Dillian Whyte launches legal action against WBC over title date

Dillian Whyte defeated Oscar Rivas to earn a mandatory shot at the WBC belt currently held by Tyson Fury. Bradley Collyer/Getty Images

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has confirmed that Dillian Whyte has taken legal action against the organisation over the date of his mandatory title fight.

Whyte won a mandatory shot at the WBC belt currently held by Tyson Fury after defeating Oscar Rivas by unanimous decision in a WBC final eliminator last July.

Fury was already lined up to fight Deontay Wilder by the end of the year and recently confirmed that a deal had been agreed "in principle" with Anthony Joshua.

"There is a procedure with regards to the date of the mandatory in the heavyweight division," Sulaiman confirmed to Sky Sports.

"Upon direct advice of WBC legal counsel I am not in position to discuss any further."

Fury's US promoter, Top Rank boss Bob Arum, had previously said that he wanted to hold discussions with the WBC about getting rid of the mandatory fight.

In response to this suggestion from Arum, Whyte said Fury was "running scared" from the fight.

"Arum's talking rubbish," Whyte told Sky Sports. "If he represented me he'd be screaming that this is the biggest travesty in the history of boxing -- nearly 1,000 days as No 1 without being given a shot whereas Tyson Fury barely scraped by the WBC No 31 ranked Otto Wallin in front of only 3,500 people and then got gifted my mandatory position without fighting an eliminator, never mind a final eliminator.

"Fury won the belt off that pathetic, hype job Deontay Wilder as his legs were too weak to carry it any longer after running away from me for years and it now looks like the two of them are in a relay."

Promoter Eddie Hearn previously told ESPN that the fight with Whyte was still on the cards for Fury.

"Who knows what's going to happen with Deontay Wilder, but we [Matchroom Sport] want Dillian Whyte to fight for the world title, and he is supposed to fight Tyson Fury, the WBC champion, by February 2021," Hearn added.

"There are obstacles to overcome, but the good news is that we are moving forward."