Hearn says Dillian Whyte’s WBC resolution is being finalized today
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn is saying that #1 WBC heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte’s resolution with the World Boxing Council is being finalized today, and he says it’s a “major moment for his career,” in speaking to IFL TV.
What this means is the WBC is going to make Whyte’s upcoming July 20th fight against Oscar Rivas a title eliminator with the winner becoming the immediate mandatory to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Hearn is confident that Whyte will defeat Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs) to become the mandatory.
It obviously helps that Hearn picked out Rivas after Whyte previously turned down the WBC’s choice of Luis Ortiz to fight in an eliminator last year in April. It’s unclear why Whyte turned down the Ortiz fight. Obviously, he’s a tougher option than Rivas due to his talent and punching power. A promoter being able to hand-pick the opponent for his fighter to compete in a title eliminator makes things infinitely easier than when the sanctioning body does the picking.
Here’s what Dan Rafael of ESPN.com said last year on April 25 in reporting the news of the World Boxing Ordering Whyte to face Luis Ortiz:
“The organization ordered a final heavyweight title elimination fight between England’s Dillian Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) and Miami-based Cuban defector Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs) for the right to become the division’s second mandatory challenger behind Dominic Breazeale for the right to challenge titlist Deontay Wilder.”
Whyte chose not to fight Ortiz, and made life harder for himself with that decision.
The way that Hearn seemed so gleeful while talking about the WBC resolution, it appears that the sanctioning body is not only going to make the winner of the Whyte-Rivas fight the mandatory for Wilder, but they’re also going to give a date for when Dillian will get his title shot.
Over the weekend, Hearn said this to skysports.com:
“We won’t give in. 600 days this weekend that Dillian Whyte has been WBC No 1, that’s virtually unheard of and he’s boxed in that period, [Derek] Chisora, [Robert] Helenius, Lucas Browne, Joseph Parker, Chisora again. Let’s not wait 800 or 900 days, so we need a date for the WBC to confirm when Deontay Wilder must fight the winner of that fight.”
Of those four names [Browne, Chisora, Helenious and Parker] that Hearn proudly mentioned Whyte having beaten, only Parker is what you could call a good heavyweight. One can argue that Browne, Chisora & Helenious are all old fighters past their prime.
Whyte made things difficult for himself
Had Whyte agreed to fight Ortiz in the WBC eliminator last year, things would have been so much easier. Hearn is complaining about how Whyte has had to wait 600 days without getting a title shot, but he’s conveniently failing to mention that the WBC ordered the Whyte-Ortiz eliminator last year. Whyte didn’t take the fight.
If a contender isn’t going to take part in an official eliminator when it’s ordered by the WBC, then of course there’s going to be problems. Whyte could have already been made the WBC mandatory if he’d fought Ortiz last year. Instead of doing that, Whyte fought Browne, 40, Chisora, 35, and Parker.
Ramifications of WBC making Whyte-Ortiz an official title eliminator
If the WBC does indeed choose to make the Whyte vs. Rivas a title eliminator, then we’ll likely not see Wilder face Ortiz next. Instead, Wilder will probably go ahead and face Tyson Fury in a rematch, because he would be forced to fight Whyte in his next fight after facing Ortiz. Wilder’s management was hoping to match against against Ortiz in November, and then Fury in early 2020. That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen now. So the process will be speeded up with Fury taking on Wilder in November, and Ortiz being not getting the rematch with Wilder as he hoped. It’s bad for Ortiz, because he turned down a fight against former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Now it looks like Ortiz won’t have the Wilder fight after all.
Fans feel Whyte should have gotten title shot already
A lot of boxing fans don’t understand why Dominic Breazeale was given a title shot against Wilder last May instead of #1 WBC ranked Whyte. The reason Breazeale was given the title shot is because he was the WBC mandatory for 2 years after beating Eric Molina in an official eliminator in 2017. The WBC dropped the ball by failing to order Wilder to defend against Breazeale for two years. In the meantime, the WBC chose to rank Whyte above Breazeale despite the fact that he was already the mandatory for Wilder.
The casual boxing fans, who fail to follow the sport closely, saw that Whyte was ranked ahead of Breazeale at #1 with the WBC, and assumed that he should get the title shot. That’s not how things go with the sanctioning bodies unfortunately. To become the mandatory, a fighter must compete in an eliminator. It’s not about just being ranked #1 with the sanctioning body like Whyte. You have to take part in an eliminator.
When a fighter chooses to ignore the sanctioning body when they tell him to take part in an eliminator, then you end up not getting the title shot. You can argue that Whyte only has himself to blame for not being made the WBC mandatory. Had Whyte fought Luis Ortiz when the WBC wanted him to, he could have earned the shot by now. Of course, Whyte might have lost that fight to Ortiz, so he’s probably better off for having not fought the talented Cuban.
The way things have worked out, Whyte is facing a fighter that his promoter Hearn hand-picked in Oscar Rivas. Hearn has obviously vetted Rivas and given him the all clear as being a safe choice for Whyte to fight. It’s smart on Hearn’s part, but it’s also kind of sad at the same time.
If this was the NFL and one of the teams in the league decided they didn’t want to play against a good team in a playoff, they just couldn’t tell the league, ‘We don’t want to play that team. We’ll play a different team.’ That wouldn’t work. Whyte should have just taken the fight with Ortiz when the WBC ordered the eliminator instead of going the soft route in facing Chisora and Parker.