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Dillian Whyte not waiting for Deontay Wilder as world title shot remains out of reach of mandatory challenger

Jack de Menezes

Dillian Whyte will not wait for WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, despite being the mandatory for the current title-holder.

Whyte came through a 12-round slog against Oscar Rivas to claim a unanimous decision victory on Saturday night, despite being knocked down in the ninth round in what proved a stunning contest.

Known for taking risky fights and employing risky strategies, Whyte delivered for the fans inside the O2 Arena once again, strengthening his claim for a world title shot as the WBC’s mandatory challenger.

But the Brixton boxer first claimed that position nearly two years ago, and after being forced to wait and wait and wait as Wilder picked his own opponents, Whyte is not expecting a shot any time soon. The American already has his next two fights lined up, with a bout against Luis Ortiz up next before facing Tyson Fury in a rematch if he comes through unscathed.

And because of that, Whyte and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, will not be holding their breathe for a long-deserved title shot.

“He’s mandatory, Dillian Whyte’s worked so hard from the get-go and people have been trying to deny him,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “For over 600 days he’s been number one with the WBC and now he is officially the mandatory challenger. He deserves this, he has beaten another world-class fighter in Oscar Rivas, he’s improving all the time.

“He won’t sit on the WBC shot, there’s always ups-and-downs and drama with Whyte, one thing is confirmed tonight, he is WBC interim world champion. But more importantly than the belt, he’s now mandatory challenger, that shot will come, it’s just a case of when.

“Before the end of May 2020, Dillian must fight for the full WBC world title.”

Whyte will have to remain active while he waits for his chances at Wilder – or whoever holds the WBC strap when he finally gets his shot – but the 31-year-old does not want to give himself an easy ride and will continue to seek out the toughest opponents that he can.

“It’s boxing, a lot of things get said and not a lot happens,” he said. “Being mandatory could mean I wait another 600 days.”

Dillian Whyte beat Oscar Rivas on Saturday night but won’t get to face Deontay Wilder (PA)

Whyte added on Sunday: “I don’t like easier fights, I don’t like easy fights because easy fights are dangerous as sometimes you can underestimate the people you’re fighting. You think ‘ah it’s a walk in the park’ and I don’t like doing that.

“I like fights where you get in your head where you think ‘let me do the extra mile run’ or ‘let me push a little bit harder’, so I like these hard fights. Let me do the extra round of sparring, let me leave no stone unturned.”