In a lot of ways, Dillian Whyte is the unluckiest man in heavyweight boxing. At one point, he’d been the official number one contender for at least two versions of the world heavyweight championship for more than three years without getting a shot at either of them. That’s down to the many quirks of the way that match making happens in boxing. Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and Deontay Wilder locked down the top spots with fights or potential fights against each other that Whyte couldn’t get a look in. Then, at the worst possible time, Whyte suffered a shock knockout loss to Russian fighter Alexander Povetkin in August 2020.
At the end of March 2021, Whyte avenged that defeat. He dismantled Povetkin in four rounds, beating him so badly that his corner threw in the towel. Povetkin has now been sent into retirement after a long and mostly successful career. Whyte has his “interim” WBC interim heavyweight title back and is theoretically back at the front of the queue. In reality, he’s going to be waiting a while. Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua will fight each other with all the belts on the line at least twice. If they win one fight each, there will be a trilogy fight. All of that will happen before Whyte’s management team gets the phone call they’ve waited so long for.
Whyte won’t want to become inactive during his long wait, but there aren’t many opponents for him that offer the kind of blockbuster fight he’ll be looking for. Boxing, like playing online slots, is all about putting the right combination together to make big money. If the combination is wrong, then people won’t buy the fight, and people lose money. You have no control over what combination comes up when you spin the reels at Rose Slots. Boxing promoters do have a degree of control but still have surprisingly few options when it comes to chasing a jackpot. Who’s out there right now that might offer Dillian White the kind of online slots jackpot he needs to make it worth his while to get into the ring? If you want our opinion – which we’re assuming you do, because you’re reading this article – these are the only contenders.
Nobody seems to know what’s going on with the “Bronze Bomber” at the moment. He was the boxer that everyone else was afraid of until Tyson Fury destroyed the myth of his invincibility across two hard-hitting fights. After a controversial draw in the first fight and a heavy loss in the second, Wilder was supposed to have a trilogy fight against the giant Brit in 2020. It didn’t happen, and nobody knows why. Fury’s camp says Wilder deliberately let the rematch clause expire rather than face their man again. Wilder’s side denies this accusation but hasn’t offered an alternative explanation. Wilder has been inactive for some time now, and there are some boxing fans who believe he’ll never fight again. Taking on Dillian Whyte and beating him convincingly would be the perfect answer to Wilder’s critics – and there would be plenty of people willing to pay to see it happen.
Andy Ruiz Jr
Andy Ruiz Jr is at risk of being seen as the modern-day equivalent of Buster Douglas. The Mexican-American fighter was unfancied when he took on Anthony Joshua for three versions of the world heavyweight championship in June 2019, but he shocked the world by handing Joshua the first defeat of his professional career. Instead of capitalizing on his sudden fame and opportunity, Ruiz chose to take advantage of his newfound wealth instead. He spent money, partied, and put on huge amounts of weight. By the time his rematch with Joshua came around, Ruiz weighed more than 300 pounds. Joshua outboxed Ruiz easily, took his belts back, and left Ruiz right back where he started. Since then, Ruiz has started training with Canelo Alvarez and lost over 40 pounds. He’s in the shape of his life and intends to return to the top of the division. He won’t be fighting Joshua or Fury any time soon, so Whyte and his interim WBC championship would be a good target.
All-British fights make big money in the United Kingdom, and there’s one on the cards for Whyte if he chooses to take it. It would be with Joe Joyce. The big heavyweight may not be a household name worldwide, but he’s known and respected in his home country. At 35, he’s left it late to get involved in the professional game, but since doing so, he’s 12-0. He’s also got some impressive accolades to his name. Aside from being an Olympic silver medalist from 2016, he’s the current WBC Silver heavyweight champion and WBO international heavyweight champion. Joyce needs to fast-track his way to the very top if he’s to get there before age starts taking its toll and beating Whyte would put him on the map. It might be “too early” for Joyce based on the names on his resume so far, but at the same time, you could just as easily make the argument that it’s now or never.
A combination of Dillian Whyte and any of the three boxers we’ve mentioned would make for a compelling box office attraction, but Whyte himself may have other ideas. He’s 33 years old already and knows that he’s likely to be 35 before he gets the chance to fight Fury or Joshua. That might be too long for him to wait no matter who he fights in the interim, and he has big dreams. According to Whyte, he might leave boxing behind altogether and embark on a new career in UFC. Unbeknown to most, Whyte is a trained mixed martial artist. He’s only fought professionally in MMA once – a knockout win over Mark Stroud in 2008 – but he’s kept up his MMA training and now has the profile to be a top-tier draw for Dana White’s professional fighting company. Could Whyte swap the squared circle for the octagon? Will we next see him fight in a roped ring or a cage? We don’t know for sure, but if the door to a top fight isn’t opened to him soon, the chances of seeing him swap one fighting discipline for another are likely to be high. Watch this space.