Dillian Whyte is set to face Oscar Rivas on July 20 in London, and promoter Eddie Hearn says that things are looking good for that fight to be sanctioned by the WBC as an interim title bout, as well as a final eliminator for mandatory position.
”All we’ve got to do is just confirm some very fair points and we can get rid of this whole mess and everyone can move on with their lives. It’s very, very likely that the Rivas fight will be a final eliminator and for an interim world title,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
Whyte (25-1, 18 KO) has held the WBC’s “silver” title since an Oct. 2017 win over Robert Helenius, and defended it — and thus paid sanctioning fees on it — in wins over Lucas Browne, Joseph Parker, and Dereck Chisora.
Whyte and his team obviously felt this, combined with the fact he’s been the WBC’s No. 1-ranked contender for about 600 days, should have gotten him a mandatory shot at Deontay Wilder by now.
Instead, the WBC recently ordered Wilder to face Dominic Breazeale, who had won an eliminator in late 2017 over Eric Molina, bypassing Whyte and leaving he and his team — apparently the lot of them new to boxing — confused.
WBC’s Mauricio Sulaiman recently expressed his displeasure with the way Whyte has badmouthed the organization, which has a sterling reputation, of course.
All of this is not meant to overlook Rivas (26-0, 18 KO), a solid contender and legitimate threat to beat Whyte in July. If the WBC puts up an interim title and a mandatory position, it’s as much there for Rivas to win as it is Whyte.
As for the WBC title proper, Wilder is set to rematch Luis Ortiz in the fall, likely in late September, while there is a plan in place for Wilder to then rematch Tyson Fury in early 2020 if both win autumn bouts. That could set the Whyte-Rivas winner back until at least the summer of 2020 to get a mandatory shot in, maybe late 2020 or early 2021 if Wilder-Fury were to turn into a trilogy. End of the day, the WBC will make its calls on when to enforce mandatories.