Dillian Whyte knows he’ll still have to wait quite some time before he finally gets a shot at the WBC heavyweight title that he feels he earned long ago.
Whyte expressed frustration following his knockout of Alexander Povetkin in their rematch Saturday night regarding how he believes he has been mistreated by the WBC. London’s Whyte questioned why two men he considers inferior fighters – Eric Molina and Dominic Breazeale – have received two heavyweight title shots apiece before he has been afforded his first crack at one.
Breazeale and Molina both have been stopped by Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder in world title fights.
“I’ve waited long enough,” Whyte told Sky Sports following his fourth-round technical knockout of Russia’s Povetkin. “There’s no reason I should wait anymore. Why should I wait anymore? Look at Eric Molina – he’s had two world title shots. Dominic Breazeale – two, three. All of these guys, and they’re nobodies compared to me. I come up the ranking the proper way. You know, I was number one challenger and mandatory, and they gave the [WBC title] fight to Dominic Breazeale, who was ranked number three or number five. It’s crazy.”
The Jamaican-born Whyte was ranked number one by the WBC when Breazeale (20-3, 18 KOs), who was rated second by the WBC and had already been knocked out by Joshua, challenged Wilder for the WBC championship in May 2019. Whyte believes he was Wilder’s mandatory challenger for more than a year by then, but WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman claims Whyte didn’t secure mandatory status until he defeated Colombia’s Oscar Rivas by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight in July 2019 at O2 Arena in London.
Whyte won the WBC interim championship versus Rivas in a bout that took place two months after Wilder knocked out Breazeale in the first round at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The WBC curiously declared Breazeale the mandatory challenger for Wilder’s title, despite that he was ranked behind Whyte.
The 32-year-old Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) took back that interim title by stopping Povetkin (36-3-1, 25 KOs) at Europa Point Sports Complex in Gibraltar. Regaining the WBC’s interim championship still doesn’t make him the mandatory challenger for Tyson Fury, who since has beaten Wilder, nor does it change the fact that he was knocked unconscious just seven months ago by a then 40-year-old underdog.
Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), who knocked out Molina in his first title defense in June 2015, is ranked number one among the WBC’s heavyweight contenders. The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native seemingly has a stronger case for fighting the Fury-Joshua winner because he held the WBC crown for five years before Fury beat him and had a clause in his contract for their rematch that was supposed to guarantee a third fight with Fury, who stopped Wilder in the seventh round 13 months ago in Las Vegas.
Regardless, Whyte will likely have to wait at least until Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) fight twice before he’ll get a coveted title shot. He might have to take yet another risky bout before then, something he has done numerous times in recent years, most notably against Dereck Chisora, former WBO champ Joseph Parker and a then-unbeaten Rivas.
“I’ll just break Joshua’s leg, man, so they can’t make the fight,” Whyte joked. “Then after, I’ll just stand [in] and fight Fury.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.