Dillian Whyte loses out again as the WBO discount his appeal and make
their ‘Super champion’ Oleksandr Usyk the mandatory challenger at
heavyweight
One would have to possess a heart of stone to not by now feel some
semblance of sympathy for Brixton heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte.
Still embroiled in a long-running saga with the WBC regarding their
mandatory challenger position, he has now seen Oleksandr Usyk leapfrog
him in the WBO reckoning.
When a WBO title-holder is designated as a ‘Super champion’ – as the
Ukranian was after unifying all the major cruiserweight titles when
winning the World Boxing Super Series last July – they inherit certain
special rights that include being named mandatory challenger
immediately upon entering a new division. This is at the WBO’s
discretion but such a request is rarely refused.
Well, Whyte’s team could and with good reason, given Dillian is the
WBO No. 1 and their International champion. They lodged an appeal,
contending Usyk’s request on several levels, including his lack of
experience at heavyweight, Whyte’s fine run of form in the division
and Usyk’s injury potentially making him unavailable. The latter’s
team posited that his dearth of fights at heavyweight was irrelevant
given the Super champion privileges and produced a medical report to
prove Usyk was now fit and could, if asked, fulfil the mandatory
challenge in his next fight. They furthermore pointed out that Whyte
had a fight scheduled, for July 20 against Oscar Rivas.