We’ve been over the recent happenings and speculation for other happenings in the heavyweight division about 149 times in the last four months, as the division is essentially at a standstill with its big names not fighting until at least late this year, other than Dillian Whyte, who will face Alexander Povetkin on Aug. 22 in the United Kingdom.
Whyte (27-1, 18 KO) has been in a lot of headlines recently, largely pertaining to his would-be mandatory shot at the WBC heavyweight title held by Tyson Fury. The two have gone back-and-forth on social media, and for once, it does seem like the 32-year-old Whyte is actually, truly being called “mandatory challenger” by the WBC.
But Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO) has a contractually obligated third bout with Deontay Wilder to take care of first. Sky Sports posed the question to Mauricio Sulaiman of the WBC, if Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO) can’t go this year due to injury — it’s been said that he’s recovering from surgery, and he’s definitely been quiet while everyone else has been talking a lot — would Whyte get a shot this year, perhaps?
Sulaiman says he’s open to that scenario, and also noted that either way, Whyte will be owed his shot before any possible Fury-Anthony Joshua fight:
“It could happen if they reach an agreement, and they accept that to happen. It could happen, yes. ... There’s so much hype, so much speculation about so many different things. There’s the position that’s very clear. The third fight and then the mandatory must take place.”
The current plan for Fury-Wilder 3 is Dec. 19, but everyone involved with the promotion agrees the fight will need a paying live audience, which could very well mean it can’t happen in the United States, no matter the optimism of certain promoters that we might be able to have crowds at sporting events by the fall. That in itself isn’t necessarily a roadblock, but could potentially complicate things at least a bit.
And while Wilder and team have given no indication that he’s currently healthy, they’ve also given no indication that he isn’t, and even if he did biceps surgery as reported, December is still a fairly long time away.
At any rate, Whyte needs to remain focused on Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KO), who may be 40 but remains a quality fighter and a solid contender in the division, far from a gimme win. If the Russian beats Whyte, then there’s no mandatory for Whyte in the first place.