By Charles Brun: Tyson Fury will learn next week whether he must defend his WBC heavyweight title against interim champion Dillian Whyte when the sanctioning body decides on the canceled fight between Dillian and Otto Wallin.
Dmitry Salita, the promoter for Wallin (22-1, 14 KOs), wants the fight with Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) to be rescheduled after Dillian pulled out of their October 30th clash last week due to what he claims is a shoulder injury.
To that end, Salita has asked the World Boxing Council to order the Whyte vs. Wallin fight to be rescheduled. The WBC will decide on that next week. If they rule in Wallin’s favor, Whyte will need to fight him next rather than Fury.
Whyte might not get Fury fight
Fury’s promoter Bob Arum says it’ll be up to him to decide who faces next. If he decides he wants the Whyte fight, that’ll be his next opponent, but he may choose someone else. He’s not going to be forced to fight Whyte.
Arum mentioned unbeaten #3 WBC ranked Joe Joyce as an appealing next opponent for Fury to defend against, and it makes sense for him to go in that direction.
The 6’6″ Joyce (13-0, 12 KOs) will be excellent preparation for Fury to potentially face Anthony Joshua in the second half of 2022 if he defeats IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch next March.
The WBC could strip Fury of his title if he chooses not to face Dillian, but they would be stuck with a less popular fighter as their belt holder. The WBC would then order Whyte to face the next highest rankest contender in their rankings, which would potentially be one of these talents:
1. Deontay Wilder
2. Andy Ruiz Jr.
3. Joe Joyce
4. Luis Ortiz
5. Joseph Parker
6. Frank Sanchez
There’s a good chance that Whyte would lose to all of those fighters, as he looks like he’s lost a lot from his game in the last two years due to his wars.
Dillian says he’s disappointed
“Disappointed, heartbroken,” Whyte bellyached during the press conference on Thursday about his shoulder injury that prevents him from fighting Wallin on October 30th.
“I really wanted to smash Otto Wallin up. I think I could have knocked him out in the first six, seven rounds. He’s good early, but he wants to box and fiddle around,” said Whyte.
Many boxing fans believe Wallin would have beaten Whyte and made it look easy in the process.
Whyte was knocked cold last year by 41-year-old Alexander Povetkin, and he took a terrible amount of punishment in his fight with then 39-year-old Mariusz Wach in December 2019. Whyte is arguably just a step above Dereck Chisora in terms of talent, and Wallin would have been a nightmare for him.
Dillian could have fought a world title a long time ago, but his decision not to face Luis Ortiz in WBC-ordered title eliminators left him on the sidelines.
It wasn’t until the WBC ordered him to fight Oscar Rivas in 2019 that Whyte finally agreed to participate in a title eliminator.
Many boxing fans would agree, Whyte shot himself in the foot by failing to face Ortiz in a title eliminator, but it’s possible that he felt he didn’t have to.
“It’s a major fight if me and him [Tyson Fury] can dust-up in the early part of next year in a stadium,” said Dillian. “It’s one that I’m looking forward to. I think Tyson Fury will look forward to fighting me as well.”
For Fury, a fight between him and Whyte will partially be tainted by the controversy over Dillian’s shoulder injury and how he pulled out of the Wallin match.
Many boxing fans still believe Whyte faked his shoulder injury after learning of the WBC’s ruling that he could fight Fury next.
As such, a fight between Fury and Whyte will have a certain amount of taint to it that wouldn’t have been there had Dillian beaten Wallin.
At the very least, fans feel that Whyte should have rescheduled the fight with Wallin, and the fact that he didn’t do it makes them suspect that his shoulder injury is bogus.