Brixton’s Dillian Whyte targets mandatory shot at a world title – to take away rematch clause

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Dillian Whyte is planning for an April 20 fight date at Greenwich’s 02 Arena – after confirming talks for him to rematch with Anthony Joshua earlier in the month are dead in the water.

The Brixton heavyweight had been made offers to get it on again with Joshua on April 13 at Wembley Stadium.

But Whyte was unhappy with the terms on the table from Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn, who promotes both fighters.

Joshua holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO versions of the world titles – making him the golden goose of the organisation, who are the biggest players in the UK market.

But Whyte has seen his profile soar and has caught the imagination headlining pay-per-view shows against Joseph Parker and Dereck Chisora.

The South Londoner is expected to face either Dominic Breazeale, Alexander Povetkin or Luis Ortiz to try and get mandatory status with the WBC or WBO.

Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, London

The 30-year-old, who has 25 wins against just the one loss to Joshua earlier in his career, reckons being mandated to challenge is a game-changer.

“On a mandatory, there is no rematch [clause],” Whyte told iFLTV. “That’s the catch. On a mandatory split, there’s no rematch. If he wants to fight again then he’ll come to me and I will dictate the terms and the splits.

“I can sit there in Eddie Hearn’s office and say ‘I’ll give you 20 per cent of the rematch’.

“But right now, on a voluntary, he’s trying to dictate the first purse and the lion’s share of the rematch.

“If I beat you I should be able to give you the same terms in the rematch.”
Joshua now looks set for a first foray into the lucrative US market and a June date against Jarrell Miller at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Photograph by Keith Gillard

And Whyte reckons he has info that it was the plan all along.

He is blunt on the negotiations he had with Hearn over a second encounter with Joshua.

“The offer was rubbish,” he said. “We’ve been trying to make the fight with Joshua from September. They’ve had the date [April 13] and they knew what was happening. We had to wait until after the [Deontay] Wilder-[Tyson] Fury fight.

“They made the first approach on January 14, that’s rubbish. You can’t make a fight of that magnitude at 12 weeks’ notice, that makes no sense.

“I want 20-week drug testing. I’m signed up to the VADA drug-testing – Joshua is not. I’d like him to be signed up to that, that’s one of my rules. For every one of my fights I pay to VADA for independent drug testing – that’s not the rules, it’s my decision.

Dillian Whyte celebrates winning the WBC Silver and WBO International Heavyweight Championship against Dereck Chisora at the O2 Arena, London.

“I want him to be in the same programme. And I want to train properly as well.

“You want to underpay me. You want the lions’ share of the rematch. So imagine, you underpay me and I accept the terms but if I beat you, you want the lions’ share and the rematch. What fighter is going to sign that?

“I went back saying ‘I’ll take what you’re offering me and with no rematch’. And they said no.

“I said ‘okay, the deal you’re giving me – I’ll give it to you in the rematch’. They said no. That’s why the fight is not happening.”

It seems accepted by all parties that Matchroom went back with an improved offer to make Joshua-Whyte II.

But the man who would be cast in the role of challenger could not be any clearer with his response.

“Me and Joshua will not be fighting on April 13, under no circumstances,” said Whyte. “The fight is dead. He’s fighting Miller, in America and on DAZN in June.

“Go back and look at my fight with Chisora. I said it back then that it was the plan. I heard from a reasonable source that Eddie was under pressure from DAZN to deliver Joshua to America.

“It’s done, we knew it from months ago.”

Hearn mentioned over the weekend that the ideal plan was to bring Californian Breazeale over for that April 20 date and try and make it a final eliminator to challenge for Wilder’s WBC belt.

Hearn said: “I’ve delivered his [Whyte’s] whole career. And he has delivered – going from [boxing] six rounds, off TV, to here on PPV.

“We’ve got to keep the momentum. I admire Dillian because he does back himself. You’re always gambling in this division at that level. He did it with Parker and Chisora.

“Whether it’s Breazeale or Povetkin, they are all tough fights.

“In an ideal world we like Breazeale, because it puts him WBC mandatory for the winner of Wilder-Fury.

“We’ve had some chats [with Breazeale] and there will be some offers to him.

“It’s whether Breazeale wants a fight like that, or decides to just sit tight.

“He [Whyte] ain’t willing to sit tight.”

“When you look at the division commercially there are four guys – Wilder, Fury, Dillian and AJ. They are the four biggest heavyweights in the world.

“He [Whyte] wants to be on the same level, commercial value, as those guys. And if he keeps winning, he will be.

“That’s what he’s backing himself to do and I think the fans will admire that because he’s rolling the dice every time. That’s exciting, isn’t it?”

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