Tyson Fury and his team were granted the purse split sought for a potential mandatory title defense.

Whether or not that fight materializes could come down to the response from the other side.

BoxingScene.com has learned that the World Boxing Council (WBC) has approved a prior request from Top Rank, Fury’s co-promoter who called for an 80/20 purse split for the mandatory title fight between the lineal and WBC heavyweight champion and current interim titlist Dillian Whyte.

The ruling from the WBC—which was first reported by Chris McKenna of Daily Star in the United Kingdom, where both heavyweights are based—was also accompanied with a purse bid date of January 11, 2022 unless both sides are able to come to an agreement during that time frame.

“We ordered (the fight) on Thursday,” Mauricio Sulaiman, longtime president of the WBC told BoxingScene.com on Thursday, taking time from celebrating his 52nd birthday to confirm the news. “The consideration for the 80/20 split comes from the purses the fighters have earned in their recent fights.”

Manchester’s Fury (31-0-1, 22KOs), 31, is coming off his second consecutive knockout win over Deontay Wilder (42-2-1, 41KOs), earning an eleventh-round stoppage over the former WBC titlist in their trilogy bout this past October 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The third fight between the pair of familiar rivals was contractually owed to Wilder, who exercised a clause in the contract for their rematch which was won by Fury via one-sided seventh-round stoppage last February at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

A lengthy arbitration process preceded a final ruling in Wilder’s favor, which the WBC honored as part of an agreement that delayed plans for Whyte (28-2, 19KOs) to receive what he believed was a mandatory shot at the title. Whyte was to next face the winner, although an active legal matter between the 34-year-old interim titlist and the sanctioning body delayed plans to formally order the fight.

The WBC addressed the latter part during its annual convention this past November in Mexico City, where the organization’s headquarters are also based. Carl Moretti, vice president of operations for Top Rank vocally petitioned for an 80/20 split to be assigned to the fight, in line with the drastic paydays earned by the two boxers over their past several fights. The request was in stark contrast to the traditional 55/45 split enjoyed between a reigning WBC full titlist and interim beltholder. WBC by-laws provide room to go as much as 70/30 in favor of the full champion at its discretion, with a formal request by any involved party to be reviewed by the sanctioning body’s Board of Governors.

The matter was tabled at the time, as WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman refused to further discuss any fight involving Whyte given the pending litigation.

“We cannot discuss any further details whatsoever due to the proceedings,” noted Sulaiman. “The arbitration is still going on. Unfortunately, we’re in the process. We simply made the ruling [today], and that’s where we are right now. That’s why we can’t make any further comments whatsoever.

“This has been a very frustrating process. But I am happy and hopeful that it will get done.”

Top Rank ultimately saw its wish granted, which could become a deal breaker in a fight where talks have already begun and seemingly collapsed. Hall of Fame promoter and Top Rank founder Bob Arum recently claimed in an interview with IFL TV that Whyte was demanding upwards of $10,000,000 to challenge Fury, who would make the second defense of his WBC title and current lineal heavyweight championship reign. 

Failure to reach a deal within the next two weeks could further leave Whyte on the outside looking in. A purse bid hearing for such a fight would undoubtedly generate industry-wide interest, though it would take a $50,000,000 bid for Whyte to walk away with a $10,000,000 payday.  

Recent public claims by Arum suggested that Fury would pursue a non-title fight for the sake of remaining active. Former unified titlist Andy Ruiz (34-2, 22KOs) and resurgent contender Robert Helenius (31-3, 19KOs) were the two most prominent names mentioned. Fury is aiming for his first fight in the United Kingdom since the early stages of his ring return in the summer of 2018 following a 30-plus month ring absence.

Las Vegas is also reportedly in the mix for Fury-Ruiz fight should that fight materialize. Fury has fought in Las Vegas in each of his past four fights, and five in a row in the United States with his first bout with Wilder—a twelve-round, split decision draw—taking place in Los Angeles.

Whyte was the number-one contender in the WBC heavyweight rankings for more than three years from 2017 to 2020, though never officially named the mandatory challenger.

The 34-year-old heavyweight from the Brixton section of London by way of Jamaica inched closer to his first major title fight following a twelve-round win over Oscar Rivas—now the WBC bridgerweight titlist—to win the WBC interim heavyweight title in July 2019. Whyte lost the belt in his first title defense, suffering a one-punch, fifth-round knockout at the hands of Alexander Povetkin last August at Matchroom Boxing headquarters in Brentwood, Essex.

Whyte regained the belt in emphatic fashion, battering Povetkin en route to a fourth-round knockout in their rematch this past March 27 in Gibraltar.

BoxingScene.com staff writer Manouk Akopyan contributed to this story.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox