Deontay Wilder path forged to WBC or WBO shot by 2022 – no IBF

Deontay Wilder

Ryan Hafey

Heavyweight puncher Deontay Wilder is out of the frame for an IBF title chance as things currently stand but remains in favor with the WBC and WBO.

The American has much work to do on the IBF rankings system as old foe Tyson Fury prepares to return to action in the coming months.

Wilder was due to battle Fury in a trilogy until the latter canceled the deal amidst a barrage of accusations stemming from their February 2020 rematch.

Now, as Fury pursues an undisputed unification against fellow-Brit Anthony Joshua in the summer, the IBF and WBO top division belts could be vacant by the end of the year.

Fury is known to despise the IBF. Simultaneously, the WBO will agree to allow the Fury vs. Joshua events to be for their strap to keep all the marbles up for grabs.

The situation arises despite their mandatory being due for Oleksandr Usyk to contest. The WBO will approve Usyk vs. Joe Joyce for the vacant strap if Fury and Joshua can work out their current kinks.

Once Fury vs. Joshua is complete, though, there’s no guarantee the winner will be on board with the WBO stipulation. It means the victor of Usyk vs. Joyce could effectively be the champion pending the result of Fury vs. Joshua.

Deontay Wilder
Esther Lin

Getting the Fury vs. Joshua saga in the books should then see Usyk or Joyce elevated to WBO champion. Whoever that is will then have a voluntary.

That’s where Deontay Wilder could come in. He’s currently ranked nine by the WBO and would be eligible for Usyk’s first defense.

As for the IBF, Fury will vacate with a win over Joshua. Wilder then needs to secure a rating to be considered for a shot.


But one place ‘The Bronze Bomber’ is favored most of all is with the WBC. Dependent on what Wilder does in the interim, potentially against the winner of the Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte return this month, he could be confirmed as the next WBC mandatory by the end of the summer.

Therefore, if Fury prevails and has all the titles by the end of the year, ‘The Gypsy King’ has some massive decisions.

It’s highly likely the IBF will be vacated immediately, although Fury could have a WBC order in place by then.

Mauricio Sulaiman could insist on Fury vs. Wilder III as mandatory, leaving two possible vacant titles for the knockout artist by 2022.

What Deontay Wilder must do now is secure his next fight, win it and accept the winner of Povetkin vs. Whyte II as a final eliminator.

It should be a relatively easy decision.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.