For this week’s Dillian Whyte column, talkSPORT.com decided to hand things over to the public.
This meant our followers on Twitter and Facebook could ask Dillian anything and you responded in your droves.
The best questions were put to the Body Snatcher and – never one to duck anything – he replied to every one with complete honesty…
Why do you think you haven’t been given a shot at a world title belt yet?
Because of politics. I’ve been number one in the WBC for coming up to 600 days and fought a WBC eliminator back in 2016. I’ve had about ten WBC sanctioned title fights and fought for and won all of their belts I am eligible for except for their Gold world title belt. Since 2017, I’ve fought for and defended the WBC Silver title four times, which other governing bodies consider to be a world title. The IBF have even refused to put me in their rankings on the basis I’m already a world champion, which is crazy. I don’t feel like a World Champion. You get Silver for being second, I want the Gold belt.
We’ve offered Deontay Wilder multiple career-high paydays over the years. He says I’m no good yet has turned down more to fight me than he earned to fight Luis Ortiz and Tyson Fury combined. Those were voluntaries, so what’s his excuse? He is a coward and running scared from me. It’s clear Wilder can do whatever he wants, when he wants and can get away with whatever he wants to do.
Never in the history of boxing has someone been the number one challenger for so long and done so much without getting their chance. It’s a crazy situation that I still haven’t been given a shot at the WBC title. I have been working hard, I’ve been loyal to the WBC, I’ve been winning all the fights I was meant to win but I still haven’t been given a chance.
Before anyone jumps in and claims I turned down a fight against Anthony Joshua, all I’ll say is you’re talking absolute rubbish. The whole thing was a sham designed to fool the public. Joshua was always going to fight in June in New York as I publicly told you all in the run up to the Derek Chisora fight last year. Their first fake offer didn’t even come in until mid-January. They weren’t serious and I told Joshua that himself. They only upped the fake offer after the fight was dead in the water for April 13 and they had already locked in Jarrell Miller for June. They had seven months between September and April yet couldn’t arrange an opponent for Wembley. Do you really believe that? Why not just fight Miller, Andy Ruiz, Kubrat Pulev or whoever there?
What fight do you want the most now Anthony Joshua has been beaten – AJ, Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury?
I honestly don’t mind. Fury, Wilder or AJ – none of them scare me. I am in the game for big fights. Anyone of them wants it, they can have it.
What separates you from the rest of the heavyweights?
A determination and willingness to fight anyone at any time. I am willing to get in there and give the fans what they want. All these other guys are worrying about their records. They are dodging and hiding, picking and choosing easy opponents. Unlike some of the others in the heavyweight division, I don’t care about the politics. I want to do my talking in the ring. Why can’t boxing be more like the UFC? If Dana White comes into boxing as has been rumoured, I can’t see him putting up with all this nonsense. The best will have to fight the best.
Which fighter do you believe would cause you the most problems stylistically?
All of the other guys in the top five can cause me major problems. We are all different shapes and sizes and we have different fighting styles and different attributes. We all bring different things to the table.
How do you feel about Tyson Fury being ranked the world’s number one heavyweight by Ring Magazine? Is Fury the best in the world right now?
Mate… it’s up to them to decide. But I don’t know how you call yourself the number one heavyweight in the world and be fighting Tom Schwarz. He’s number 56 in the world and seven in Germany! You can’t be the best in the world, giving it the biggun and be fighting Tom Schwarz. Fury turned down my next opponent, Oscar Rivas, to fight a bum. These guys think they are clever. They just want to keep tricking the fans. He talks s***, he says bad things about everyone else because of his own insecurities. He knows he is fighting a bum and goes on like he is the best heavyweight around – but he is not.
I am fighting Rivas, an unbeaten former Olympian and a highly dangerous fighter who wrecked AJ-conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr’s Olympic hopes and he is fighting Tom Schwarz. He is conning the public. One thing he is doing though is giving Wilder a run for his money when it comes to being a coward.
