Dillian Whyte and Dominic Breazeale willing to face each other
By Scott Gilfoid: Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) and WBC heavyweight mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) are willing to face each other in the World Boxing Council’s ordered fight for the WBC interim heavyweight title. Earlier on Tuesday, the WBC ordered the two heavyweights to start negotiations for a fight between. There’s a purse bid scheduled for March 19 at the WBC’s headquarters in Mexico City, Mexico.
“Yeahhhhhhh boyyyyyyy awwwwww snapppppppp,” Whyte said when he heard the news of the WBC ordering the Breazeale fight for him.
Here’s what Breazeale said:
This move will allow Joshua some breathing room though, as he now doesn’t have to face the winner of the Wilder vs. Fury rematch, and he doesn’t need to worry about Whyte, since he’s going to be fighting the winner of that match. What this means is Joshua has a better chance of holding onto his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles for a little while longer before he needs to fight the guy that emerges from those fights. However, it might not be Whyte. Breazeale could beat Whyte, and that ruin Hearn’s vision thing about having an eventual Joshua vs. Dillian fight where both guys are with Matchroom, and only Eddie has his finger prints on the gear shift of the promotion. If Wilder beats Fury and then knocks out Whyte, then Joshua will still have to face Deontay, and that’s a scary scenario for him and for his wily promoter Hearn. But more than that, it will keep Hearn from having full control of the promotion like he would have if Whyte is the one that emerges victorious from his fights against Breazeale and the winner of the Wilder-Fury 2 fights. Whyte and the Wilder-Fury rematch winner are going to be tied down for the reminder of 2019 if the WBC orders the winner of the Wilder vs. Fury to take on Dillian in the second half of 2019. Joshua will be able to take a soft fight against Kubrat Pulev to satisfy his IBF mandatory requirements, there will be little risk for him losing.
Some boxing fans say that the WBC’s decision to order Breazeale and Whyte to fight for their interim heavyweight title is basically just another way for sanctioning body to have a second eliminator bout in order to appease Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who wants his fighter Dillian to be the mandatory challenger to the winner of the rematch between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Since Hearn was unsuccessful in getting Wilder to agree to a fight with Whyte for the purse that he offered him, he now has the chance to potentially force him face him if Dillian beats Breazeale. However, even if Whyte becomes the mandatory challenger to Wilder, it doesn’t mean he’s going to get an immediate title shot against him, because unification fights come before mandatory defenses. If Wilder can work a deal to fight IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) in a unification fight, then Whyte will have to wait his turn to fight the winner of that match.
Here’s the WBC’s rationale for ordering the Breazeale vs. Whyte fight:
‘In order to provide activity to the heavyweight division and address the rights of Breazeale as mandatory challenger, the WBC is ordering a fight for the interim championship. The WBC is hereby ordering Dominique Breazeale to fight…Dillian Whyte for the WBC Interim Heavyweight championship.”
The WBC makes it seem like they’re doing Breazeale, 33, a favor by ordering him to fight Whyte instead of the other way around. The guy that the WBC is doing a favor to is clearly Whyte and his promoter Hearn, who were hoping to get Breazeale to take a fight against him. If the WBC hadn’t hadn’t made this move, Hearn likely would have had to throw a ton of money at Breazeale to give a big enough offer to get him to agree to fight Dillian. But with the WBC ordering Breazeale to fight Whyte, Hearn doesn’t have to do that now. It’s a win-win for Hearn and Matchroom, and clearly a lose-lose situation for Breazeale, because he’s already the mandatory challenger for Wilder.
If the WBC didn’t make this move of ordering Breazeale to fight Whyte in what amounts to be a second heavyweight title eliminator, then all he’d have to do is wait for the winner of the Wilder vs. Fury rematch so that he could face them for big money. Breazeale earned his mandatory position with the WBC in beating Eric Molina by an 8th round stoppage on November 4, 2011. But now Breazeale is going to have to earn his mandatory position a second time by fighting Whyte. The thing is, if Breazeale tells the WBC he’s not interested in fighting for their interim title, that he’d prefer to use his mandatory position to fight the Wilder-Fury winner, the WBC would likely strip of that status and either give it to Whyte or pick the next available contender in their top 15 ranking and order him to fight Dillian. That would be #2 WBC Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz. Gilfoid’s guess is the WBC wouldn’t order Whyte to fight Ortiz. The WBC would put it to a vote with their WBC Board of Governors, and they in turn would likely make Whyte the interim WBC champion and new mandatory for the Wilder vs. Fury 2 winner. As such, Breazeale is stuck between a rock and a hard place with the WBC ordering him to fight Whyte. If Breazeale says no to the fight, then he loses his mandatory position and won’t be able to fight the Wilder-Fury winner. If Breazeale loses to Whyte, he’ll out on the big payday he would have received had he fought the Wilder vs. Fury winner. The money that Breazeale is going to make fighting Whyte is likely far less than what he would get fighting the winner of the Wilder vs. Fury winner. It’s a bad deal any way you want to look at it if your Breazeale to have to fight Whyte unless he wins the fight. That’s not going to be easy though, because that match will likely take place in the UK at the O2 Arena, which is where Whyte has fought six times in the last four years. The O2 has become Whyte’s new home. It’s not going to be easy for Breazeale to beat Whyte in the UK at the O2 unless he knocks him out.