Nothing has been or continues to be easy about the process to proceed with the next WBC heavyweight title fight. has learned that a purse bid hearing for the ordered clash between WBC/lineal champion Tyson Fury and WBC interim titlist Dillian Whyte has been postponed by at least one week. The matter was scheduled to serve as the subject of a January 11 purse bid hearing, only to move back to January 18—if not later—as Whyte plans to appeal the purse split assigned to the championship fight.

The proposed battle of British heavyweights comes with a wide pay disparity in favor of Manchester’s Fury (31-0-1, 22KOs), who the WBC previously approved to earn the favorable end of an 80/20 split in the event the matter is settled via purse bid hearing. The ruling goes against the general WBC rules, which allows for a 55/45 split between its world champion and interim titlist though with room to adjust to as high as 70/30 under the sanctioning body’s own review.

The request for an 80/20 split came from Top Rank during the WBC’s 59th annual convention in Mexico City, at a hotel near the sanctioning body’s business headquarters. The matter was tabled at the time, due to an ongoing legal matter between Brixton’s Whyte (28-2, 18KOs) and the WBC, who at the time refused to render a ruling but has since agreed to allow the two sides to enter talks.

A year-end decision by the WBC ultimately ruled in favor of the defending champion.

“The consideration for the 80/20 split comes from the purses the fighters have earned in their recent fights,” Mauricio Sulaiman, longtime president of the WBC previously told

Whyte and promoter Eddie Hearn revealed in the past week of plans to appeal the WBC ruling, with the next step for the case to be heard either through the court or an assigned arbitration judge. The decision forces yet another delay in the long road to Whyte landing his first shot at a major title.

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.

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

Recent public claims by Arum suggested that Fury would pursue a non-title fight for the sake of remaining active if a fight with Whyte isn’t able to materialize. 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. The U.K. would be an obvious choice for Fury-Whyte, with Fury’s co-promoter Frank Warren having already suggested a March 26 date having been reserved for the occasion.

Warren and Top Rank would, of course, have to obtain the rights to the fight to declare such a fight date, as pointed out by Hearn in a recent interview with UK-based

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. Plans for a stay busy fight versus Otto Wallin last October fell through when Whyte was forced to withdraw due to a shoulder injury, for which he offered medical proof to the WBC in order to retain his current mandatory position.  

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox