Dillian Whyte wants WBC to strip Tyson Fury of title
By Charles Brun: WBC interim heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte wants the sanctioning body to strip champion Tyson Fury of his title following him reportedly getting COVID-19 and unable to defend on July 24th against Deontay Wilder.
The Fury vs. Wilder III trilogy is now tentatively scheduled for October 9th, but that’s not official. With Fury being ill with COVID-19, there’s no way of knowing for certain whether he’ll be healthy enough to fight in October or if he’ll need more time.
With a virus-like COVID-19, it could be many months before Fury can return to the ring.
In the meantime, Whyte’s career is negatively impacted because he’s stuck waiting for Fury to recover eventually. In a worst-case scenario, Fury might not be able to defend his WBC title until the first quarter of 2022.
Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) says the World Boxing Council should do the right thing by changing Fury’s status to ‘Champion in Recess’ and elevate him to the new WBC champion.
Dillian would then face Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) in a title defense, and Fury would face the winner of that match if he wants to regain his stripped title.
It makes sense what Dillian is asking for of the WBC because they’ve done it before when their world champions were injured and unable to defend their world titles in a timely fashion.
In Fury’s case, he’d had his WBC title for 17 months since winning it against Wilder in February 2020 and yet’s still to make his first title defense. It doesn’t matter that Fury has excuses for why he hasn’t made a defense.
The fact is, Fury hasn’t made a defense yet after a year and a half of sitting on his WBC title like a mother hen sitting on her egg. It’s time for Fury to be stripped and given the ‘Champion in Recess’ tag because Whyte’s career is negatively impacted by him not getting a world title shot.
Moreover, the WBC isn’t coming out ahead by having their heavyweight champion not making annual defenses. If Fury is incapable of defending his WBC belt, he needs to be given the ‘Champion in Recess’ tag until he’s healthy.
Whyte says Fury should be stripped
“The WBC should make Fury champion in recess,” Whyte said to Sky Sports about Fury being ill with COVID-19 and unable to defend his WBC title on the previously scheduled July 24th date.
“I’ll fight Wilder as a world champion, and the winner of that fights Tyson Fury, and the winner of that fights Anthony Joshua for the undisputed.
“They should [The WBC] one hundred percent do the right thing.
“Tyson Fury has held all the titles but has never made a single defense of any of them. It’s a year and a half since he won the WBC belt, and still no fight in sight,” said Dillian.
It makes a lot of sense for Fury to be stripped of his WBC title and given the ‘Champion in Recess’ tag. That’s what’s supposed to happen when a champion is ill or injured and incapable of defending their belts.
If Fury wants his WBC strap, he can always face the winner of the Wilder vs. Whyte fight for the belt. Charles Brun doubts Fury will want anything to do with fighting either of those guys, but there’s always a possibility.
Really, Fury would be quite pleased if the WBC strips him of his title because then he can walk away from the dangerous fight with Wilder and go straight into the lucrative money-fight against Anthony Joshua.
Whether Fury actually has COVID-19 is unclear. Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing has his doubts about whether Fury is ill. He points out that the PPV and ticket sales for the Fury vs. Wilder 3 fight haven’t been good.
Ideally, the WBC should strip Fury and give him the ‘Champion in Recess’ tag, but they probably won’t because he’s popular. When you’re popular, you don’t get stripped of your titles when you sit inactive for years without defending.
Also, when you’re popular, your fights aren’t stopped when you’re knocked unconscious in the 12th round.
Hearn wants Whyte to fight Deontay
“It was just to reaffirm the fact that he’s ready to fight Deontay Wilder at any time,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about Whyte being willing to step in and face Wilder on July 24th.
“He’s trained nonstop since the Povetkin fight; he’s fit for 12 rounds,” Hearn said of Dillian. “I spoke to him last night and said, ‘I know it’s unrealistic, but would you fight Wilder on July 24th.
“Would you want to put it out there?’ He said, ‘F**** right. So that’s why I posted it. It’s up to him; he’s the boss.
“He will fight Deontay Wilder on July 24th, no problem. But, of course, me putting that out, it wasn’t tongue in cheek. It was to reassure everyone as he’s been waiting for about 700 years.
“He’s ready to fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury or fight for the WBC world title. So if this fight [Fury vs. Wilder III] is in October, it’s a huge amount of time.
“Deontay Wilder has been training for 11 or 12 weeks. If he wants an interim fight, Dillian Whyte is ready. I wouldn’t put something like that out [Whyte volunteering to step in and face Wilder on July 24th] before speaking to a fighter.
“I spoke to Dillian and said, ‘Would you step in on July 24th?’ I said, ‘I don’t think they’ll let you, but I’ll put it out there.’ He was, ‘F*** right.’ That’s when I put it out there, and obviously, the reaction was huge.
