The latest WBC rankings were announced this week with all change in the heavyweight division.
Previous number one-ranked contender Bermane Stiverne was completely obliterated by current ruler Deontay Wilder making way for Silver champion Dillian Whyte to take over the number one spot.
Whyte has been hoping to land a clash with Wilder for some time now and sits in pole position for a potential final eliminator with second-rated Dominic Breazeale.
The American has an axe to grind with his compatriot after clashing with Wilder outside of the ring and is closer than ever to securing his chance in 2018.
Wilder is on the look-out for an opponent before potentially facing Anthony Joshua in a unification, although Whyte and Breazeale are not said to be in the frame.
Third place on the new list is Cuban Luis Ortiz, recently reinstated after a drug test ‘misunderstanding’, whilst former WBO title challenger Andy Ruiz Jr. has been pushed to fourth despite not fighting since December.
At that time, Ruiz lost out to Joseph Parker in New Zealand and is already pencilled in to make a comeback in February, which would seemingly rule him out.
Ortiz is the hot favorite having gone head-to-head with Wilder in the aftermath of his knockout of Daniel Martz, meaning Whyte and Breazeale are likely to have to wait for the WBC’s mandatory eliminator ruling before battling the eventual winner of a Wilder / Ortiz / Joshua triangle.
Joshua is close to agreeing a unification with Parker and has been linked to a mammoth blockbuster with Wilder in the summer.
Should Ortiz cause an almighty shock against Wilder, the veteran could then take his place opposite Joshua at a huge stadium offering next year.
WBC Heavyweight Rankings (December 2017) :
1 Dillian Whyte (Jamaica/GB) SILVER
2 Dominic Breazeale (US)
3 Luis Ortiz (Cuba)
4 Andy Ruiz (Mexico)
5 Tony Bellew (GB)
6 Johann Duhaupas (France)
7 Charles Martin (US)
8 Oscar Rivas (Colombia/Canada) NABF
9 Agit Kabayel (Germany) EBU
10 Carlos Takam (Cameroon)
11 Lucas Browne (Australia)
12 Dereck Chisora (GB)
13 Adam Kownacki (US) *CBP/P
14 Bermane Stiverne (Haiti/Canada)
15 Hughie Fury (GB) * CBP/P