By Scoop Malinowski
It’s abundantly clear by now that Al Haymon does not want his heavyweight franchise hope Deontay Wilder to have to get in the ring with Dillian Whyte.
Haymon has shunned repeated career high paydays from Eddie Hearn last year to match Wilder with the WBC no. 1 contender Whyte.
Haymon than allegedly manipulated the WBC to leapfrog his other heavyweight Dominic Breazeale over Whyte into the WBC mandatory challenger position. Wilder still has not faced a mandatory challenger in his four year reign as WBC champ.
Clearly, Wilder has been protected from the high risk, dangerous challenge of Whyte. This is an indisputable fact.
However, this week the WBC has announced a decision that is against the interests of Wilder and Haymon – the sanctioning body has ordered Breazeale to fight Whyte for the WBC Interim title – and the mandatory challenger position.
This move benefits the interests of Whyte and promoter Eddie Hearn most of all. Breazeale is viewed by most ring observers as a soft touch with slow hands and even slower feet. Whyte is red hot right now and one of the most exciting figures in the division.
Whyte will most likely destroy Breazeale easily and then become the mandatory challenger for Wilder. Whyte has been hunting Wilder for years and this latest development increases his chances enormously.
The intriguing part of this situation is the question of what could have stimulated the WBC to, in essence, throw Breazeale and Haymon to the wolves while doing Whyte and Hearn this sudden, surprise big favor? And how did Haymon lose his leverage with the WBC?
My theory is as follows. The WBC has come to the realization that Wilder is not going to be risked against Anthony Joshua any time soon, if ever. And the profit hungry WBC is not happy with the small sanctioning fees deducted from Wilder’s small purses, the latest was $4m for Wilder against Tyson Fury. The WBC wants a cut of those jackpot Anthony Joshua mega paydays, with the next vs Jarrell Miller being projected at $38m.
Is it possible the WBC is tired of Wilder holding it’s belt hostage and is now taking actions to help Dillian Whyte to fight and beat Wilder which would then set up the biggest money fight in the sport, Joshua vs Whyte?
We know Whyte desperately wants to avenge his KO loss to Joshua but he was not satisfied with Hearn’s most recent offer of about $5m. Whyte believes he’s better than Wilder and Fury and deserves at least an equal payout. Whyte understands if he can beat Breazeale and then Wilder – two very winnable fights in his mind – he will then stand to earn at least $20m to fight Joshua, perhaps even over $30m (similar amounts Wilder was offered).
So it looks like Hearn, Whyte and the WBC may be in collaboration to help facilitate heavyweight unification, an end game goal Wilder and Haymon have steadfastly refused to commit to for a couple of years.
The bottom line is: All roads lead to Anthony Joshua.