Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder: Who will Dillian Whyte fight next after beating Alexander Povetkin?
Dillian Whyte's fourth-round KO of Alexander Povetkin on Saturday has restored the Londoner's positioning as a future world title contender. However with current heavyweight rulers Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury set to face each other and unify, it makes Whyte's immediate next step a curious one.
So, with his promoter Eddie Hearn revealing he hopes to get him back in action as early as the summer, who will be next for "The Body Snatcher"?
Here are the things to be considered, as well as some very interesting current betting odds on the situation.
Will Dillian Whyte's next fight be a world title fight?
Though Whyte has regained the interim WBC title and is likely to be installed by the body as their mandatory challenger (Fury is the current titleholder), it seems as though Hearn is happy to get his man one more 'keep-busy' fight before they attempt to muscle in on the championship picture.
If AJ and Fury fight twice this year or into early 2022, there's a chance the governing bodies who all appear to be okay with the two current kingpins deciding an undisputed champion for the first time since Lennox Lewis will then pull their belts away if their second meeting comes immediately after the first.
So, if Whyte takes a relatively-safe challenge at a similar timeframe to Joshua-Fury 1, he could be in position to fight for the vacated WBC belt after that, as interim champ. In fact, he could even be elevated by the body to full champion.
This does however mean that many fans' dream fight scenario, Whyte vs. Deontay Wilder, will not be his very next fight. And maybe that's for the best, since the American could also really use a fight to shake off the rust and end his year-plus absence from the ring.
Who would be Dillian Whyte's 'keep-busy' opponent?
The heavyweight ranks feature a large number of respectable but far-from-world-level competitors that could give Whyte extra rounds while he waits for his world title opportunity to open up, and as long as such a fight isn't the main event of a PPV card like both Povetkin fights were, it would be fair enough.
In fact, Whyte blasting a 15th-20th ranked adversary on the Fury-Joshua undercard before calling out the winner and/or Wilder would be an economic use of an undercard very few will care massively about, while keeping the narrative fresh in viewers' minds.
Could Dillian Whyte's next fight be a big one, instead?
Certainly. And with a tint of doubt being shown in the Joshua-Fury talks, Whyte could hold out hope of either man being available to him instead of each other, or of the WBC losing patience in the unification and favouring Whyte vs. Wilder sooner rather than later.
The latest Betfair odds lean towards Whyte at least facing a formidable foe such as Luis Ortiz or Andy Ruiz Jr. next, while Wilder, AJ and Fury all have tempting value under the circumstances. The current favourite is Poland's Adam "Babyface" Kownacki, who is ranked sixth by the WBA and has a 20-1 record that lacks names any bigger than Chris Arreola and Charles Martin.
Odds on Dillian Whyte's next opponent
- Adam Kownacki: 5/4
- Luis Ortiz: 3/1
- Deontay Wilder: 9/2
- Andy Ruiz Jr: 6/1
- Tyson Fury: 10/1
- Anthony Joshua: 14/1
Odds courtesy of Betfair