Tyson Fury has been ordered to defend his world heavyweight title against mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte with talks now ongoing. The WBC on Tuesday ordered Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) to begin a negotiating period to defend his belt against Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs); with the fight expected to take place in late February or early March; probably under the roof of Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
“The WBC hereby orders the start of the free negotiations period pursuant to the WBC Rules & Regulations for the mandatory bout between WBC World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury and Mandatory Challenger and WBC Interim World Champion Dillian Whyte. pic.twitter.com/XFugoKHrQM
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) December 7, 2021
Fury last defeated Deontay Wilder with an 11th-round KO in a classic heavyweight classic battle on Oct. 9.
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“The Gypsy King” will now have the option to face Whyte or otherwise abandon the WBC belt. Following Fury’s victory over Wilder, he was given 30 days to make a deal and fight against WBA, IBF, and WBO Champion Oleksandr Usyk. But Anthony Joshua, who lost his championship belts to Usyk, activated his rematch clause for a rematch.
According to ESPN, both parties discussed step-aside-money for Joshua to bypass his rematch; so that Fury can potentially fight Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
The 33-year-old Whyte earned the WBC interim title during a fight against Alexander Povetkin, whom he knocked out in the fourth round. Whyte was scheduled to face Otto Wallin in late October; but withdrew from the contest earlier in the week due to a shoulder injury.
If both Fury and Whyte come to an agreement and schedule a fight within the next 30 days, Fury will get the chance to keep the WBC belt; while Whyte will have his first opportunity at a world title.