A few weeks ago he publicly called me out and when I happily accepted, he said he’d only fight me if the WBC would put the diamond belt on the line. When they agreed and made an order for us to fight for the diamond belt, he bottled it and couldn’t run away fast enough. Pathetic. So he’s not a fighting man as he claims, he’s not the Gypsy King, but a running man. He’s the Gypsy Coward. Hopefully, the IBC (Imaginary Boxing Council) will now strip him of their prestigious Imaginary Lineal Championship belt and remove him from their imaginary rankings.
What do you make of Fury’s next fight? Can Tom Schwarz cause a major shock like Andy Ruiz Jr did against Anthony Joshua?
Tom Schwarz is garbage. If Fury doesn’t stop Tom Schwarz in the first few rounds, it is a terrible performance. My grandmother could stop Tom Schwarz. He is a quitter. Watch his fight with Senad Gashi. Gashi is a journeyman and he wanted to quit against him. If he beats Fury, it will be the greatest shock in the history of boxing. In fact, it will be the greatest shock in the history of sport.
If Fury had flu, dengue fever and one arm, he would still beat Tom Schwarz! It is a nonsense fight. How can he get away with that being a main event in Las Vegas? It’s a joke.
If you were in charge of the rankings, who would you put number one?
It is hard to say but Andy Ruiz Jr has got four of the five belts so if anything you would mark him down as number one at the moment. Wilder has got one belt, he has got four…
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If you had the opportunity to fight Andy Ruiz Jr for world titles or no titles, would you fight him?
Of course I’d fight him. Straight after he beat Anthony Joshua, I said to Eddie Hearn: ‘listen, if you want to bring the belts back home, bring me Ruiz…I’ll do what AJ couldn’t do and bring them home!’
What do you expect the heavyweight division to look like in June 2020? Will be you be top of the pile?
It’s difficult to answer that question because it has been so hard getting these top fights. I am willing and want to make that happen and believe I can be number one, but I don’t call the shots at the minute and these guys don’t want to fight me because I’m dangerous.
I’ll fight any one of the current or former world champions – that is what I am in the game for – but it’s out of my hands whether I get the opportunities to do so.
Who do you think is the stand out young heavyweight in the world?
We have got some good talent in Britain at the moment. It is only a matter of time before we find out who stands out as the very best prospect. I manage Fabio Wardley who is an outstanding talent. He is a while off reaching his full potential, he is still young and still improving, but with the right fights to give him the experience he needs, I think he beats all the other young heavyweights in a year or so.
How did you recover from your first loss as a professional boxer and how do you think Anthony Joshua will react to his debut defeat?
I am tough and my defeat to AJ in 2015 made me more determined. That defeat pushed me on. It spurred me on to get better. It was the making of my career – it made me realise I couldn’t just train on my own at home to beat the top guys. It is impossible. My mindset changed after that and I haven’t looked back.
For AJ, now we will see what he is about and if he is the man and the fighter that everyone makes him out to be. It is the great thing about sport. You only find out how good people are and what qualities they have after a setback. It is all good when you are winning and knocking people out but after someone loses, that is when you find out what they are really made of.
Who’s your favourite fighter to watch?
I haven’t got a favourite. I watch all fighters, from all divisions. Some guys have got power, some have got good defence, some have got good hand speed. I look for different things in fighters. I just love boxing. We are lucky – we have some amazing fighters around at the minute and boxing has not been this good for years. I am just enjoying boxing for what it is at the minute.
What is your main motivation?
To be world champion. I will keep pushing, keep proving the doubters wrong and keep pushing to become world champion.
What do you like to do away from boxing?
Training is so hard, so I just like to relax when I’m not in the gym and spend time with my dogs and my family. When you are in such a hard sport, the simple things in life mean so much. It is very taxing on the body and the mind so it’s great being able to relax and switch off from boxing.
Would you be happy to see any of your children become professional boxers?
No. I wouldn’t be happy because I know what the boxing game is like. This is why I do it, so they don’t have to go through what I go through. I have had to deal with a lot of crap in this game and I don’t want my kids to go through this nonsense.
Tickets for Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas at The O2 on July 20, including an impressive undercard, are available to purchase now from StubHub, The O2 and Matchroom Boxing. You can also watch the fight live on Sky Sports Box Office.