WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman recently gave another sort of half-in, half-out non-explanation of Dillian Whyte’s status with the sanctioning body, where he’s been promised a heavyweight title shot by early 2021, but never actually been called “mandatory challenger” as best I can really tell.
Whyte, who has been ranked as the No. 1 contender for quite some time and currently holds an interim title that shouldn’t exist, after having held the “silver” title that shouldn’t exist, is angry about the whole thing again, as you might expect.
“It’s a joke! It’s a joke,” Whyte told the Sky Sports Boxing Show. “I don’t care whether Tyson Fury and (Deontay) Wilder is contracted. Wilder’s injured. So they should mandate Tyson Fury to fight me as they’ve done before.
“They mandated him to fight me for the diamond belt, then they took it away, but only after Tyson Fury refused to fight me. He refused, it wasn’t me who refused. I accepted the fight that was mandated by the WBC. He refused to fight me and I’m being punished, and they reward him for fighting Tom Schwarz. It’s a joke! It’s an absolute joke!”
The 32-year-old Whyte (27-1, 18 KO) is set to face Alexander Povetkin sometime this summer, which is no easy fight, and he’s put his ranking on the line, essentially, against decent fighters before, too, including Joseph Parker, Derek Chisora, and Oscar Rivas.
One would think he’d have grown tired of this routine by now, but the fact that he’s pursued it so long seems to have him a bit conflicted.
“I’m so far in, what do I do? Do I just abandon my position and move on and go and pursue something else?” he wondered. “Do I just keep pushing forward and keep encouraging the fans to just keep putting pressure on? It’s a joke. The boxing world and the fans need to put pressure on Mauricio Sulaiman to mandate Tyson Fury to fight me next.”
We’ve said many times that it seems even by boxing standards Whyte has been toyed with by the WBC, and you do hate to see it. They’ve dangled the carrot a long time, but instead of just giving him a shot, have tried to placate him with secondary titles, orders to face Tyson Fury that everyone knew Fury wasn’t going to take for another make-believe belt nobody takes seriously (the “diamond” belt), and a lot of, “Oh, later, you’ll get the shot later.”
If I were giving him career advice — which I admit is not my place, but just for the sake of discussion here — I’d say put this all behind you and look for a shot with the WBA, IBF, or WBO. The WBC have yanked Dillian Whyte’s chain a long time. Sulaiman called Whyte “loyal” in his recent comments, but loyal to what? Giving the WBC money to pay into a system that has only given vague promises of rewards down the road?
Whyte wants fans to pressure the WBC, but truthfully even if they try — and some have, surely — it’s not going to lead to anything the WBC doesn’t want to do. If I used my voice as a boxing fan to suggest anything, it’d be for Dillian Whyte to tell the WBC to get lost and focus his energy somewhere else. I’m not saying that that’s not a tough pill to swallow after this much time and that much money in sanctioning fees, but he really doesn’t seem any closer to the end goal than he was two years ago, and it’s not like he hasn’t been fighting and winning.
The WBC hasn’t earned and doesn’t deserve Whyte’s “loyalty” or faith. It’s time to move on.