Dillian Whyte foiled, WBC orders Wilder vs. Breazeale
By Scott Gilfoid: WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has ordered WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder to defend against his mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale in his next fight, which means that #1 WBC Dillian Whyte and his promoter Eddie Hearn are going to have to look in a different direction for a fight. It was always a hopeless dream on their part anyway, thinking the WBC would force the Whyte-Breazeale fight to still go ahead for their interim WBC strap instead of enforcing the Wilder vs. Breazeale mandatory. Breazeale had been waiting for 2 years for his title shot. The WBC wasn’t going to make him jump through another hoop by having him fight Whyte in a needless match for their interim heavyweight title. That would look so wrong if they did that.
The WBC has a purse bid scheduled for April 4 for the Wilder vs. Breazeale fight if the management for the two fighters are unable to come to an agreement for a fight before then. It’s not likely the fight will go to a purse bid, though, as both are with Premier Boxing Champions.
Hearn said this week that he was going to ask the World Boxing Council to hold to their previous order for the Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) and #4 WBC Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) to fight for the interim WBC heavyweight title with the winner of that contest being the new mandatory for Wilder’s WBC title. Hearn said that if Wilder went ahead and fought Breazeale, 33, next, that fight would count ONLY as a voluntary defense for Deontay and not for a mandatory. The winner of the Wilder-Breazeale fight would then have to immediately face Whyte in their next match, as he would be the new mandatory to the WBC, without having to fight anyone to earn that spot.
Unfortunately for Hearn and Whyte, the WBC didn’t see it that way, and instead have ordered Wilder to face former heavyweight world title challenge Breazeale next. It’s obviously bad news for Whyte, because the winner of the Wilder-Breazeale fight can put him on hold until possibly 2021, while they make voluntary defenses. As such, Whyte will have to stay busy, winning fights until possibly 2021 before he gets a title shot. It’s highly unlikely Whyte will get a title shot against Wilder before 2021. Of course, that doesn’t mean Whyte can’t fight for a world title. He’s promoted, at least for now, by Matchroom Boxing, who also promote Anthony Joshua. As long as Whyte is willing to agree the the money that’s being offered to him by Hearn and Joshua for a title shot, he can probably get a crack at a world title in late 2019. If not then, there’s an excellent chance that Whyte faces Joshua in 2020.
Here’s what the WBC said in news release as to why they ordered the Wilder vs. Breazeale fight next instead of the Wilder-Whyte fight:
“On February 26, 2019, the WBC notified the Wilder and Fury camps that while Champion Wilder had confirmed to the WBC his wish to honor the WBC-ordered direct rematch with Fury, the latter had confirmed to his decision to fight a different opponent next. Fury’s decision resulted in the WBC cancelling the Wilder vs. Fury direct rematch order.”
There you have it. Fury backed out of the Wilder rematch, that was tentatively scheduled for May 18, and decided to go in a different direction for his next fight. This move came AFTER Fury signed a contract with Top Rank Boxing and ESPN, who wish to have him let the Wilder rematch stew for a while. Although the rematch is still supposed to be taking place in late 2019, it’s believed by a lot of boxing fans that’s not going to be the case. What do you expect the WBC to do after Fury chose not to want to take the fight with Wilder? The WBC no longer had any need for the Whyte vs. Breazeale fight, which essentially was a second WBC title eliminator for all intents and purposes. Once Fury backed out of the Wilder fight, it cleared the for the WBC to go ahead with their original plan of ordering the Wilder-Breazeale fight to get the long overdue mandatory out of the way. The only reason the WBC ordered the Whyte vs. Breazeale fight was because Wilder couldn’t take his mandatory fight at the time because he was going to face Fury in a rematch on May 18. The WBC were going to allow the Wilder-Fury II rematch, given the controversy of their previous fight on December 1 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
It’s believed Fury will take four soft opponents in the U.S states to try and build his name for the casual boxing fans, and then Top Rank and ESPN will look to setup the Wilder-Fury II rematch on pay-per-view. In theory, that’s a nice plan to let the fight marinate. However, asking Wilder and Fury to fight other guys for any length of time is a risky proposition. Both could lose, and/or look bad and watch what little popularity they have in the States deteriorate to nothingness. Fury is hard to watch as it is by a lot of boxing fans, who dislike his spoiling style of fighting, and prefer to see more entertaining fighters that go to war. Fury
Here’s some more from the WBC on WHY they’re now ordering the Wilder vs. Breazeale fight:
“In light of the sequence of events set forth above, the WBC Board of Governors have decided to enforce the ruling from The WBC Convention of October, 2018, and is hereby ordering the following: WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder shall fulfill his mandatory obligations by fighting Dominic Breazeale next…If no agreement is reached between the camps, the WBC shall conduct a purse offer ceremony on April 4, 2019 at the WBC Offices in Mexico City, Mexico…Mauricio Sulaiman, President.”
That’s it for Whyte. He’s going to have to go in a different direction for his next fight rather than fight Wilder for his WBC title. One suggestion would be for Whyte to take on Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) next if he wants to increase his incredibility with the boxing public that he deserves a world title shot. A lot of fans think Whyte has been ducking the Ortiz fight for a couple of years now, while wily promoter Eddie Hearn sets him up easy fights against the likes of Robert Helenius, Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne, Dereck Chisora, Joseph Parker, Ivica Bacurin, Malcolm Tann, Ian Lewison and David Allen. If Whyte wanted to fight for a world title against Wilder, he should have agreed to fight ‘King Kong’ Ortiz when the WBC ordered them to face each other in a title eliminator. Breazeale had no problems with the WBC ordering him to fight in an eliminator against former two time world title challenger Eric Molina in 2017. Breazeale, 6’7″, went along with the program, beat Molina by an eighth round stoppage, and now he’s the WBC mandatory to Wilder. That’s how you get a title shot by doing what the sanctioning bodies want you do to instead of choosing to fight guys like Big Daddy Browne, Helenius and Chisora.
It’s not the end of the world for Whyte. Like this writer said, he can always fight Ortiz if he wants to show the boxing fans that he’s for real. But if Hearn is going to continue to match Whyte against older fighters that are pushing 40, it’s not going to help him.