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Whyte far from a title shot

Alexander Povetkin Deontay Wilder

By Gav Duthie: Its almost a throwaway comment that politics spoils boxing. As soon as their was money to be made in the sport things got awkward. The mafia used to run affairs from the 30s to the 60s. It was a situation where guys like Jake LaMotta felt he needed a stoppage loss to get a title shot. Before that black fighters were not allowed title shots period.

Surely in 2020 boxing is transparent, people get what they deserve in all walks of life? For Dillian Whyte 27-1 (18) this does not seem to be the case. Granted there was suspicion of PED use but he has been cleared now and his accomplishments are simply not being recognised.

Title shot

Dillian is one of the best fighters P4P not to have never fought for a world title. One misconception is that he fought Anthony Joshua for a world title. This contest took place before AJ won his first belt against Charles Martin. That fight was for the British title. Plenty of good fighters need to wait for shots but given the resume of Whyte its hard to justify his exclusion.

WBC (Interim Champion)

Whyte is the WBC interim champion and has been number 1 contender or mandatory challenger for more than 800 days. Despite these numbers he has never really been close to a title shot against full champion Deontay Wilder. Some of the antics from the WBC regarding Whyte have been comical. Last year they made Dominic Breazeale mandatory despite being #2 in the list behind Dillian. Wilder duly despatched of him in 1 round.

The WBC did the same thing recently to Eleider Alvarez in the light heavyweight division. The Colombian had fought in 3 final eliminators and still didn’t get a shot at then champion Adonis Stevenson. In the last year the WBC have also introduced the franchise champion concept.

This enables fighters who are ‘franchise champion’ to avoid facing mandatories altogether. Canelo is a franchise champion at 154lbs, Lomachenko is one at 135lbs. At present Wilder hasn’t taken up this mantle but its certainly a possibility.

Despite being the interim champion you will not find Whyte ranked in the WBC at present. They now have Tyson Fury listed as number 1. Oscar Rivas #3, Joseph Parker #8 and Derek Chisora #13 have all lost to Whyte in the last couple of years.

Some organisations don’t have their titlists in the top 15 to be fair but the WBC generally isn’t one of them. Filip Hrgovic is the International WBC champ and is ranked #7 and Daniel Dubois ranked #11 is the Silver champion. Whyte was number 1 at the start of the year so its worth asking the question what is this all about?

WBA (Unranked)

If you thought the WBC were controversial you ain’t seen nothing yet. The WBA currently has Manuel Charr as their regular champion despite not fighting since 2017. He has never defended the belt and was also caught up in a PED scandal. In spite all of this he is still champion. 45 year old Fres Oquendo is still ranked #15 even though he hasn’t fought since 2014. In these rankings the Association has Robert Helenius at #6 and Chisora again features at #9. Whyte has defeated both men.

IBF (Unranked)

Despite a bit of shade regarding a spider bite Joseph Parker is ranked at 12 with the IBF. It seems that Whyte’s 12 round decision victory over Parker counts for nothing as the New Zealander seems to be well thought of with all organisations. Since the loss to Whyte he has only beat Alex Flores and Alex Leapai so his high rankings seem bizarre. Instead of going down the WBC route I would recommend any upcoming prospect to fight in IBF mandated fights. They are very strict in terms of enforcing mandatories.

WBO (Unranked)

Not to sound like a broken record but again Parker features at #2 with Chisora at #9. If Anthony Joshua vacated the WBO there were rumours that both Chisora and Parker may have received the nod to fight Oleksandr Usyk for the vacant title. Andy Ruiz or Alexander Povetkin are said to be the forerunners to face Whyte next and I would suggest they go for it because losing to Whyte doesn’t seem to mean anything.

Next Fight

Its looking increasingly likely that Alexander Povetkin will be Whyte’s next opponent. Dillian stated that Ruiz prefers chocolate to fighting him and Hearn has had dealings with Povetkin before (Price, Joshua, Hunter) so he should be easy enough to get in the ring.

Povetkin is currently ranked #9 with the WBC, #7 WBA and #10 with the IBF. If Whyte were to face and defeat him it would be interesting to see what that does for his future. What seems apparent to me though is that he is no closer now to a title shot than he has ever been.

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