Tyson Fury is to fight Dillian Whyte in a WBC heavyweight title clash.
Fury’s UK-based promoter Frank Warren won the highest successful purse bid in history on Friday evening, his $41,025,000 beating out Matchroom Boxing’s $32,222,222.
Whyte will now challenge for a world title for the first time in his career against the undefeated Fury who emerged with two sensational wins from a historic trilogy with Deontay Wilder.
It is now expected that Anthony Joshua will rematch Oleksandr Usyk for the IBF, WBA and WBO titles.
How the fight came together
Whyte has long been the WBC’s No 1 ranked contender but was officially named as the mandatory challenger to Fury’s belt after ‘The Gypsy King’ beat Wilder for the second time.
The WBC ordered them into negotiations, ruling that Fury should keep 80 per cent of the total earnings – but Whyte was also in arbitration with the governing body.
The deadline for a private agreement between Fury and Whyte – before ‘purse bids’ enabled any promoter to enter the negotiations and finance the fight – had been pushed back four times.
Friday January 28 at 6pm was the final cut-off point but a private arrangement was not found.
Warren, who promotes Fury in the UK, won the purse bid with an offer of $41m – the largest in boxing history.
Will Joshua now fight Usyk?
It had previously been an option that Fury and Usyk would fight next to decide the undisputed heavyweight champion.
That option is now off the table.
Joshua has already triggered a rematch clause after losing his titles to Usyk last year, and is currently seeking to revamp his training set-up ahead of an expected second fight.
What has been said?
“I can’t wait to punch Whyte’s face in,” Fury has already said.
“I’ll give him the best hiding he’s ever had.
“Whyte, train hard! Because you are getting annihilated.”
Vitali Klitschko said: “Everyone expects the rematch between Usyk and Joshua. Usyk is so strong or did Joshua make mistakes? Who is stronger? That question interests every boxing fan. Let’s receive an answer. That’s why this fight must happen.
“Huge fight. Right now, everybody doubts if Joshua is strong enough to fight Fury.
“He can give the answer in the Usyk fight.
“If Joshua beats Usyk there will be huge interest [in Joshua vs Fury]. It will be the main fight of the past 10 years.
“Joshua is a classic boxer, Fury is unorthodox. Both are punchers, both can decide the fight at any moment.
“Both are world-class fighters and can knock each other out at any second.”
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
Sunday January 30 in Tulsa
Robson Conceicao vs Xavier Martinez – WBC super-featherweight title eliminator
Nico Ali Walsh
Saturday February 5 in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin – IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles
Saturday February 19 in Manchester
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook
Natasha Jonas vs Ewa Piatkowska – WBO super-welterweight title
Frazer Clarke’s pro debut
Saturday February 26 in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight titles
Nick Campbell vs Jay McFarlane – Scottish heavyweight title
Saturday March 5 in Fresno
Jose Ramirez vs Jose Pedraza
Sunday March 20 in New York
Edgar Berlanga vs Steve Rolls