Whyte calls on ri­vals to ‘adapt’ to new re­al­ity and ac­cept pay cuts

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Gareth A Davies Box­ing Box­ing Cor­re­spon­dent Cor­re­spon­dent

Dillian Whyte yes­ter­day crit­i­cised the high­est-paid box­ers in the world for re­fus­ing to take a pay cut to fight be­hind closed doors to keep the sport’s blue riband di­vi­sion buoy­ant and rel­e­vant for fans.

Whyte, the manda­tory chal­lenger for the World Box­ing Coun­cil ti­tle held by Tyson Fury, is in Por­tu­gal pre­par­ing to face Alexan­der Povetkin on the lawns of Match­room Sport in Brent­wood, Es­sex, with­out a live au­di­ence, on Aug 22.

“There is no rea­son why there shouldn’t be th­ese big fights. Th­ese are test­ing times. We need to adapt. We can’t just stop and sit around. The world doesn’t stop,” said Whyte, point­edly talk­ing of ri­vals Tyson Fury, Deon­tay Wilder and An­thony Joshua.

The WBC has man­dated that Whyte must have the op­por­tu­nity to chal­lenge for the ti­tle be­fore Fe­bru­ary 2021, but with the tril­ogy fight be­tween Fury and Deon­tay Wilder ten­ta­tively pen­cilled in for Dec 19 in Las Ve­gas, it seems likely that Whyte’s op­por­tu­nity will have to wait un­til next spring.

Whyte was in­censed when the talk of Fury and Joshua hav­ing “agreed” to two fights for next year was an­nounced by Fury.

“Straight away I got on the phone to Eddie Hearn and my guy got on the phone to WBC to ask what was go­ing on to ask why my manda­tory chal­lenge was be­ing over­looked again. I was en­raged,” he said.

Else­where, the manda­tory chal­lenger to Joshua’s In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion belt, Kubrat Pulev, has com­plained that Hearn has been stalling in reschedul­ing their June 20 con­test.

Ivaylo Gotzev, the co-pro­moter of Bul­gar­ian Pulev, ac­cused Hearn of “smoke and mirror” tac­tics over a new venue and slammed Hearn for “drag­ging his heels” on re­ar­rang­ing the clash.

Hearn had sug­gested that JoshuaPule­v could take place in Croa­tia this year.

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