Dillian Whyte's rocky road to securing a heavyweight world title shot

Dillian Whyte will challenge Tyson Fury for the WBC heavyweight world championship on April 23 at Wembley Stadium.

More than 10 years after making his professional debut against Tayar Mehmed, Dillian Whyte will finally get his chance of glory when he challenges Tyson Fury for the WBC heavyweight world title.

Whyte had been left hanging on for the mandatory position over a litigation claim against the WBC, ironically over the pursuit of a world title shot.

But now things have been cleared up and Whyte will now face Fury at Wembley Stadium on April 23.

Tyson Fury

If you remove the two years he was banned for doping earlier in his career, then it's been an eight-year career without getting the big chance many pundits believe he has deserved.

Whyte was scheduled to fight Otto Wallin in October, 2021, but pulled out of the fight due to a shoulder injury.

Whyte claimed he was "devastated" by the cancellation of the bout with the dangerous Swede.

Wallin's camp wanted proof from Whyte's doctor and an independent physician over the state of his shoulder, with suspicions that Whyte had an ulterior motive.

Wallin even demanded the fight to be rescheduled by Whyte and Matchroom Boxing.

"People know I don't pull out of fights," said Whyte, who said his "shoulder just completely shut down".

Whyte though had bigger fish to fry and admitted it was "a no-brainer" to pursue a much more lucrative showdown with Fury.

Only Whyte and his entourage know the truth, but a fight with Wallin, who came close to stopping Fury in September 2019, always looked like a risk.

And Whyte also revealed he had a rematch clause in his contract and would have had to fight him again if Wallin had won. That would have more than likely ended his chances of a meeting with Fury.

On this occasion, the injury for Whyte came at a very convenient time. And it's hard to deny him that piece of 'luck'.

Planet Sport takes a look back at Whyte's rocky road to challenging Fury.

Cleared of doping

Whyte's unanimous points decision over Oscar Rivas in July 2019 at the O2 Arena, made him a mandatory challenger for Wilder.

But the WBC then said it had provisionally suspended Whyte as the mandatory challenger because the Brit had failed a doping test.

The WBC said in a statement on its website that an "A" sample collected by UKAD from Whyte yielded an adverse finding.

The sample he provided on June 20 - a month before his heavyweight title fight with Rivas - had contained 'trace amounts' of steroid metabolites.

In December though, UK Anti-Doping withdrew the charge against Whyte and cleared the British boxer of any wrongdoing and he was able to fight Wach.

It's been a long and winding road for Jamaica-born Whyte, but he finally looks set to get up and close with Fury, a man he claims to have knocked out in sparring, for a world title.

He told Sky Sports in 2019: "Tyson's awkward, he's long, he's rangy, some days he may outbox you here and there, but I definitely laid him out before."

Considered quitting the sport

In December 2019 Whyte had stepped in a short notice to fight Mariusz Wach.

Whyte was far from convincing and came in overweight, but he got the job done via a unanimous decision.

It was the fall-out after the fight that was more revealing though. Whyte admitted he had been in a "dark place over the last few months". He even revealed he had considered quitting the sport.

"I've been off for six months, people have been screwing me left, right, and centre," Whyte said.

"I came in on three weeks notice overweight. I wanted to stop him, but he's tough. Everyone's been screwing me. I've been through hell these last couple of months."

He was referencing his attempts to get a shot at then WBC champ Deontay Wilder.

Whyte was still, at least in theory, in line for a shot at the American, but his claims had been pushed back so many times that his desire to continue had been severely curbed.

He had started his push to become mandatory challenger to Wilder in 2017. No wonder Whyte was feeling low.

Povetkin delivers upset

The Brixton fighter was ranked as No.1 in the WBC rankings for quite some time but was only installed as mandatory challenger for the WBC title in February 2020.

Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin

In August 2020, he put his status on the line against Alexander Povetkin and surrendered it after being brutally knocked out.

That was a hammer blow to Whyte's dream and derailed his hopes of getting a fight on with Fury.

Everything looked to be clicking into place for Whyte, whose measured performance looked to be far too good for the Russian Povetkin.

Whyte had stung in some hard body shots in round two before he knocked Povetkin down twice in the fourth.

A right-left combination had the Russian on his haunches before a short uppercut put his opponent on the canvas again.

Whyte had won every round and was clearly the more skilled of the pair, but Povetkin found a punch of a lifetime in round five.

Whyte was hammered by a left uppercut that knocked him out cold with only 30 seconds of the fifth gone in front of an empty Brentwood arena

He eventually got to his feet, but his world title hopes were floored.

Press conference no show

Tyson Fury

Just hours before the deadline, Dillian Whyte signed a deal to face fellow Brit and undefeated heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

Fury was left unimpressed with the delay of Whyte's signature and branded him a 'sausage'.

Fury said: "I just heard that little sausage Dillian Whyte wants paying to turn up for a press conference. You little silly fat sausage, you're getting that [a fist], you coward.

"Hi guys, just a quick one. I'm setting up a Just Giving page for Dillian Whyte so he can show up to the press conference and I'm going to donate first. My donation is 47p, you useless dosser."

Whyte would not turn up to their first press conference ahead of their clash on March 1, 2022.

However, one thing is for sure - he will have to turn up on fight week if he is wanting to get paid.

Read more: My fight against Dillian Whyte is biggest all-British clash in nearly 30 years, says Fury

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