This week it was reported the World Boxing Council has reinstated Dillian Whyte as the mandatory challenger for champion Deontay Wilder. Whyte must receive his shot at Wilder (if he successfully defends his title vs Tyson Fury in February) by February 2021.
Whyte has been the no. 1 contender and won other WBC titles (and paid his WBC sanctioning fees) but has been blocked from his shot at Wilder for two years. Many ring observers believe Wilder’s manager Al Haymon has been manipulating WBC boss Mauricio Sulaiman to protect Wilder from Whyte.
For the WBC to suddenly change course and reinstall Whyte as Wilder’s mandatory is a curious development.
One can only wonder why the WBC appears to be going against Haymon and Wilder’s interests and backing Whyte and his promoter Eddie Hearn. Perhaps Hearn as pressured the WBC with legal threats – to stop blockading Whyte from his earned title shot at Wilder. Remember, the WBC lost a $20 million dollar judgement for it’s actions of unfairly stripping Graciano Rocchigiani’s WBC 175 pound title in the early 2000s. As corrupt as the WBC allegedly may be, they do have their limits.
It would seem that Whyte and Hearn have the law on their side against the WBC, which has clearly acted to protect Wilder from Whyte.
Another more likely possibility is the WBC has grown impatient waiting for Wilder to become a big money maker. Wilder vs Ortiz 2 was another financial disaster, meaning the WBC sanctioning fee profits from Wilder fights have been minimal.
The big money is in Anthony Joshua, who just earned a whopping $85 million last week by beating Andy Ruiz. The WBC belt is not worn by Joshua meaning the WBC gets NONE of those blockbuster Joshua revenues.
Obviously the WBC wants a cut of those Joshua jackpots. So by now forcing Wilder to fight Whyte, it’s undoubtedly a squeeze play by the WBC on Wilder and Haymon. We all know Wilder and Haymon do not want to fight Whyte, he’s too dangerous and losing to Whyte for $8 million would disqualify Wilder from earning over $100 million vs Joshua (Hearn offered Wilder $120 million earlier this year to face Joshua but Wilder turned it down).
So it would appear the WBC is trying to force Wilder to fight Joshua either in the summer of 2021 or fall of 2021.
Without a doubt, the WBC pressuring Wilder to fight Whyte is a major step in forcing the hotly anticipated Joshua vs Wilder showdown to happen next year.
One scenario loophole that is still possible for Wilder to duck Whyte and Joshua is the escape hatch option of Wilder and Haymon deciding to vacate the WBC belt in favor of the new PBC world title belt which has been reported to be in the works for next year.
Hopefully Wilder and Haymon are not cowards and will not utilize that evasion tactic. Hopefully Wilder and Haymon will finally decide to man up and take their shot at unification against Joshua. The sport of boxing desperately needs Joshua vs Wilder to happen soon.