Arum says Fury could become WBC Franchise champ if Whyte insists on mandatory shot
By Charles Brun: Bob Arum says Tyson Fury could become WBC Franchise champion and mandatory Dillian Whyte upgraded to world champion.
Top Rank promoter Arum says he’s not asking for the World Boxing Council to make Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) the Franchise champion, but that’s one way for the WBC to deal with Whyte if he keeps insisting on his mandated title shot.
So it looks like all the bellyaching that Whyte has been doing about wanting his mandated title shot against the WBC champion by February of next year could backfire on him. If Fury is made WBC Franchise champion, Whyte will be powerless to fight him.
It wouldn’t be the end of the world for the 32-year-old Whyte. After all, he’ll pick up the WBC strap and then be able to call himself a world champion and defend it against the likes of Oscar Rivas or Luis Ortiz. Whyte probably won’t be too happy having to fight #4 WBC Ortiz.
A lot of people think Dillian ducked the fight with Ortiz by opting to take the easier path by facing journeyman Dereck Chisora rather fight in the WBC title eliminator against the talented Cuban.
After all, he passed on the Ortiz fight twice after the WBC ordered the two clash in a title eliminator.
Few fans will complain if Fury is made the WBC Franchise champion, and Whyte is elevated to WBC champ. Whyte will have his wish of being a belt-holder, and the fans will get the chance to see the Joshua vs. Fury fight without it being delayed.
WBC could make Fury Franchise champion if Whyte continues to push
“Nobody is asking the WBC to make Tyson Fury a Franchise champion, but if Dillian Whyte pursues this idea of fighting Tyson Fury before he fought Wilder again and Joshua, that could be a way for the WBC to go and Dillian Whyte could fight whoever he wanted and call himself the interim WBC champion,” said Bob Arum to PepTalkUK.
Arum says that no one is asking for the WBC to make Fury a Franchise champion, but the way he’s talking, it’s probably only a matter of time before that happens.
With the way that Whyte is complaining about wanting his WBC mandated title shot by February 2021, the only option to move him out of the way for the Joshua-Fury fight to get ahead is for the WBC to make Fury the Franchise champion.
It’s a good bet that the WBC makes Fury their Franchise champion before the end of the year because Whyte is going to likely keep moaning about wanting his title shot in early 2021.
The WBC wants the Joshua vs. Fury fight to go ahead in early next year because that’s the fight that the entire world is waiting to see. Only a small amount of people are crying for Whyte to fight Fury in early 2021.
Arum is being tactical by not coming right out and saying that he wants Fury to be made the WBC Franchise champion. If Whyte forces Arum’s hand by continuing to push for his title shot against WBC champion Fury, we’ll probably see the sanctioning body make ‘The Gypsy King’ the new Franchise champion.
Whyte obviously won’t be satisfied in being made the WBC paper champion because he’ll be no better off than he is now being the interim WBC champ. What Dillian wants is to fight Fury.
Arum: We’got to give the public the fights they want
“I mean, the public is the public. They’re not stupid,” said Arum. “The public knows who’s the champion, and particularly now that we’ve had this period where we haven’t had fights.
“I think we’ve got to do the right thing, and the right thing is to do the fights that really appeal to the public. Anybody that has a brain knows who the champions are and the championship fights, and the more we get back to that, the better off we’ll be,” said Arum.
It’s more important than ever for the Joshua-Fury fight to be made because boxing needs this fight to bring the fans back. The pandemic and lockdown have hurt the sport, and there needs to be a huge fight to bring the fans back.
You hate to say it, but Fury vs. Whyte isn’t a big fight in terms of worldwide interest. The casual U.S boxing fans aren’t familiar with Whyte, and the hardcore fans know of him from his loss to Joshua.
Whyte hasn’t beaten anyone good since his loss to Joshua in 2015. Dillian has looked mediocre in his two fights against journeyman Dereck Chisora, and his win over Joseph Parker was controversial.
Whyte fighting Fury for the WBC belt isn’t what the public wants, and that’s why we could see the Franchise title being given out for Tyson soon. Dillian probably isn’t going to stop moaning about his mandated title shot, so the only option to quiet him down is for Fury to be made Franchise champion.
Whyte may never fight Fury or Joshua
If Fury is elevated to Franchise champion, there’s no guarantee that Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) will get a crack at the Joshua-Fury winner. Heck, Whyte could be languishing forever without fighting Joshua or Fury.
What would happen is if Fury is elevated to Franchise champion, Whyte would either be made the full WBC heavyweight champion, or he would fight the next highest-ranked contender for the vacant WBC belt.
It’s more likely that the WBC will make Whyte the new champion outside of the ring without him needing to fight anyone. In other words, it would be a similar situation that we saw with lightweight Devin Haney. The WBC made Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) their lightweight champion at the same time they elevated Vasily Lomachenko to WBC Franchise champion.
At the time that the WBC made this move, Haney was the mandatory challenger to Lomachenko. Top Rank had other ideas. They wanted to put together a unification fight between Lomachenko and IBF 135-lb champion Teofimo Lopez, which is a much bigger fight than Loma-Haney would be.
Whyte will probably still get a fight against Joshua at some point in his career. They share the same promoter in Eddie Hearn. Also, the Franchise championship status can’t be passed from Fury to Joshua.
So unless the WBC makes Joshua a Franchise champion if he beats Fury, then he would be stuck having to fight Whyte in 2022. Hearn wants Fury and Joshua to fight twice in 2021, which means that Whyte isn’t going to get a shot at the winner until 2022.
Fury is only looking for the top opponents
“If Canelo, if Lomachenko and if Fury ducked somebody and is not fighting the best guy there is, then I feel different,” said Arum.
“But as long as Lomachenko looks for the toughest opponent in [Teofimo] Lopez, who is the IBF champion, and Fury is only looking for the top opponent, whether it’s Wilder or then Joshua, I don’t think anybody [Whyte?] has the right to complain.
“The organizations are going to be smart enough now to do the right thing,” said Arum.
The fact that Fury isn’t ducking anybody by looking to fight Deontay Wilder and then Joshua, it takes away the argument that he’s avoiding Whyte. Fury isn’t avoiding Dillian. There are bigger fights available to Fury right now than dealing with his mandatory challenger Whyte.
Most boxing fans would agree that Whyte has zero chance of beating Fury and that he would get schooled if that fight were to happen. If Whyte had separated himself by looking impressive in his wins over Parker, Rivas, and Chisora, then there would be more interest from the boxing public in him fighting Fury.
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