Malignaggi Defends Interim Heavyweight Champion Whyte
It is not just Dillian Whyte who thinks it is time for him to get a shot at the WBC Heavyweight Title.
Former WBA Welterweight Champion Paulie Malignaggi spoke to Boxing Scene about the fact that Whyte has been waiting since last July to earn a shot at the WBC title. The current champion, Tyson Fury, is currently set to face off against Deontay Wilder in a trilogy bout. Malignaggi had an interesting take on the situation.
“How Dillian Whyte has not gotten a heavyweight title shot in his career baffles me,” Malignaggi stated. “It really baffles me. This is not the ‘50s or ‘40s or ‘30s, where you had certain fighters based on certain characteristics, like race, did not get title shots. I obviously don’t think Whyte’s not getting a title shot because of his race, but I think it’s utterly ridiculous that a guy that good cannot get a heavyweight title shot. It blows me away. There’s definitely no reason at all he shouldn’t have gotten a heavyweight title shot. It’s ludicrous.”
Whyte hasn’t lost a bout since 2016, when Anthony Joshua beat him for the WBC International, Commonwealth, and British Heavyweight Titles. He has since beaten the likes of Dereck Chisora, Robert Helenius, and Joseph Parker. Whyte beat Oscar Rivas for the vacant WBC interim Heavyweight Title in July. He was then suspended for a failed drug test that ended up coming back with inconclusive results.
Reinstated, Whyte was supposed to face Alexander Povetkin for the interim title on May 2 but that has been postponed due to the coronavirus. The bout is now rumored for July.
There are currently several mandatory challengers that haven’t gotten their shot because of the three-man rotation that is WIlder, Fury, and Joshua. Joshua is set to defend his WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Titles against IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev. Charles Martin beat Gerald Washington to also became an IBF challenger. Helenius beat Adam Kownacki to become the WBA mandatory challenger.
Regarding the WBC title, Oleksandr Usyk is interested in it, as well as several other fighters. With boxing running around trying to make fights happen, Malignaggi is trying to understand how a guy with an actual interim title doesn’t get a shot at the real thing.
“There’s a lot that turns me off about boxing and seeing things like that is definitely one of them,” Malignaggi went on to say. “How has this guy never even gotten a title shot? How are you that good and you can’t say you’ve ever heard the ring announcer say, ‘Tonight, 12 rounds, for the heavyweight championship of the world?’ I remember for me, those moments when I would be in the ring for a fight and I was part of a world championship fight, and Jimmy Lennon or Michael Buffer would say, ‘This fight, 12 rounds, for whatever organization’s light welterweight championship of the world or the welterweight championship of the world.’
“… How Whyte has never been able to hear that with a fight that he’s been involved in, it blows me away. He’s a very good fighter and he’s obviously earned it.”
The WBC has until February to give Whyte his title shot. With plans changing every single day due to the coronavirus, it is unknown if they can stay true to their word.
When will Whyte end up getting his shot at the WBC Heavyweight Title?