Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Clash on the Dunes: British heavyweight Dillian Whyte to fight Mariusz Wach on undercard in Saudi Arabia

WBC interim champion looking forward to 'exciting' bout against Polish fighter with 'one of the best chins in the division'

Dillian Whyte, right, on his to victory against Oscar Rivas at London's O2 Arena in July. Picture by Dave Thompson.
Dillian Whyte, right, on his to victory against Oscar Rivas at London's O2 Arena in July. Picture by Dave Thompson.

WBC interim champion Dillian Whyte has been added to the undercard for next week’s world title clash between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia.

The British heavyweight contender, 31, will take on Poland’s Mariusz Wach at the Diriyah Arena on December 7.

Whyte defeated Colombian Oscar Rivas in July to claim the interim WBC belt, although it later emerged he had failed a UK Anti-Doping test in the build-up. Whyte was cleared that day to fight Rivas, and it remains unclear if he will face sanction.

“I’m delighted to be fighting in Saudi Arabia against Mariusz Wach,” said Whyte, whose professional record reads 26 wins from 27 fights, with one defeat. “He’s probably got one of the best chins in the heavyweight division.

“I have been training and working hard to fight so it’s great to get a date and it’s very exciting for me to be fighting somewhere different like Saudi Arabia.

“I want to fight in different places and different settings and this card has the biggest heavyweight fight on it that we have seen in years.

“I’m just going to keep chasing the world titles, so if I keep winning then I hope to land that world title shot in 2020. That’s the plan for December 7th.”

Ruiz-Joshua II headlines the “Clash on the Dunes” in the first world heavyweight title fight to take place in Saudi, where the two will battle for the WBA, WBO and IBF belts.

Ruiz shocked boxing by defeating the previously unbeaten Joshua at Madison Square Garden in New York in June.

Elsewhere on the undercard, Russia’s Alexander Povetkin – who Joshua defeated with a seventh-round stoppage at London's Wembley Stadium in September 2018 – takes on American Michael Hunter.

Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic faces US-based Eric Molina, Britain’s Tom Little meets Azerbaijan’s Mahammadrasul Majidov, and England’s Hopey Price goes up against US fighter Diego Pacheco.

Eddie Hearn, managing director of promoter Matchroom Boxing, said: “This wraps up a huge card for what will be a historic night for the sport. Ten big heavyweights will descend on Diriyah to cause a shockwave through world boxing as Saudi Arabia hosts one of the biggest heavyweight fights of all time.”

The 15,000-seater Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia where the Clash on the Dunes will be taking place next week. PA
The 15,000-seater Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia where the Clash on the Dunes will be taking place next week. PA

Updated: November 28, 2019 12:57 PM

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