Who should Tyson Fury fight, if not Dillian Whyte?

By Boxing News - 12/22/2021 - Comments

By Jack Tiernan: Tyson Fury’s promoter Bob Arum said this week that if they can’t negotiate a fight with WBC mandatory Dillian Whyte, the ‘Gypsy King’ will defend his lineal and Ring heavyweight titles instead of his WBC title.

Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) would vacate his WBC heavyweight title and defend his lineal and Ring belts against Andy Ruiz Jr, Joseph Parker, or one of the other contenders that Arum picks out.

Fury would vacate his WBC title so that he wouldn’t have to agree to an overly generous 55/45 purse split to Whyte. With Fury making $15 million and Whyte less than a million for his fights, it would be crazy for Tyson to defend against Dillian with a 55/45 split.

Top Rank has already told the WBC that they want to offer an 80/20 split for Whyte, which Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has rejected.

Ultimately, the arbitration committee will decide on Dillian’s purse split, but Fury is expected to vacate his WBC title if they make it too high.

Who should Tyson Fury fight next?

Andy Ruiz Jr. would be the ideal next opponent for Fury and far better than Whyte because he’s popular in the U.S. However, Ruiz Jr. might not be willing because he likes the idea of fighting Anthony Joshua in a trilogy match.

Ruiz has made $10 million from his two fights with Joshua, and he obviously would likely bring in another $5 million with a third match.

If Ruiz can’t make that kind of money fighting Fury for his lineal & Ring titles, he’ll turn down the fight.

“Tyson Fury has yet to obtain an opponent for his first fight in the New Year, while Dillian Whyte and the WBC look to settle their legal differences, which would pave the way for Whyte to fight Fury,” said AJ to DAZN Boxing on Fury’s next fight.

Image: Who should Tyson Fury fight, if not Dillian Whyte?

“Top Rank’s CEO Bob Arum has disclosed his plans should that fight [between Fury and Whyte] NOT take place. We would like to see Tyson Fury fight Usyk or Joshua, but there are other options out there.

Whyte unlikely to get Fury fight

“I don’t see anybody else that’s more suitable than Dillian Whyte,” said AJ. “I know Bob always wants to say, ‘There’s somebody else. We got other options.’ He’s talking about Andy Ruiz. Joseph Parker just finished fighting [Dereck Chisora].

“Give Dillian Whyte the shot that he deserves. I don’t think we should be talking about any other fight.

“Joe Joyce is tough, he can take a hell of a shot, but I just don’t think Tyson is going to get credit for that win. I mean, at this level, after beating [Deontay] Wilder twice, this guy [Fury] is the lineal champion, the Ring Magazine champion, and he’s not going to get any credit for it [beating Joyce].

“He’s going to get heat for it, and at this point in his career, the only fights that make sense for him are the Joshua’s of the world and the Usyk’s of the world and Dillian Whyte.

“What if [Luis] Ortiz is able to get past Charles Martin. That’s actually going to be an interesting fight. That’s going to be a pay-per-view fight on New Year’s this year. I’ll be watching that one. Look, I want to see him [Fury] against Dillian Whyte, and I think that fight is going to happen.”

Who should Dillian Whyte fight, if not Fury?

Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) will need to fight whoever is the highest-ranked contender in the World Boxing Council’s rankings. Perhaps the worst contenders for Whyte would be #3 Joe Joyce and #6 Frank Sanchez.

Those two fighters have elements to their game that would be bad news for the 34-year-old Whyte, and he’d have a tough time trying to beat either of them.

“According to Behind The Gloves, if Fury vacates the WBC title, that could lead to Dillian Whyte being elevated by the WBC to fight one of the following fighters: Deontay Wilder, Andy Ruiz Jr, Joe Joyce, Luis Ortiz, Joseph Parker, and one of my favorites Frank Sanchez,” said Barak. “So if not Fury, who for Dillian Whyte?”

“I won’t tell you who he [Whyte] should fight, but I will tell you who he shouldn’t fight, and that’s Frank Sanchez. That’s the guy you want to stay the hell away from,” said AK about who Dillian shouldn’t fight next.

“Any heavyweight out there, stay the hell away from Frank Sanchez. He’s too fast, too strong. What I’m saying is to stay away from him. Why the risk without the big reward?

“He’s not the biggest name in the sport, and you’re not going to get the biggest payday, and you’re not going to sell out the O2 Arena. Why fight that type of guy for that little reward?”

Whyte has already proven that he can beat Joseph Parker to be the ideal opponent in a first defense of the WBC title.

It wouldn’t be easy, though, because Parker has improved since his loss to Whyte in 2018, and he won’t be easily cowed if Dillian starts using the roughhouse tactics that were employed to defeat him three years ago.

Wilder or Andy Ruiz = great options for Dillian

If Fury chooses not to vacate his WBC title, Whyte will be elevated to the new champion, and he’ll be required to defend it against the highest-ranked available and willing contender in the WBC’s rankings.

These would be the contenders that Whyte’s next opponent would be picked from:

1. Deontay Wilder
2. Andy Ruiz Jr.
3. Joe Joyce
4. Luis Ortiz
5. Joseph Parker

“Dillian Whyte is that same guy that was calling out Luis Ortiz during that time,” said Barak in failing to realize that Whyte turned down a WBC title eliminator against Ortiz in 2018. “I know Joshua said his name a long time after.”

“No, no, no, Joshua didn’t just say his name,” said AK about Ortiz. “Eddie Hearn, Matchroom, and Joshua made Ortiz an offer of seven million dollars to fight him.”

“I would rather see him fight Andy Ruiz because they had a little Twitter beef, and that’s a good story,” said Barak about Whyte.

“I like that fight, but I also like the Deontay Wilder fight [for Whyte],” said AK. “That’s if Deontay Wilder continues to fight and not retire. If so, that would be my first choice for Dillian Whyte because those dudes have a lot of history with the WBC title.”

It’s questionable whether #1 WBC Wilder will agree to take the fight with Whyte to challenge him if he’s picked because he’s coming off consecutive knockout losses to Fury.

Unlike less popular heavyweights, Wilder doesn’t need to be made mandatory to get a title shot. He’s still popular enough to be given a crack at a world title in a voluntary defense.