With Anthony Joshua having defeated Joseph Parker to add the WBO belt to his IBF and WBA titles, attentions will now shift to the huge unification clash with Deontay Wilder on the horizon. The fight seems to draw closer, ever closer, but this is boxing. With both sides yet to reach an agreement, where does Dillian Whyte fit in the current scene?
With both Joshua and Wilder’s teams locked in negotiations, an interim fight for both parties could be on the cards. Mandatories have often put a spanner in the works of big unification clashes in the past, but Alexander Povetkin’s appearance on the undercard in Cardiff is perhaps an indication that Joshua may seek to get his WBA commitments out of the way before facing Wilder.
Wilder had mandatory commitments of his own in November when he brushed aside the overmatched Bermane Stiverne. In theory, this means that the WBC may be slow to name another mandatory challenger for Wilder, but with Whyte being the Silver belt holder and #1 contender, it would make sense for to call for a Wilder-Whyte fight next.
It is a solution which works well on a number of levels. Having beaten Dereck Chisora, Robert Helenius and now Lucas Browne (in brutal fashion) since his loss to Joshua back in 2015, Whyte has done more than most to deserve another title shot. He is also a name fighter in Britain, which could help to hype up the Joshua fight even more; especially if Wilder were to outdo Joshua’s performance. It’s also a fight that both sides are seemingly willing to make. Eddie Hearn has made an offer to make the fight in England, although Wilder wants to take Whyte to America, as well as a guarantee of a Joshua fight immediately afterwards.
These issues are not yet insurmountable, yet if the fight does not come to pass, there is another option on the table for Whyte. At ringside on Saturday night, ‘The Body Snatcher’ called out Povetkin as a possible summer opponent, after the Russian’s chilling stoppage win over David Price.
If Joshua and Wilder can reach an agreement quickly, Whyte-Povetkin would certainly make for a good undercard bout, with the winners facing off at a later date. However, with Joshua being the biggest name in the division, would Povetkin be willing to potentially forgo a Joshua fight in order to face Whyte?
Dillian Whyte doesn’t have his fate entirely in his own hands, but it is surely only a matter of time before he gets a big fight.