By Charles Brun: WBC interim heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte has no interest in waiting until November so that he can fight on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez’s next fight against Caleb Plant.
Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) had been positioned to fight on the undercard of Canelo vs. Dmitry Bivol on September 18th, but that match is no longer happening.
Canelo and his management decided to wait until November to fight to get an easier match against Caleb Plant. At this point, waiting until November is not an option for Whyte, who hasn’t fought since his mismatch with Alexander Povetkin last March.
Dillian using the shotgun approach to get an opponent
“I’m not waiting until November. So it’s about working out what’s best for me and the options,” said Dillian Whyte to iFL TV on his next fight. “Maybe America or maybe back here in the UK.
“I’ll sit down with Eddie Hearn and my team, and let’s see. I’m waiting to confirm a few things with Eddie Hearn.
“Maybe September, maybe October, or maybe November,” said Dillian when asked when he’ll be fighting next. “The earliest date possible. We [Eddie Hearn and Dillian] need to sit down and talk.
“I’m very easy. Eddie doesn’t need to talk me into fights and dates. I’ll take fights on two weeks’ notice. It’s been six days, and I don’t know who I’m fighting, and I’m training.
“I’m one of the easiest guys to manage, which is why I don’t know why I had this f*** up in my career. I’m one of the guys that don’t turn fights down.
“I’m still interim champion, and I’m still trying to get to a world title, and I’m still in the [WBC] rankings. My team is battling hard, so let’s see.
“Jermaine Franklin, Chris Arreola, Andy Ruiz, Charles Martin, these are the kind of guys that I want to fight. I want to fight the best guys, but sometimes it’s difficult to get the fights when the guys don’t want to fight.
“They all talk s***, but they don’t want to fight. We have to see and take the next available opponent that makes sense for us,” said Whyte.
There’s not much logic in Whyte being potentially matched against little-known Jermaine Franklin other than it being a gimme to ensure he doesn’t lose again.
Whyte needs to fight Arreola, Ruiz, Martin, or Luis Ortiz. In other words, Whyte needs to fight highly ranked contenders, not second-tier fighters like Franklin, who boxing fans have never heard of before.
It’s hard to imagine Anthony Joshua ever agreeing to fight a guy like Franklin if he were 33 and in the same position as Whyte, trying to earn a title shot.
Joshua would obviously want to fight a higher-caliber fighter that the fans would give him credit for beating.
It’s troubling that Hearn is interested in matching Whyte against Franklin, and it’s even more disturbing that Dillian is entertaining the idea.
Whyte wants WBC to order title shot
“You need to ask [WBC president] Mauricio Sulaiman], that’s who you need to ask obviously,” said Whyte when asked why he still hasn’t fought for a world title yet.
“I’ve done everything asked of me the right way. I’m a two-time interim [WBC] champion. My resume is better than any other WBC champion’s resume,” said Whyte.
The knockout that Whyte suffered last year against Alexander Povetkin effectively reset the clock to get a title shot against the WBC belt holder.
Although Whyte is now back as the interim WBC champion, it’s unclear whether he’s mandatory for that belt. If not, Whyte will likely need to face one of these three in a WBC title eliminator:
- Andy Ruiz Jr
- Luis Ortiz
- Joseph Parker
With all the time and energy Whyte has put into trying to earn a title shot for the WBC belt, it’s too late for him to give up on this route. Whyte is about to turn 34, and it would take too long for him to work his way into a mandatory position with the IBF, WBA, or WBO belt.
Who’s to say if Whyte could even do that. If he has to beat someone like Frank Sanchez, Filip Hrgovic, or Efe Ajagba, he might get knocked out again
Dillian reacts to his name being used for negotiations
“I like how they use my name just to close deals and get clout,” Whyte said when told that Eddie Hearn used his name as the frontrunner for Anthony Joshua’s Plan-B when he was in negotiations with Oleksandr Usyk.
“They use my name to get other people they’re negotiating with because people know I’ll take the fight with Joshua. I want to be in big fights. So they use my name for negotiation tactics.
“So don’t pay too much mind when these things are being said. I hope so, or we’re going to have to have a punch up in old people’s home,” Dillian said when asked if he thinks he’ll ever get a rematch with Joshua.
“We fought twice already and two times and two times it was like two completely different people. The third fight will be completely different again, with different styles and different everything.
“I’ll be a much bigger fight in a different stage in our careers. It’ll be a much more competitive fight now than it was the first two times,” said Dillian.
Dillian made a mistake a long time ago in putting his energy into going the WBC route rather than IBF, WBA, or WBO. Had Whyte gone in a different direction to earn a title shot, he likely would have faced Joshua a long time ago.
Oddly, Whyte shares the same promoter as Joshua, yet he hasn’t been given a rematch with him. You can read that any way you like, but it looks like Whyte was too dangerous to be allowed to fight Joshua, the cash cow.
Whyte willing to fight Deontay Wilder
“I will fight Deontay Wilder whenever,” said Whyte. “Deontay Wilder, I don’t know where he is, what’s going on. No one wants to see a Tyson Fury third fight with him.
“I don’t know. I’m willing and ready [to fight Deontay]. As they say, ‘Have gumption will travel.’ I just want to fight. It would be an action-packed fight from the moment it’s made,” said Whyte.
Well, we’ll have to hear what Whyte says if Deontay Wilder gets knocked out against Tyson Fury in their trilogy match on October 9th. After a second defeat to Fury, Wilder will hardly be worthwhile for Whyte to fight.
On the flip side, a knockout victory for Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) will make him the WBC heavyweight champion for the second time.
In that case, it’ll be up to the World Boxing Council to order Wilder to defend against Whyte. It’ll be interesting to see how the WBC plays it.
But even if they do order the fight, Wilder will likely set up a unification fight with whoever holds the other titles, be it Anthony Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk.