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Dillian Whyte will fight Alexander Povetkin for prestigious WBC Diamond belt to set up Tyson Fury showdown

DILLIAN WHYTE will be fighting for the prestigious WBC Diamond belt when he takes on Alexander Povetkin on August 22.

And that should see him move into pole position to challenge Tyson Fury for the heavyweight title.

There continues to be doubts over whether Deontay Wilder will be ready for his trilogy fight against Fury this year as he recovers from bicep surgery.

There is also the possibility of Wilder being hit by a travel ban as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

And with Whyte already the WBC’s ‘interim’ champ as well as the mandatory challenger for the strap, adding the Diamond belt will surely make it impossible to ignore him any longer.

Speaking to Sky Sports, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said: “I’m very excited about it

“I believe that this fight has all the merits for the WBC to award the prestigious ‘Diamond’ belt.

“Both are sensational fighters. Povetkin and Whyte are former ‘Silver’ champions of the WBC.

“They have been training in extreme circumstances and they are very professional.

“The WBC is delighted to be part of the fight as the WBC ‘interim’ championship and also to award the ‘Diamond’ belt, which is a special trophy to recognise this great bout.”

Whyte has previously been challenged to fight for the Diamond belt – by Fury himself.

That came back in May 2019 – Whyte was keen for the match-up to happen, but declared that he wasn’t confident that the fight would ever materialise.

And he was right.

Fury went on to beat Wilder in February this year to win the full version and hand the American his first ever loss to boot.

Whyte is ready to jump in and fight Fury if Wilder does not take up his trilogy bout this year.

WBC chiefs demanded Whyte gets his shot at their heavyweight title, which Fury currently holds, before March 2021.

Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn said his man would jump in to face Fury if he beats Alexander Povetkin on August 22.

Hearn said: “Fury vs Wilder must happen this year and if it doesn’t we’ll be ready to go.”

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