The promoter says the heavyweight contender will be back this summer.
Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte will wait on the WBC to rule on potentially making him mandatory challenger for the winner of the May 18 fight between Deontay Wilder and Dominic Breazeale before figure out his next step, but promoter Eddie Hearn says they still plan to have Whyte back in July, and has named a few potential opponents.
Hearn tells Sky Sports that Luis Ortiz, Alexander Povetkin, Manuel Charr, and European champion Agit Kabayel are in the running. A couple things to keep in mind:
- Ortiz (31-1, 26 KO) is a PBC fighter, which could complicate matters there; in fact, Ortiz may himself be first in line to face Wilder later this year, should Wilder beat Breazeale. Since Breazeale is Wilder’s mandatory right now, the WBC is unlikely to order him to face another one right away. At the very least, he’s a viable option as a future Wilder opponent, and the two of them had a hell of a brawl in 2018, which makes him extremely valuable to their side, as PBC attempt to keep Wilder fighting under their banner going forward.
- Hearn has also said he wants to match Povetkin (34-2, 24 KO) against Michael Hunter (16-1, 11 KO) on the Usyk-Takam card, with an eye toward making a fight between Usyk and the Povetkin-Hunter winner.
That could potentially leave it down to Charr (31-4, 17 KO), a veteran fringe guy who hasn’t fought since Nov. 2017, or Kabayel (19-0, 13 KO), a German who holds a narrow win over Dereck Chisora and has held the European title for two years. It could also be someone else entirely, who knows?
But the plan is for Whyte to fight again on July 6 or 13. As for the talk a few weeks ago that Whyte (25-1, 18 KO) was close to a deal with Top Rank and ESPN, that appears to have gone nowhere for the time being, much like Whyte’s negotiations earlier this year to rematch Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium on April 13.