Deontay Wilder has been ordered to make the next defence of his WBC heavyweight title against mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale.
The sanctioning body made this ruling on Wednesday, with no mention of what it means for Britain’s Dillian Whyte – who had previously been ordered to fight Breazeale himself.
This situation stems back two and a half years and is explained in full below.
In August 2016, the WBC ordered an ‘interim’ title fight and final eliminator between Alexander Povetkin and Bermane Stiverne to determine Deontay Wilder’s next mandatory challenger.
On fight week in December 2016, Alexander Povetkin failed a drugs test and so this bout was cancelled. Povetkin was therefore removed from the picture.
In September 2017, Bermane Stiverne agreed to fight Dominic Breazeale (on the undercard of Deontay Wilder’s November defence against Luis Ortiz) and the WBC sanctioned this bout as the new final eliminator to determine Wilder’s next mandatory challenger.
The following month, Luis Ortiz failed a drugs test and so was ruled out of the Deontay Wilder fight. Bermane Stiverne was then elevated to face Wilder in November and this became the mandatory defence.
As a result, Dominic Breazeale agreed to fight Eric Molina instead and this bout was sanctioned by the WBC as a final eliminatory to determine Deontay Wilder’s next mandatory challenger, after Bermane Stiverne.
In November 2017, Deontay Wilder beat Bermane Stiverne and Dominic Breazeale beat Eric Molina. Therefore Breazeale became Wilder’s next mandatory challenger – though this would not be due until late 2018.
By early 2018, Dillian Whyte had begun to rack up a series of semi-notable wins and climbed the WBC rankings to the number one spot.
In April 2018, the WBC ordered Dillian Whyte to fight Luis Ortiz as a final eliminator to determine Deontay Wilder’s second mandatory (after Dominic Breazeale).
As this bout gave no immediate assurances, Dillian Whyte instead opted to take a fight with Joseph Parker in July 2018 instead.
At their convention in October 2018, the WBC decided to allow Deontay Wilder to fight Tyson Fury in December, so long as the winner then faced mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale.
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury was a controversial draw and so in January 2019, the WBC ordered an immediate rematch.
To satisfy the mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale and number one contender Dillian Whyte, the WBC also ordered them to fight for an ‘interim’ title and as a final eliminator to solidify Deontay Wilder’s next mandatory challenger.
However, in February 2019, Tyson Fury opted out of the Deontay Wilder rematch.
Therefore, the WBC have now scrapped the Dominic Breazeale vs Dillian Whyte ‘interim’ title fight and instead ordered Deontay Wilder to face Breazeale next – as he was mandatory to begin with.
This is a disappointing situation for Dillian Whyte because he is now left out in the cold, waiting for the next WBC mandatory opportunity to come around, unless he pursues another route.