World Boxing Council chiefs have ruled out Tyson Fury being given ‘Franchise Champion’ status ahead of a clash with Anthony Joshua.
Speculation had mounted that the WBC would be giving Dillian Whyte a shot at the vacant heavyweight title. Instead, the Briton has been told he has to wait for his opportunity.
WBC chiefs have confirmed that the green and gold belt will be on the line for any Fury vs Joshua undisputed unification.
Fury and Joshua’s handlers have confirmed an initial split of 50-50 has been agreed for a two-fight deal. This means Whyte could face waiting until at least the end of 2021 for his chance.
Despite Canelo Alvarez and Vasyl Lomachenko both being elevated by the WBC, there are currently no plans to do the same with ‘The Gypsy King’.
“WBC franchise is not a belt. It is a designation. If Fury stays undefeated until then, he would be putting his WBC World Champion Belt on the line (vs Joshua),” said the WBC.
No doubt that the massive sanctioning fees involved in what could be the most lucrative fight between two UK boxers have played a part. But Whyte is once again in limbo.
Having been number one in the ratings for over two years, Whyte was informed he’d be in the ring with the WBC champion by February 2021.
That was prior to the title changing hands as Tyson Fury defeating Deontay Wilder early in 2020.
Fast forward a few months and a coronavirus later, Whyte is even further away from getting anywhere near sharing a ring with the new champion.
Instead of enforcing Whyte’s stipulation either before or in between Fury vs Joshua I and II, the WBC is yet to formally make a ruling on when Whyte now steps up.
Therefore, if Whyte does get his shot in the last quarter of 2021, it could be almost four years since he took the top spot in the rankings.
Late last year, the WBC had stated: “Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is scheduled to make a voluntary title defense on November 23 against No. 3 ranked Luis Ortiz of Cuba.
“The World Boxing Council has also approved the rematch (for Deontay Wilder, then champion) against No. 2 ranked Tyson Fury of Great Britain to be held in 2020.
“No. 1 ranked Dillian Whyte’s situation is in process with UKAD (eventually cleared). Whyte’s representatives (are in talks) with the WBC.
“If his situation is resolved, he will become the mandatory challenger for February 2021,” they added.
Fury or Wilder, or Joshua – for that matter, versus Whyte – now seems a long way off.
Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay