Deontay Wilder has been ordered to make a mandatory defense of his World Boxing Council heavyweight title against Dominic Breazeale.
In contrast to a formal announcement last month, Wilder is now expected to battle Breazeale in an all-American grudge match.
Wilder had initially been summoned to rematch Tyson Fury on the back of a draw in December. Due to Fury walking away from talks, the WBC have moved to ensure Wilder isn’t left in the lurch.
“WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder shall fulfill his mandatory obligations by fighting Dominic Breazeale next,” said the WBC on Wednesday.
“This order constitutes the start of the free negotiations period for Champion Wilder’s mandatory defense of his title.
“If no agreement is reached between the camps, the WBC shall conduct a purse offer ceremony on April 4, 2019 at the WBC Offices in Mexico City, Mexico.”
Previously, the WBC had said Breazeale must face number one contender Dillian Whyte for the interim strap.
On February 12th, the WBC ruled: “In order to provide activity to the heavyweight division, And to address the rights of Breazeale as mandatory challenger, the WBC is ordering a fight for the interim championship.
“The WBC is hereby ordering Dominique Breazeale to fight WBC Silver champion Dillian Whyte for the WBC Interim Heavyweight championship.”
Whyte will once again miss out, though. This time because of the direct actions of Fury not taking Wilder’s 50-50 offer in order to sign with ESPN.
‘The Bodysnatcher’ had fully expected to take on Breazeale next.
“The WBC, they ordered me against Breazeale,” Whyte told Sky Sports. “Hopefully they will honour that and keep true to their word, and they will give me the mandatory position.
“If Wilder wants to fight Breazeale, I should become the WBC automatic mandatory, because Dominic Breazeale is pulling out of the fight, not me.”
Ironically, Whyte is pushing towards penning a deal with ESPN. This will push Fury and Whyte closer to a British grudge match in the next eighteen months.
The pair had been friends in the past and enjoyed several sparring sessions until parting ways.