Tyson Fury is set to receive official confirmation of his next challenger, which could finally end Dillian Whyte’s torturous wait for a WBC heavyweight title shot.
For Whyte, an arduous journey lasting over four years looks set to end in a huge British battle against Fury in 2022.
At the WBC annual convention, Fury’s commitments as the WBC heavyweight champion will be clarified on Tuesday, with Whyte sitting in pole position to challenge as the WBC ‘interim’ title holder.
The WBC passed a ruling last month, stating that Fury must defend his belt against the WBC ‘interim’ champion, if he could not agree an undisputed world title fight against Oleksandr Usyk within 30 days.
Usyk is already committed to a rematch against Anthony Joshua and with the WBC deadline now gone, then Fury vs Whyte would appear the only possible outcome.
But Whyte has been here before.
Back in October 2017, Whyte defeated Robert Helenius on points to claim the WBC ‘silver’ title and No 1 challenger status, lining up a fight against the WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, which never materialised.
During Whyte’s prolonged period as the No 1 challenger, including an initial stint of over 1,000 days, he was overlooked while Wilder was ordered to make mandatory WBC title defences against Bermane Stiverne and Dominic Breazeale who were both knocked out inside the opening round, and contentiously, Tyson Fury.
Whyte was unable to prove himself as a far more threatening proposition for Wilder, despite defeating Oscar Rivas in a final eliminator in July 2019.
An alleged ‘adverse analytical finding’ prior to the fight, later shown to be from a contaminated sample, was strenuously denied by Whyte, yet the WBC still took action, suspending the mandatory status he had just earned.
Whyte had to sit and wait again, forced to remain silent for nearly six months, until UK Anti-Doping completely cleared him of any wrongdoing and withdrew all charges in December 2019.
Fury had been made the new mandatory challenger, even before Whyte had been exonerated, and he ripped the WBC belt from Wilder with a rematch win before inflicting another knockout on the American in last month’s trilogy clash.
A shock stoppage loss to Alexander Povetkin had thwarted Whyte’s attempt to enforce another mandatory fight, although he regained the WBC ‘interim’ belt with a brutal knockout win over the Russian in their rematch in March.
The south Londoner’s shoulder injury recently forced him to withdraw from a scheduled WBC interim title defence against Otto Wallin, with Fury vs Whyte now expected to be ordered.
“It’s a major fight, if me and him can dust up in the early part of next year in a stadium,” Whyte has said about a fight against Fury.
“It’s one that I’m looking forward to. I think Tyson Fury will look forward to fighting me as well.
“We know each other well. We’ve sparred each other, we’ve spent time with each other, we’ve had all ups and downs and our beefs and stuff.
“But I think logically he’ll think, ‘You know what, this is a big fight, a good homecoming fight and I think it should happen.’
With just hours remaining, Whyte should receive that elusive WBC title fight, at last.