Dillian Whyte and the elusive title fight
by Kate Rosindale on Nov 01, 2019
If there was a belt for the most frustrated man in boxing, the undisputed champion of the world would surely be UK heavyweight Dillian Whyte.
Despite being ranked highly with all three of boxing’s governing bodies, Whyte is yet to get the chance to fight for a world title.
While his record is full of victories - he has won 26 out of his 27 professional fights - it is also littered with disappointments and betrayals inflicted on him from the powers above.
The latest setback in his quest to become champion of the world has come in the wake of his July victory against Oscar Rivas.
After beating the Colombian, Whyte finally became mandatory challenger to Deontay Wilder’s championship - but that status was subsequently put on hold by the World Boxing Council (WBC) in light of an alleged “adverse finding” in a UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) test.
With Wilder set to face Luis Ortiz in November and an expected rematch with Tyson Fury after that, the WBC will only promote Whyte to mandatory challenger at the start of 2021 - and that is on the proviso his “situation is resolved” with UKAD.
Talking about the situation, a WBC spokesperson said: “No 1 ranked Dillian Whyte’s situation is in process with UKAD and Whyte’s representatives, and with the WBC.
“If his situation is resolved, he will become the mandatory challenger for February, 2021.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports of his frustration with the decision: “It’s frustrating because the original resolution had Whyte as mandatory to the winner of Wilder vs Fury. Whyte is still mandatory but it’s been put back to 2021. It’s ridiculous.”
Meanwhile Whyte said that he beat Rivas “fair and square”. It is not the first time he has disagreed with the WBC either, as Whyte has claimed in the past that the WBC is a big reason why he has not had a shot at world honours.
Take for example the controversy caused in February when the WBC ordered Whyte to fight US boxer Dominic Breazeale to determine who would be next to challenge Wilder for his title – even though Whyte was already ranked above Breazeale.
Matters got worse for Whyte in March when the WBC cancelled the fight and said Breazeale could fight Wilder for the title in May.
In an interview with Radio 1, Whyte said: “I think they're just trying to freeze me out for as long as they can, hoping I'll get older and get demotivated.”
It is not just people within the Whyte camp who have questioned the lack of a title fight for the South London boxer. Boxing pundit Steve Bunce has said Whyte is being ignored "because people know he can beat them".
Of course, the WBC denies holding Whyte back.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said: “These are not decisions that are made behind closed doors. These are not decisions that are made against the rules. When you're following a fighter, you want him to get the opportunity and get the chance. We're working towards that.”
During the ongoing quest for a shot at a world title, Whyte has racked up multiple regional heavyweight championships including the WBC Silver title, the WBO International title, and the British title. He is also ranked fifth in the heavyweight division by both the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and The Ring magazine.
And so Whyte retains the belief that he will world champion “one way or another”.
He said: “They can't run forever and when I get my shot, whichever it is, I'm gonna take years of frustration and anger and stress out on them. So they might as well just give me the world title before the fight even happens."
Title fights happening in November
Saturday 2 November
• Katie Taylor vs Christina Linardatou, WBO Super-Lightweight Title, Manchester UK
• Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev, WBO Light-Heavyweight Title, Las Vegas USA
• Miguel Berchelt vs Jason Sosa, WBC Super-Featherweight Title, Carson USA
• Jerwin Ancajas vs Jonathan Rodriguez, IBF Super-Flyweight Title, Carson USA
Thursday 7 November
• Naoya Inoue vs Nonito Donaire, WBA & IBF Bantamweight Titles, Saitama Japan
• Nordine Oubaali vs Takuma Inoue, WBC Bantamweight Title, Saitama Japan
Saturday 9 November
• Billy Joe Saunders vs Marcelo Esteban Coceres, WBO Super-Middleweight Title, LA USA
• Jamel Herring vs Lamont Roach Jr, WBO Super-Featherweight Title, Fresno LA
Saturday 23 November
• Callum Smith vs John Ryder, WBA Super-Middleweight Title, Liverpool UK
• Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz II, WBC Heavyweight Title, Las Vegas USA
• Leo Santa Cruz vs Miguel Flores, WBA Super-Featherweight Title, Las Vegas USA
• Andrew Cancio vs Rene Alvarado II, WBA Super-Featherweight Title, Indio USA
• Can Xu vs Manny Robles III, WBA ‘Regular’ Featherweight Title, Indio USA
Saturday 30 November
• Zolani Tete vs Johnriel Casimero, WBO Bantamweight Title, Birmingham UK