Dillian Whyte isn’t angry at WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman anymore.
The brash British heavyweight has patched up his philosophical differences with Sulaiman, even though the WBC won’t reinstall him as the mandatory challenger for its heavyweight title until February 2021, if Whyte wins all of his fights until then. Whyte thought he had earned his shot at Deontay Wilder’s title yet again by beating Oscar Rivas on July 20, but the WBC will wait until Whyte’s “situation is resolved” with UK Anti-Doping before moving him back into the top spot in its heavyweight rankings.
The WBC suspended Whyte’s status as its mandatory challenger and stripped him of the interim championship he won versus Rivas due to an adverse finding in a performance-enhancing drug test administered by UK Anti-Doping prior to his 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat of Colombia’s Rivas (26-1, 18 KOs) four months ago at O2 Arena in London. Whyte maintains his innocence and has said he beat Rivas “fair and square.”
The 31-year-old Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) is scheduled to return to the ring Saturday night. He’ll oppose Poland’s Mariusz Wach (35-5, 19 KOs) in a 10-round bout that was a late addition to the Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz Jr. undercard at Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
“I don’t wanna talk about the WBC because, listen, I’ve been removed from [being] the No. 1 contender,” Whyte told BoxingScene.com. “You know me, man. I’ve been getting screwed over in boxing left, right and center, you know? Ain’t nothing new. I’ve been getting screwed over, man. But it is what it is, you know?”
Nevertheless, Whyte has more of an issue with Wilder than the WBC itself. The Jamaican-born, London-based Whyte believes Wilder is avoiding him.
“I’m cool with Mauricio,” Whyte said. “Me and Mauricio is cool. We had a issue first, but me and Mauricio’s cool. I went to Mexico, we hanged out. Me and Mauricio is cool. You know, it’s Deontay Wilder that don’t wanna fight. You know, obviously he’s the champion, so of course he holds a bit more power than what I do. But he don’t wanna fight. Simple as that. Deontay Wilder don’t wanna fight. I’m cool with Mauricio. I ain’t got no beef with Mauricio, but you know, in boxing sometimes you get screwed over.”
Whyte, who has won 10 straight fights since Joshua stopped him nearly four years ago, can’t understand why he hasn’t fought Wilder for the WBC belt by now.
The polarizing Whyte thought he had earned that opportunity long before beating Rivas. In April 2018, however, the WBC oddly ordered a bout between Wilder and Breazeale, who was ranked one spot below the top-rated Whyte in its rankings.
Sulaiman explained that Breazeale beat Eric Molina in a final eliminator in November 2017 to guarantee his shot at Wilder. Eddie Hearn, Whyte’s promoter, contended then that Sulaiman assured him in writing that Breazeale-Molina was not a final eliminator.
That didn’t stop the WBC from ordering Whyte to fight Luis Ortiz to become Wilder’s second mandatory challenger, after Breazeale. Ortiz had been stopped in the 10th round by Wilder less than two months before the WBC’s ruling.
Whyte-Ortiz never materialized, but Ortiz got a rematch with Wilder before Whyte even received his first crack at Wilder’s title.
Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) knocked out Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs) in the first round of their mandated match May 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“I’ll let you guys deal with it, man,” Whyte said. “You know, I’m a license-holder. I’m in these guys’ rankings, so I can’t really say nothing because these guys are moving mad, man. They’re treating me like I’m some journeyman winning these fights. I’m out here winning these fights. I’m out here, I’m winning these fights. You know, I’m fighting their challengers and all these potential banana skins. I’m beating all these guys.”
If Whyte ever gets his shot at the heavy-handed Wilder, he won’t take the same approach Ortiz took in their rematch November 23. The 40-year-old Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs, 2 NC) was winning their second fight on all three scorecards before Wilder knocked out the Cuban southpaw with a right hand in the seventh round at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“You’ve gotta stay switched on and you’ve gotta take the fight to him,” Whyte said of how he’d handle Wilder. “Ortiz was, and then he sorta slowed down, like he thought, ‘Oh, I’m ahead. I’m gonna chill out.’ F*ck that! Get this work. Get this work. You know? He done better being out of shape last time than he did this time being in shape. Weird. You came to the place in great shape. Motivated, great training camp, been eating well and all this stuff. And you did better last time when you wasn’t, you know? Go and get this money, man. You know?”
Whyte’s fight with Wach will be part of a Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view show in the United Kingdom (5 p.m. GMT; £24.95 in HD). Whyte-Wach will be streamed by DAZN in the United States (noon ET/9 a.m. PT).
Beating the 39-year-old Wach would keep the heavily favored Whyte at least in position to regain his mandatory status with the WBC early in 2021. Wilder, meanwhile, is focused on his upcoming rematch against Tyson Fury, who replaced Whyte as the WBC’s mandatory challenger for Wilder’s crown.
Wilder and England’s Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) tentatively are scheduled to fight February 22 in a rematch of their controversial draw a year ago at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Whereas Fury figures to take a tactical approach in his rematch with Wilder, Whyte would go after Wilder as soon as the opening bell rings if they eventually meet.
“I’m gonna swing on him,” Whyte said. “I gonna swing on him. I’m gonna swing on him, straight. I’m gonna come out in round one and I’m gonna swing on him. I ain’t gonna go out there and play no game. I’m gonna go out there and I’m gonna swing on him. I’m gonna start swinging on him in round one – straight. I’m gonna start swinging on him from round one.”