Dillian Whyte vs. Kubrat Pulev purse bid ordered by IBF on May 10
By Scott Gilfoid: Heavyweight contenders Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) and former heavyweight title challenger Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) have failed to negotiate a fight between them for an IBF title eliminator. As such, the International Boxing Federation has ordered a purse bid between the management of Whyte and Pulev for May 10 at the IBF’s headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey, according to Dan Rafael.
Whyte is going to need to make up his mind whether he wants to go the mandatory route or not for a world title shot against Joshua, because he’s been dragging his feet at the opportunities he’s being given.
Whyte thought he had a chance to get the WBC mandatory spot with his recent fight against former WBA heavyweight champion Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne last March, but the WBC didn’t see that as a good enough ‘W’ for them to make him the mandatory to Wilder.
You can’t blame the WBC for not making Whyte the mandatory for Wilder, as his fight with Browne was a total mismatch from the word go. Browne was inactive leading up to that fight, and he looked badly out of shape. The WBC has to have standards. They’ve done the right thing by ordering Whyte to fight Luis Ortiz for the WBC secondary mandatory.
If Whyte wants the fight with Deontay Wilder bad enough, he’ll agree to take on Ortiz. Of course, there would be tremendous risk for Whyte in taking on Ortiz, but that goes with the territory. At least if Whyte were to beat Ortiz, he will have made a name for himself and it would help make a fight between him and Wilder a lot bigger.
Pulev has turned his career around since losing to former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2014 in a 5th round TKO defeat. Pulev has a 5-fight winning streak going, and he’s looking very hard to beat. One of Pulev’s wins during the last three years is a 12 round split decision victory over Dereck Chisora in 2016. Pulev had a chance last year to fight Joshua but he had to pull out of the fight with a shoulder problem. He was replaced by Carlos Takam, who did an admirable job despite getting stopped in the 10th round.
The Whyte vs. Pulev winner, if the fight happens, will decide which of the two will be the mandatory challenger to IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (21-0, 2Os). Whyte, 29, is kind of spoiled right now, because he’s got three ways he can get a title shot. They are as follows:
• The World Boxing Council recently ordered a title eliminator between Whyte and Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz for the mandatory spot to get a crack at WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. This would be a secondary mandatory for the winner of the Whyte vs. Ortiz fight. Dominic Breazeale is currently the WBC mandatory to Wilder, and he’s just waiting for his title shot. If Whyte agrees to fight Ortiz, which appears to be highly unlikely, the winner of the fight will need to wait until Breazeale gets his title shot against Wilder before they get a shot at Deontay. Whyte is not happy about having to go through the highly skilled Ortiz, so it’s unlikely he’ll take that option to get a title shot.
• Whyte vs. Pulev. If Whyte beats Pulev, 36, in an IBF title eliminator, then that’ll lock him as the mandatory challenger to IBF belt holder Joshua. Whyte will make more money if he becomes the IBF mandatory than if he were to get a title shot against Joshua in as voluntary title shot
• Whyte can fight Joshua in a voluntary title defense. Whyte can’t use this method to get a title shot against Wilder though, as he’s not interested in fighting him unless Hearn gives him the $7 million that he’s been asking for to take that fight
Whyte seems to be less interested in a fight against Pulev than is fighting the likes of Alexander Povetkin, which isn’t going to happen. Whyte called out the Russian fighter last March after he obliterated David Price in five rounds on the undercard of Joshua vs. Joseph Parker in Cardiff, Wales.
Whyte already lost to Joshua three years ago in a 7th round knockout in December 2015. With the careful match-making by his promoter Eddie Hearn, Whyte has won his last 7 fights, albeit against weak opposition. Whyte has called out the talented fighters, but none of them see him as being a worthwhile fight because they can make a lot more money fighting Joshua. If Whyte wasn’t promoted by Hearn, Wilder and Povetkin probably would have jumped at the chance to fight him and get decent money. There’s no point in either of them taking on Whyte when they can get a lot more dough fighting Joshua. The thing is, Hearn has been dragging his feet about letting Wilder and Povetkin fight Joshua.
It’ll be interesting to see if Whyte and Pulev end up fighting each other. I have a feeling that Whyte will bow out of the fight and simply take the lazy way of getting a title shot against Joshua by having Hearn give him a voluntary shot at him simply by him being with the same promotional company. Whyte obviously doesn’t want to lose before he gets a shot at the big money against Joshua, and he would have a very good chance of getting beaten by Pulev and Ortiz. Those are good fighters with a lot of talent.