Leading heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte 27-1 (18) has hit back at Bob Arum after the promoter indicated he wanted to “eliminate” the WBC mandatory title fight.
The Top Rank boss, who co-promotes WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 30-0-1 (21) alongside Frank Warren, has said he will hold discussions with the Mexican sanctioning body in a bid to delay or cancel the fight.
Whyte had previously been guaranteed a shot at the green belt no later than February 2021 after a prolonged wait.
“Arum’s talking rubbish,” Whyte told Sky Sports.
“If he represented me he’d be screaming that this is the biggest travesty in the history of boxing – nearly 1,000 days as No 1 without being given a shot whereas Tyson Fury barely scraped by the WBC No 31 ranked Otto Wallin in front of only 3,500 people and then got gifted my mandatory position without fighting an eliminator, never mind a final eliminator.
“Fury won the belt off that pathetic, hype job Deontay Wilder as his legs were too weak to carry it any longer after running away from me for years and it now looks like the two of them are in a relay.
“The WBC had originally agreed that the winner of Wilder-Fury II had to fight me by May 2020. Now Wilder’s injured and Arum’s trying to delay my shot further. It’s all wrong and has nothing to do with COVID-19.
“If he was fit to fight, they could fight in July. Who cares if they don’t have an audience. Big deal. Both of them have fought most of their careers with hardly any audience.”
Arum told Sky Sports that mandatories should be pushed back due to the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic.
“These organisations will be cognizant that the mandatories must be pushed into the future because fighters, for at least three months, had no ability to fight,” he said. “Then after those three months the fights will be without spectators.
“We will be talking to the organisations to eliminate mandatories, or to postpone them all for at least one year.
“I am sick and tired of being forced, with my marquee fighters, to fight meaningless fights against mandatories that mean nothing.
“I won’t denigrate Dillian Whyte, but the fact that he’s a mandatory means nothing to me.
“If he fought Fury in the US it would be the same as Fury fighting [Otto Wallin]. It means nothing.
“All boxing promoters and all organisations have to get together to get things rolling at the highest level. Then we’ll worry about mandatories.”
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told Sky Sports that all mandatories are under review in every weight division.
“The WBC is going to look at every single weight category, with the championships and with the mandatories, and every single situation that has to do with each particular situation regarding this pandemic, but Dillian Whyte is the mandatory for February 2021,” he said.
Whyte added: “The whole thing’s a joke and I’m not putting up with it anymore.”
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