Home Sports Dillian Whyte nears WBC shot and Tyson Fury after taking long road...

Dillian Whyte nears WBC shot and Tyson Fury after taking long road to title

Dillian Whyte has spent this week staying in a winnebago parked up outside of a Holiday Inn for fear he might rumble with Alexander Povetkin before they get to the ring tonight.

When the pair could only exchange pleasantries at a so-called press conference on Thursday inside the hotel, then it looked even more like just a move to build hype around the heavyweight bout.

A motorhome being pulled up just off the M25 is a harmless bit of promotion and a bit of fun to create some false friction between the pair who both share defeats to Anthony Joshua.

It certainly isn’t the first and won’t be the last time a comical gimmick is used to garner interest in a fight.

Part of the business, as they say.

But the other narrative that those around Whyte have been trying to drive home for a lot longer is far more contrived.

It is that the Brixton bruiser has been denied opportunities to fight for a world title.

Dillian Whyte arrives for Fight Camp and checks out his motor home (Matchroom Boxing/Mark Robinson)

Whyte, 32, is the favourite to hand 40-year-old veteran Povetkin his third professional defeat tonight at Fight Camp, in the back garden of Matchroom’s headquarters in Essex.

That would mean he is guaranteed a shot at the WBC title and then he will get a fight with the winner out of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder’s third clash.

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It will be deserved and some will say a long time coming.

He has been in the No. 1 position for more than 1,000 days but, crucially, he hasn’t been mandatory for all of that time.

Dillian Whyte was knocked out by Anthony Joshua in 2015

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The opinion that he has been somewhat hard done by for being made to wait falls flat when you consider the opportunities he turned his nose up at.

This is the same fighter who scoffed at a £4m offer to face Joshua – the only man to beat him as a professional – in a rematch last year for the WBA, IBF and WBO titles.

“Rubbish” is what he labelled the package as he was angered by the rematch terms which would have left Joshua – the much bigger commodity – with a greater share again should he need revenge against Whyte.

Many would love to say such an offer was trash while ‘The Body Snatcher’ still hasn’t come anywhere close to earning that figure in any of his 28 bouts.

Alexander Povetkin lost to Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium in 2018 (Matchroom Boxing/Mark Robinson)

Joshua failed to secure a suitable opponent for a UK venue so went to crack America and booked a duel with Jarrell Miller.

When Miller was found to have so many drugs in his system he was almost solvent, Andy Ruiz Jr jumped in and took an offer of just over £3m for the June fight in New York.

Ruiz Jr shocked the sport, pocketed himself £7m for the Saudi Arabia rematch and, despite losing in the return, can now always call himself a world heavyweight champion.

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Whyte opted to face Oscar Rivas at the O2 in London last July and earned a lot less while he still waits for the coveted title.

Around the same time as the Joshua negotiations, there was talk of a final eliminator against Kubrat Pulev for a shot at Joshua’s IBF title.

Eddie Hearn insists Anthony Joshua will face Kubrat Pulev before the end of 2020

“Pulev we accepted but his promoters couldn’t come up with the money,” Whyte said last year.

Then why didn’t Whyte’s team put up the money, beat Pulev and force the issue with Joshua?

The Bulgarian will now get his shot before the year is out.

If the WBC was Whyte’s route of choice then going back further why not face Luis Ortiz when the sanctioning body insisted on it to earn a mandatory position?

Whyte was, according to sources, offered just shy of £200,000 to face the Cuban on the undercard of Fury’s first fight with Wilder in December 2018.

Deontay Wilder knocked out Luis Ortiz in the seventh round of their November 2019 clash (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

“Luis Ortiz wanted me to fight on the Fury and Wilder undercard when I’ve got a main event date at the O2 for more money and more publicity,” said Whyte.

Not a huge offer, but the riches were beyond that fight if he took it and won.

Wilder, after a thrilling draw with Fury, beat his first mandatory in Dominic Breazeale and then gave Ortiz a voluntary shot.

Instead of facing Ortiz, Whyte opted for a more lucrative rematch with Derek Chisora on pay-per-view in the UK.

Victory didn’t increase his credentials as a world-title challenger.

Every fighter has a right to seek the biggest pay cheque in a career that is both short and dangerous.

But if the motivation is more money then the route to glory isn’t always as direct.

Of course, the politics of the sport haven’t made it an easy road to navigate but it is not like he is the only fighter to have had a few bumps along the way.

Whyte has had to wait for his chance but the man in the motorhome has opted for the scenic route a number of times. He hasn’t always been pushed down the long road.

Even if he isn’t a happy camper about it.

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