Hearn, Whyte, Smith ignore drug test clarity calls as return is confirmed
The ill-fated return of British heavyweight Dillian Whyte has been confirmed for the make-or-break rematch card which will determine Anthony Joshua’s career.
Whyte, the massive subject of an adverse sample finding from the summer, will be back in action without any mention whatsoever of clarification or approval.
In comments released by Matchroom Boxing, neither promoter Eddie Hearn or Sky Sports Head of Boxing Adam Smith chose to address the biggest talking point of Whyte’s boxing run since he first tested positive and was banned in 2012.
‘The Bodysnatcher’ lost two years of his term on that occasion. Many believe it would be best advised for Whyte to seek crystal clear action for his reputation.
Despite this fact, Whyte was named on the Andy Ruiz Jr. vs Joshua 2 bill in Saudi Arabia opposite Poland’s Mariusz Wach.
Wach, himself confirmed to have failed TWO drug tests – one due to steroids – has a significant cloud hanging over him.
This doesn’t seem to have deterred organizers of the event, which will see the pair trade blows in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
The release read as follows: Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte has landed a spot on the colossal Andy Ruiz Jr vs. Anthony Joshua 2 World title rematch. It takes place at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia.
The event happens on Saturday December 7. It will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK. DAZN in the US.
Whyte will take on Poland’s former World title challenger Mariusz Wach in his first fight back. Whyte fights for the first time since climbing off the canvas to outpoint Oscar ‘Kaboom’ Rivas in an exciting battle at The O2 in London back in July that saw him move to 26-1 (18 KOs).
Wach (35-5, 19 KOs) was due to face Whyte back in 2017 before ‘The Body Snatcher’ withdrew from their contest with an injured foot. The Viking’, a former opponent of Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin (both of which fights resulted in positive tests for Wach), will now have the opportunity to lock horns with Whyte following back to back wins in his homeland.
Fellow Brit Tom Little (10-7, 3 KOs) will also be targeting a huge upset on the undercard. He takes on Mahammadrasul Majidov (1-0, 1 KO), the former world amateur champion.
Alexander Povetkin’s explosive encounter with Michael Hunter has already been confirmed. Also, Filip Hrgovic’s step-up in class against Eric Molina on an action-packed evening of Heavyweight fights.
The talented young duo of Leeds Super-Bantamweight Hopey Price (1-0) and Los Angeles Super-Middleweight Diego Pacheco (7-0, 6 KOs) will also be eager to impress at Diriyah Arena.
“I’m delighted to be fighting in Saudi Arabia against Mariusz Wach,” said Whyte. “He’s probably got one of the best chins in the Heavyweight division.
“I have been training. Working hard to fight so it’s great to get a date. It’s very exciting for me to be fighting somewhere different like Saudi Arabia.
“I want to fight in different places and different settings and this card has the biggest Heavyweight fight on it that we have seen in years.
“I’m just going to keep chasing the World titles. So if I keep winning then I hope to land that World title shot in 2020. That’s the plan for December 7.”
HEARN & SMITH
“This wraps up a huge card for what will be a historic night for the sport,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Boxing. “Ten big Heavyweights will descend on Diriyah to cause a shockwave through World boxing. Saudi Arabia hosts one of the biggest Heavyweight fights of all time. Ten days to go!”
Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Anthony Joshua’s epic rematch night has even more heavyweight fireworks as Dillian Whyte battles Mariusz Wach. The bill is brimming with big punchers.
“Whyte will be seeking to showcase his power against the battle-hardened Mariusz Wach. While the likeable Tom Little receives a dream fight against Mahammadrasul Majidov, the former world amateur champion.
“Hopey Price and Diego Pacheco are also keen to display their talent on a momentous night for the sport. We build towards Joshua’s spectacular showdown with Ruiz Jr.”
At the very minimal, the majority of fans wanted some sort of acknowledgment of wrongdoing. Not least for keeping Oscar Rivas in the dark.
Without this declaration, Whyte will be treading water in the reputation stakes and may never regain his WBC mandatory spot.