Dillian Whyte has confirmed his participation on the Andy Ruiz vs Anthony Joshua rematch despite an ongoing investigation into an adverse drug sample.
‘The Bodysnatcher’ took to social media this week to reveal the news, with an opponent already rumored to be lined up.
WBN understands former Joshua opponent and IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin is the frontrunner.
Martin has won one of five bouts since dropping his title to AJ in April 2016. All four victories came before the final bell.
The second defeat of Martin’s career came against Adam Kownacki in September 2018.
Should the contest be finalized, questions are sure to be asked.
Whyte has his career under a cloud following a banned substance being present in his system prior to a July clash with Oscar Rivas.
According to UKAD, Whyte was red-flagged before hastily-arranging a hearing for the day of the Pay-Per-View.
All VADA testing came back negative and all could have potentially been swept under the carpet had journalist Thomas Hauser not blown the lid on the story.
World Boxing News was told on the same evening as Hauser but decided to gather more information before running with it.
Since then, promoter Eddie Hearn stated Whyte would need to be cleared in the eyes of the fans before competing. This would have to be done soon in order to avoid Whyte fighting whilst facing criticism from those doubting his test results.
Social media remains awash with calls for Hearn and Whyte to do all they can to open a B-sample.
But for many, those results are not the biggest bone of contention. It’s the fact Hearn and Whyte did not divulge the information to Rivas and his team.
That’s the biggest sticking point by far. And one which could continually damage the pair’s reputations moving forward due to duty of care for Rivas.
Video of a conversation at the post-fight press conference, which was seemingly transcribed perfectly, was also released to head shakes.
Disappointed by the actions, Rivas and his team feel they have not been given the courtesy they deserved at the time.
It looks as though travelling out of the UK to Saudi Arabia, a controversial place in its own right, could be deemed the perfect opportunity to compete and worry about the fallout later.
Without any action since the summer, Whyte needs to stay busy to keep himself in the title picture.
The WBC has already dropped the 31 year-old as mandatory challenger until at least 2021 due to an ongoing investigation.
We will see over the coming days how any ratification of Whyte’s involvement is received.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay