Bob Arum Discusses The Possibility Of Upgrading Tyson Fury And Dillian Whyte’s Championship Status
Over the past few months, there has been some frustration on the side of Dillian Whyte. The interim WBC Heavyweight Champion has been waiting since 2017 for his shot at the WBC Heavyweight Title. It appears that there may be a solution to the crowded situation at heavyweight.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum spoke with PepTalkUK about potentially upgrading the status of Whye and interim WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury. There may be a chance Fury could receive the status of “franchise champion” and Whyte would become a full-time WBC Heavyweight Champion.
“Nobody is asking the WBC to make Tyson Fury a ‘franchise champion,’ but if Dillian Whyte pursues this idea of fighting Tyson Fury before he fought Wilder again and then Joshua, that would be the way I think the WBC would go,” Arum stated, via Boxing Scene. “[If the WBC does that], the public is not stupid, the public knows who’s the champion. Particularly now when we’ve had this [pandemic] period where we haven’t had fights, I think we’ve gotta do the right thing – and the right thing is to do the fights that really appeal to the public.”
Whyte (27-1) has been interim WBC heavyweight Champion since 2019 and is ranked number one by the WBC. He was supposed to face Alexander Povetkin on May 2 in Manchester but the bout was nixed recently as a result of the coronavirus and the lack of opportunity for a crowd. There is a chance the fight can happen in August. On an eleven-fight win streak, Whyte has not fought since December when he beat Mariusz Wach via unanimous decision.
Whyte has been waiting a while for his shot at the WBC title, and has called out the WBC, Fury and whoever will listen. Fury is currently set to face off against Deontay Wilder in a trilogy bout. If Wilder is unavailable, Whyte would volunteer himself to take his spot.
Recently, Eddie Hearn announced there is a plan in place for Fury, the WBC and lineal Heavyweight Champion, to face off against Anthony Joshua. Agreed in principle, The two would face off sometime in 2021. That might hinder Whyte’s chances. the idea of “franchise champion” has been done before, with Vasily Lomachenko becoming a “franchise champion“, resulting in Devin Haney becoming the WBC Lightweight Champion. Someone like Wilder isn’t a fan of the idea, but Arum believes it could benefit the situation.
“The reaction to a lot of these mandatories, what the WBC did was to make a guy like Canelo ‘franchise champion.’ They made Lomachenko ‘franchise champion’ and that allowed Devin Haney to fight for the WBC title and not to bother Lomachenko with a mandatory fight,” Arum went on to say. “Particularly [these champions were elevated] while these guys were fighting the top, top person around.”
With promoters waiting for crowds to put on big fights, it may be a while for fights like these to take place. Whyte will be ready, however, as he has done all this time.
Would you be OK with a “franchise champion” and Whyte being promoted?