The heavyweight boxing division has been up in the air for a while, with everything hinging on who Gypsy King Tyson Fury would fight next. First, there was talk of Anthony Joshua potentially stepping aside to allow Fury and Oleksandr Usyk to compete in an undisputed bout. But now it has been confirmed Dillian Whyte will challenge Fury for the WBC title.
Whyte, 33, has been waiting for his shot at the WBC heavyweight crown for several years and recently engaged in a legal case to secure the opportunity. After a ruling was made to allow Whyte to face fierce rival Fury, with a split of 80/20 set in the latter’s favour, it was over to the multiple promoters and advisors involved to attempt to thrash out a deal that works for everyone.
Former world champion Joshua had the rematch with Usyk, who he lost to last time out, lined up and ready to go. But, he suggested he would be willing to step aside if it made business sense. After conclusive talks to make the undisputed clash failed to get to where they needed to be, it was to pursue bids for the WBC bout between Fury and Whyte on Friday night UK time.
Fury’s UK promoter Frank Warren, with the assistance of Top Rank supremo Bob Arum, entered the purse bid in a strong position, with the belief a deal with Fury could already be in place. Under the Queensbury guise, Warren saw his bid succeed, with Hearn and Dazn left to lick their wounds.
Now, attention will turn to getting the fight made, with a date at the end of April likely. It is also suggested the venue of choice will be Cardiff’s Principality Stadium because it has a retractable roof. While other places such as Manchester United’s home, Old Trafford, and Wembley have been mentioned, they may not be free or suitable to stage the event for the time of year pencilled in.
Fury and Whyte getting it on will bring to an end a long term gripe for Team Body Snatcher, who feel Whyte has been given short shrift by the WBC, even though he engineered a fantastic position for himself in the rankings. With the fight set to land in late April, it is now likely that Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Usyk will take place a matter of weeks later.
The expectation is that each bout's winners will face each other in a true undisputed fight that will be one of the biggest in boxing’s rich history. And there is also the possibility that the two losing fighters could also meet in the ring. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be a breathtaking year for the heavyweight boxing division, and by the close of 2022, we will likely have an undisputed champion – Fury, Whyte, Joshua or Usyk.