After the WBC Dillian denied Whyte the chance to fight Deontay Wilder, the Brit now looks set to lose out on another mandatory position, this time for Anthony Joshua’s WBO belt, according to The Metro.
Whyte looked almost certain to land a world title shot at the turn of the year after finding himself ranked number one by the WBC and WBO governing bodies. His chances were increased when rumours began circulating of a grudge rematch with long time rival Anthony Joshua on April 13th.
But, less than a week away from that proposed Wembley date, Whyte’s position has changed drastically.
It began with the WBC granting Dominic Breazeale mandatory status for Deontay Wilder’s belt, meaning the two American’s fight on May 18th. The potential clash with AJ also broke down, after Whyte derided offers made by the AJ camp, the final being for a reported £5 million.
And now, Whyte faces a third blow in his attempt to become World Heavyweight champion, as unified Cruiserweight Champion Oleksandr Usyk looks set to claim the number 1 spot in the WBO heavyweight rankings – according to the Ukrainian’s promoter.
The fact that Usyk will become a mandatory challenger is not PR”
The reason Usyk will likely leapfrog Dillion to become the number 1 challenger is down a WBO rule, which stipulates that any “Super” champion from a lower weight category can instantly become the mandatory challenger to the WBO belt if they then move up a division.
Usyk, 32, is the Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion, and will make his debut appearance at heavyweight in Maryland this May. This means, as Eddie Hearn recently explained, that a fight between AJ and Usyk is an inevitability, should both continue their unbeaten runs.
After Miller, he’s (Joshua) either going to fight Wilder, or more likely, Usyk
The fight seems even more likely given that both fighters are currently promoted by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, who so far has been unable to reach a deal with Deontay Wilder’s team over a potential unification fight.
Another Joshua first won the WBO Heavyweight belt last year, after defeating Joseph Parker at a packed out Millennium Stadium. The WBO is the next governing body in line to call for Joshua to fight his mandatory, after the 30 year old defeated WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin last September.
For Whyte, it means waiting on the WBC’s verdict, who could potentially reinstate Whyte as the next mandatory challenger to Wilder, should he come through his May 18th bout.
Usyk meanwhile, makes his long awaited heavyweight debut a week later on May 25th, taking on former Joshua opponent Carlos Takam.
Usyk first introduced himself to the UK audience last year, when he knocked out former Cruiserweight World Champion Tony Bellew In Manchester. But if he can get past Takam, a super fight with Anthony Joshua could see him back on UK soil by the end of the year.