By Dean Flessel: In a bit of bad news for Matchroom fighter Dillian Whyte, the WBC withdrew their recognition of him as their interim heavyweight world champion due to his recent positive test results for his last fight on July 20 against Oscar Rivas. Until the results of Whyte’s B-sample are announced, the WBC has provisionally suspended him as their interim champion.
The WBC reportedly wasn’t told of Whyte’s test results by the testing agency, UKAD, that had found his adverse findings. It’s still unclear why Rivas, his team, and the WBC weren’t alerted about Whyte’s positive tests.
Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) was given permission to fight Oscar Rivas on July 20 at the O2 Arena in London, England, even though Dillian had failed a drug test several days before the contest. Whyte’s A-sample came up positive, and the WBC is taking a wait and see approach until his B-sample results are revealed.
Whyte beat Rivas to win interim WBC title
Whyte won the bout by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 116-111, 115-112 and 115-112 to become the mandatory challenger for WBC heavyweight belt holder Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder. It was a competitive fight with Whyte tasting the canvas in round nine in a scary moment for him and his fans. Rivas, 6’0″, caught Whyte with a perfect uppercut to put him on the floor.
To his credit, Whyte got up off the deck, and fought well for the remainder of the round. The win gave Whyte the interim WBC heavyweight title, and put him in line to fight Wilder in 2020. Now that status is in jeopardy due to Whyte’s positive drug test. Whyte reportedly tested positive for the banned steroid dianabol from a test that was done by the United Kingdom Anti-Doping [UKAD] agency on June 17.
Whyte’s fight with Rivas was allowed to take place despite positive test
In a controversial move, the British Boxing Board of Control and UKAD allowed Whyte to face Rivas after having a hearing on the matter. This is move that a lot of fans have second guessed, as they feel that the fight should have been canceled at that point given Whyte’s positive test for his A-sample. Rivas wasn’t notified about the results of Whyte’s positive test. Instead, Rivas and his manager Yvon Michel are said to have found out after reading about it on the internet. Rivas (26-1, 18 KOs) had been tested as well, and his tests came up negative.
WBC speak about Whyte’s status:
“An A sample UKAD collected from Mr. Dillian Whyte in relation with his bout against Oscar Rivas yielded an adverse finding,” said the WBC in a news release sent on Tuesday afternoon.
“In light of that adverse finding, and pending the outcome of the WBC’s own investigation and adjudicatory process, the WBC is provisionally suspending the WBC’s recognition of Dillian Whyte as WBC interim world heavyweight champion and mandatory challenger of the division. The WBC has notified Mr. Whyte and his team of the WBC’s suspension, and that it will afford Mr. Whyte the opportunity to present its position to the WBC at an investigative.”
Whyte can come back from this
If Whyte’s B-sample tests positive, it’s not the end of the line for him. There are plenty of fighters that have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, and they were able to bounce back from it and continue fighting in high profile matches. It might slow Whyte’s progress for a world title shot with Wilder. But given that Whyte is signed with Matchroom, they can always set him up with a big money fight against Anthony Joshua. There’s a huge amount of interest from the British boxing public in a rematch between Whyte and Joshua. A world title isn’t needed for that to be a huge fight.