Whyte Denied WBO Appeal
Not been a great month for Dillian Whyte.
Days after winning the WBC interim world heavyweight title and the right to be Deontay Wilder’s mandatory opponent, the British boxer would have those titles suspended after testing positive in a drug test.
Now, after filing an appeal to the WBO’s sanctioning former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk the mandatory challenger to Andy Ruiz Jr’s world heavyweight title, Whyte has come up empty.
“As a true WBC World title holder, Whyte will be able to defend its WBC title with a champion of the WBO only with the approval of or ratification by a majority of the [WBC] Board of Governors,” Chariman of the WBO Complaint Committee, Fernando J. Gierbolini-González explained in their ruling. “Therefore, if Whyte is confirmed as the WBC Interim Heavyweight World Champion, the WBO cannot rank him as Mandatory Challenger in the Heavyweight Division without the prior approval of or ratification by the majority of the WBC Board of Governors. However, even with the approval of the WBC Board of Governors, any attempt by Whyte to challenge the WBO Heavyweight World Champion, under those circumstances, would be considered a Unification Bout under §7 of the WBO-Regulations, which also discards the possibility of considering him to be a Mandatory Challenger in the WBO Heavyweight Division.
“Moreover, ordinarily the WBO and the other principal boxing organizations –WBC, IBF, and WBA- do not include in their rankings a World Champion -whether Regular, Super or Interim of another organization for obvious reasons. This means that if confirmed as the WBC Interim Heavyweight World Champion, and therefore considered a true WBC World titleholder in the Heavyweight Division, Whyte cannot be included in the rankings nor considered a Mandatory Challenger in the WBO Heavyweight Division.”
Usyk was named mandatory challenger after the WBO was made aware of his intentions to move from cruiserweight to heavyweight. The move would see both Whyte and Usyk challenge one another’s status, but a July 26th motion by Whyte came after news of his testing positive, even though Whyte was cleared to fight by the National Anti-Doping Panel.
“If Whyte is permanently suspended by the WBC, the WBO Championship Committee would have ample discretion to take measures against Whyte,” the complaint said of Joshua’s status. “Conversely, if Whyte is otherwise confirmed as the WBC Interim Heavyweight World Champion, he will be bound by the WBC Rules & Regulations (“WBC-Regulations”), which state that a WBC Interim World Champion shall be considered a true WBC World title for all purposes, other than with respect to a bout versus the actual World Champion, absent any order to the contrary from the WBC in its sole discretion.
“Whyte’s appeal is denied and the WBO Championship Committee Resolution issued on June 22, 2019 is affirmed. The parties are advised that, pursuant to §3 of the WBO-Regulations, this Award constitutes the final decision on the merits of this controversy.”
Initial Report: Boxing Scene