“That fight is huge. Timing,” said Hearn when asked how he could think he could make the Wilder vs. Whyte fight in two weeks when he couldn’t do it after years of trying.
“Wilder hasn’t boxed since February 2020. Do you want to wait another three or four months in a fight that now that they see the pay-per-view and ticket sales, the money is so bad for that fight in terms of what Fury could have made in the AJ fight,” said Hearn.
It’s going to be interesting to see if the WBC does the right thing and strips Fury of his belt due to his illness. Again, Charles Brun doesn’t foresee the WBC giving Fury the ‘Champion in Recess tag,’ even though they should. He’s too popular, so he’ll be allowed to sit inactive without defending his WBC belt.
Eddie suspects poor ticket sales Fury-Wilder 3 caused postponement
“Even in their expectations [of what they thought the Fury vs. Wilder 3 fight would make],” said Hearn. “Listen, anytime there’s a fight, a big fight, and the ticket sales are bombing when something gets pulled, we know the game.
“When you’re dealing with people, and you know how they work, and you know how something is going, and you know the difficulty of the deal, and what people got to be paid, all I’m saying and I’m not talking about this situation.
“All I’m saying is in general when something like that happens, sometimes there’s something more beyond that,” said Hearn in hinting that Fury pulled out of his July 24th fight not because he was ill with COVID-19 but rather because of poor ticket sales and low PPV numbers.
“I’m not saying anyone is lying. I’m just saying I don’t believe everything I’m hearing. So we’ll see,” said Hearn.
It is mighty suspicious that Fury suddenly comes down with COVID-19 while the ticket sales are said to be poor.
The thing is, ticket and pay-per-view sales might not improve when Fury is supposedly healthy enough to fight. What happens then? Does Fury get COVID-19 a second time? If the fight can’t make money, maybe it shouldn’t be on PPV.
Whyte’s August fight being finalized
We’re just finalizing negotiations with a couple of fighters right now,” said Hearn about Whyte’s fight in late August in America.
“We’ll make that decision this weekend. We’ll make that announcement. We have three or four announcements that we need to make, and that’ll come next week.
“That is the plan for Dillian, to box at the end of August in America. He’s one of the guys we’re talking to with [promoter] Dimitry Salita and his team,” said Hearn about Amerian heavyweight Jermaine Franklin being one of the guys in the running for Whyte’s next fight in August.
“Obviously, there’s been a lot of backwards and forwards with Charles Martin. I’d quite like to see that fight. I don’t think that’s the fight for August.
“I would love to do two fights for Dillian in America at the end of August and then in November. I think that they [U.S boxing fans] are going to love him out there.
“I think he’s playing a bit of a waiting game as we know with everything [to get a crack at the WBC heavyweight title]. He’s back on track with a win against Povetkin.
“Whether that’s Franklin, [Cassius] Chaney, Charles Martin, or Arreola, these are the kinds of fights over the two fights that I think would work well for him. I think people would really enjoy him over there.
“I don’t think he’s looking at Charles Martin and thinking, ‘Oh, yeah,’ but you can’t ignore it, and I love it.
“I love that side of Dillian, and I’d love to see that side of Dillian in the fight. Listen, Charles Martin is a good fighter.
“He was like 31-0 when he boxed AJ. He has 25 knockouts, southpaw, and he can punch. He had a very close fight with Adam Kownacki. He mashed [Gerald] Washington and had a couple of good wins.
“He’s a good fighter, and he’s on a good run. He’s a very dangerous fighter [for Whyte], and he has an awkward style, a southpaw, and huge.
“With Dillian, I want to do something different for him because he’s been fighting these tough fights in the UK for a long time.
“I want to grow him in the American market. I think he’s got the ability to fight around the world, possibly if it’s in Macau, China, or if it’s in Australia against Dempsey McKean or another Australian heavyweight out there.
“This is the beauty of what we’re doing with the DAZN global product. He’s a guy that I think has global appeal, and just over this short period, I would like to grow that exposure and profile for him,” said Hearn about Dillian.
Interestingly, Hearn mentions little-known second-tier heavyweight Cassius Chaney as one of the guys being considered for Whyte’s fight in late August.
He’s similar to Jermaine Franklin in that he’s got an unbeaten record filled with wins over fluff opposition. Like Franklin, Chaney isn’t ranked in the top 15 by any of the four sanctioning bodies.
Hearn says he wants to make a name for Whyte in the U.S; he’s choosing a poor way of accomplishing that goal if you ask me.
The way to make a name for Whyte in America is by matching him against quality heavyweights that the U.S boxing fans are familiar with.
I’d venture to guess that not even hardcore fans in the States are familiar with Chaney and Franklin. I’ve never seen either of them fight.
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