By Charles Brun: Ater two wasted years pursuing a world title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder with no luck, Dillian Whyte says he now wants to face IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua instead. Whyte feels that it’s a bigger fight with more world titles, and more money against Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) than fighting Wilder.
It’s certainly an easier fight to put together between Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) and Joshua than it would be for him to face WBC champion Wilder. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that Whyte’s waiting time for the Joshua fight won’t be anytime less. For Whyte to get a title shot against Joshua, he’ll need to wait until 2021, since he’s got 2 mandatory defenses he needs to get out of the way in 2020.
That’s the same amount of time Whyte would need to wait for a crack at Wilder’s WBC belt, as the World Boxing Council says he’ll have to wait until after Deontay defends against his current mandatory Tyson Fury. Wilder is facing Fury on February 22 next year. After that, Wilder’s next mandatory [Whyte] won’t be due until a year later in 2021.
Whyte wants dustup against Joshua in UK
“Let Joshua bring back the belts to the UK and fight me,” said Whyte to IFL TV. “Let’s be honest will have a big dustup here in the UK. It’s a massive fight. I make more money fighting him than I do Wilder. More everything. So screw Wilder.
“I’m not going to lie to myself. That fight was one that I realized that I needed changes, and I did that,” said Whyte about his loss to Anthony Joshua in 2015. “Me too,” said Whyte when told by the interviewer that he wants to see him fight Joshua again.
“If he wants it, he can get it. All he needs to do is give me a fair crack at the whip,” Whyte said about wanting to face Joshua.
With Andy Ruiz Jr. getting $5 million for his first fight against Joshua last June, and then another $12 million for their rematch on December 7, Whyte wants a piece of the action. Ruiz got close to $20 million combined for his two fights with AJ. There’s no word whether Ruiz was able to get any endorsement deals during his short six month stint at the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion. But even if Ruiz didn’t, $17 milion is retirement money.
Was Whyte given a lowball offer by Matchroom for AJ fight?
Whyte had an opportunity to fight Joshua earlier this year, but he didn’t take the fight. It’s unclear whether the offer from Matchroom Boxing was similar to the $5 million that Ruiz got for his first fight with Joshua. It’s hard to imagine Whyte being offered less for the Joshua fight unless Matchroom intentionally gave him a lowball offer that would refuse.
Whyte would be a dangerous opponent for Joshua, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Matchroom chose to give him an offer that he would never agree to. Joshua looks brave having fought Ruiz a second time, but you have to remember, this was supposed to be a mismatch the first time around. Ruiz wasn’t seen as a threat to beat Joshua going into their first fight last June. He was seen as a chubby replacement opponent to fill in for Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller.
It was only after Ruiz destroyed Joshua that he was viewed as a dangerous fighter. Whyte is someone that is clearly a risky fight for Joshua, and Matchroom might not want to make a fight between them unless they absolutely have to.
For that to happen, Whyte would need to be mandatory for Joshua, and that’s not going to happen soon. Whyte isn’t ranked in the top 15 by the IBF, WBA or WBO. It would be a long haul for Whyte to work his way into a mandatory position with one of those three organizations.
Dillian doubts Joshua was serious about wanting to spar with Fury
“I think that’s tongue and cheek,” said Whyte when asked about his thoughts on Joshua saying he’ll help Tyson Fury with sparring for the Wilder fight. “we’re going to find out soon if it’s real. He’ll be the first champion that’s offered to be someone’s sparring partner while he’s a champion. Let’s see.”
Whyte is probably right about Joshua not being serious about his sparring offer to Tyson Fury. It’s a move that doesn’t make sense for Joshua or Fury. Joshua has two mandatory defenses he needs to get out of the way in 2020 against Kubrat Pulev and Oleksander Usyk, and it’s going to take time to prepare.
Those fighters are nothing like Fury in size or fighting style. As such, Joshua would hurt himself by using up valuable time sparring with Fury when he should be using his training time to get ready for Usyk or Pulev.
Whyte: Deontay Wilder is a coward
“Wilder talks s— all the time. I don’t want to talk about Deontay Wilder,” said Whyte. “He’s a coward. He talks s—, and he’s a real coward that talks s—. I don’t want. I’m going to punch him up when I see him, and take his belt, and then I’ll be WBC world champion. He’s talking about the Spring,” said Whyte when asked about his next fight.
Wilder got the idea that Hearn was trying to use Whyte as the bodyguard for Joshua. Deontay wanted it to be a battle between Kings, but instead Hearn was having one of his knights [Whyte] come out to fight for the King [Joshua]. The perception some had was Hearn was looking to have Whyte take the big risk of facing Wilder rather than Joshua.
If Whyte lost to Wilder, it wouldn’t be nearly as bad for Matchroom than if Joshua did. Wilder decided to play his own game by telling Whyte that if he faced Luis Ortiz and beat him, then he’d give him a world title shot.
It’s got to be upsetting to Whyte that he worked himself into position for a world title shot against Wilder, and yet it still hasn’t happened. The WBC didn’t make Whyte the mandatory until after he beat Oscar Rivas last July In that fight, Whyte also became the interim WBC champion. However, Whyte’s adverse findings for a drug test by VADA taken before that contest led to the WBC suspending his status as interim WBC champion and mandatory.
Whyte interested in Andy Ruiz Jr. or Alexander Povetkin fights
“Give me enough time to get in shape, and then it’s on,” Whyte said. “If [Alexander] Povetkin wants it, he can get it, And if [Andy] Ruiz wants it, he can get it.
Hearn wants Whyte to face Alexander Povetkin or Andy Ruiz Jr. in March or April when he returns to the ring, but it remains to be seen if he can make those fights. Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) would be a tough one for Hearn to try and get to agree to fight Whyte, because he’s made so much money.
Ruiz wants a trilogy fight against Joshua straightaway, but that’s not going to happen. Hearn wants Ruiz to earn a third fight with Joshua by beating one or two quality fighters, but he might not want to take a big risk. Whyte would be a really big risk for Ruiz, especially if he’s lost his hunger to train hard.
Povetkin would be the more likely opponent for Whyte in the first half of 2020, but he’s coming off of a draw against Michael Hunter. This isn’t the greatest time for Hearn to be trying to get Povetkin for Ruiz to fight.