Dillian Whyte targets title fight with Deontay Wilder
Last Updated: 01/03/18 10:51pm
Dillian Whyte has been told victory over Lucas Browne on March 24 could earn him a fight with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
The 29-year-old's promoter, Eddie Hearn, had hoped Whyte would challenge Wilder before confirmation of the fight with Browne, but the American will instead defend his title against Cuba's Luis Ortiz on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
A proposed fight between Wilder and Anthony Joshua remains unlikely to be agreed until late this year at the earliest, giving Hearn confidence Whyte could benefit.
Like Joshua, Wilder's fights appear on Showtime, and after discussing potential options with the American television network's sports executive, Hearn said: "I had a meeting with Stephen Espinoza, talking about 'AJ', and the landscape.
"There is real appetite for Wilder to fight the winner of that fight [Whyte-Browne], if they don't make the AJ fight next.
"I can see the AJ fight happening towards the end of the year; I would love to get that fight [Whyte-Wilder] in the interim, perhaps June or July, and the general consensus is Wilder's run out of opponents.
"He's also costing the network a lot of money, so if we can relieve some of that pressure and put him in with the right guy, I would love to make that fight. They're going to make him mandatory sooner or later: he's No 1 with the WBC."
It was immediately after Joshua's defeat of Carlos Takam in October on the same bill on which Whyte outpointed Robert Helenius, that Hearn said he hoped to tempt Wilder to the UK to fight Joshua's long-term rival.
Whyte said: "It's whether Deontay Wilder wants it or not. We've offered him a lot of money before and he's just completely ignored the fight.
"He's trying to chase Joshua because he doesn't want to take any chances unless it's for megabucks. We'll see: the main thing is, win this fight and I've got so much options.
"We'll go after a world title, rematches, or we'll just keep fighting. Everything depends on winning the Browne fight.
"Deontay Wilder can't take a punch; technically Luis Ortiz seems to be a bit more together, and a bit closer and sharper than Deontay Wilder, but the man [Wilder] does have the equaliser [of power], so we'll see."