Dillian Whyte and Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn are set to meet with WBC brass this weekend, with Whyte seeking a mandatory shot at the WBC heavyweight title, which will be defended on May 18 by Deontay Wilder against current mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale.
The whole situation this year has been messy. Wilder was ordered to rematch Tyson Fury after their Dec. 1 draw, but then Fury signed with Top Rank and ESPN, and put aside any plans for an immediate rematch, as Top Rank aim to first make him a big United States superstar, classic marination leading to — as it definitely always does — an absolute blockbuster fight with Wilder or maybe Anthony Joshua down the road.
Before Fury pulled out of the negotiations, however, Breazeale and Whyte had been ordered to face each other for an interim WBC title, and with it a shot at the Wilder-Fury II winner. But when Fury bailed, Breazeale was inserted as mandatory challenge, and Wilder was ordered to defend against him.
Hearn is framing the selection of Breazeale over Whyte as making no sense:
“We’ve sent a legal letter to the WBC this week and we actually meet with Mauricio Sulaiman, who’s in town for Charlie Edwards’ WBC world title fight on Sky Sports this Saturday, and we’re saying ‘how can you make Breazeale mandatory?’ It just doesn’t make sense. Dillian Whyte is WBC No. 1, and more recently Dillian Whyte was ordered to fight Breazeale for the mandatory position.”
The Breazeale-Whyte order was for an interim WBC title, which despite Eddie Hearn’s complaints is the thing that actually made no sense, given Wilder is fully healthy and active. Whyte is technically ranked No. 1 by the WBC and has their “silver” title. But Breazeale had somewhat quietly held the mandatory position since beating Eric Molina back in Nov. 2017. So while Hearn’s argument does have sound logic to it, it also doesn’t, which isn’t really his fault or anything. This is boxing, and boxing is often stupid and inscrutable, particularly when discussing sanctioning body rankings and issues.
All that said, Hearn is correct that it would make sense for Whyte (25-1, 18 KO) to be installed as the mandatory for the Wilder-Breazeale winner. He’s held that “silver” trinket since beating Robert Helenius back in Oct. 2017. Whyte is not without options, as he also happens to have the WBO’s “international” title, and is their No. 1 ranked contender. But he already passed on a rematch with WBO titleholder Anthony Joshua, which was negotiated earlier this year for April 13 at Wembley Stadium, and his sights seem firmly set on the WBC belt.