Dillian Whyte has vacated the British heavyweight title to continue his pursuit of a world title fight by the end of the year.
The Brixton man was ordered to defend his Lonsdale belt against Sam Sexton by the British Boxing Board of Control, but reluctantly decided to vacate the title as he intends to move beyond the domestic scene.
Whyte climbed further up the WBC rankings after his exciting points win over Chisora in December and hopes to edge closer to a shot at the WBC belt, which is currently held by Deontay Wilder.
“The fight went out for bids and Eddie [Hearn] called me and explained the situation,” Whyte exclusively told Sky Sports. “In the rankings, I should be top seven in the WBC and the WBC silver title has become vacant.
Eddie has promised me some top 10 fights this year, which will push me to a world title, hopefully leading to a world title fight at the end of this year.
“Sam Sexton, fighting him doesn’t make sense, ranking wise, or business sense. For me, fighting Chisora then Sam Sexton is a backward step. Chisora has knocked him out twice. He doesn’t really do anything for my career.
“Eddie has promised me some top-10 fights this year, which will push me to a world title, hopefully leading to a world title fight at the end of this year. It was a no-brainer, to be honest.”
A discussed rematch with Chisora remains a possibility, but Whyte’s main priority is pushing himself into world title contention.
The 28-year-old said: “I’ll fight Dereck Chisora any day of the week, but it has to make financial sense, because I beat him already, I got the ranking points. I’m ranked higher than him across the board in the world rankings now.
“I’ve got no problem fighting Dereck again, but I’ve got to think about my career and moving forward to challenge for a world title. My dream is to become world champion, not to stay at British level and keep fighting these guys, unless it makes financial sense or ranking sense. I’ll definitely knock Dereck Chisora out this time, 100 per cent.
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“I know my stamina is up to par and technically I’m on that level, so it gives me a lot of confidence. If we fight again, the fight will be five or six rounds maximum.
“For me, I would like to fight the likes of Gerald Washington, Bermane Stiverne - that calibre of opponent. I need to move on from Chisora, unless he wants to do it again and there is money in it for me, I’ll do it.”
Whyte stopped Ian Lewison in October to become British champion and was sad to give up the coveted title.
He said: “It’s a shame that I didn’t get to win the Lonsdale belt outright, I loved that belt, it was a beautiful belt.
"It was the highlight of my career so far, winning that belt. A beautiful moment to get my hands on the belt.”
You can hear more of an exclusive interview with Dillian Whyte on next week's Toe 2 Toe podcast.