense of his IBF title against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev in his next fight. Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs), who also owns the WBA, WBO and IBO titles, and Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) were supposed to fight June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, but their postponed bout hasn’t been rescheduled.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.