Dillian Whyte will face Alexander Povetkin for the WBC ‘interim’ title and mandatory position to Tyson Fury on Saturday night at Fight Camp.
The bout has also now been sanctioned for the WBC ‘diamond’ belt, but what is this trinket and what does it actually mean?
Whyte vs Povetkin is happening in the Matchroom HQ back garden at Fight Camp
.@DillianWhyte & Povetkin , the @WBCBoxing diamond belt is ready ! @DillianPovetkin @MatchroomBoxing @EddieHearn #boxing #uk #Russia pic.twitter.com/Ga5JLPzP6j
— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) August 15, 2020
What is the WBC’s definition of the ‘diamond’ belt?
The WBC website has this to say about their ‘diamond’ belt:
“In 2009, the WBC created its new ‘diamond championship’ belt. The belt was originally created as an honorary championship exclusively to award the winner of a historic fight between two high-profile and elite boxers.
“The ‘diamond’ belt was awarded in November 2009 to Manny Pacquiao, who won his sixth world title (in five different divisions) via a twelfth-round technical knockout over Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.
“The title can be defended, but it is not a mandatory requirement. The title can also be vacated due to a fighter’s long-term absence or retirement from boxing.”
The WBC ‘diamond’ belt will be at stake
What does this actually mean?
In truth, the WBC ‘diamond’ belt is a trinket title – a glamorous addition to a big fight, although it ultimately doesn’t mean very much at all.
It’s a way for the WBC to get involved and gain sanctioning fees from a notable bout that often doesn’t actually have anything to do with them, and possibly already has belts from the other governing bodies (WBA, IBF and WBO) at stake.
In this instance, it could be argued that it’s being used to appease Whyte over his long wait for a shot at the legitimate world title.
It also allows the promoter to claim a fight has special significance, even if in reality this belt makes little difference.
Manny Pacquiao beat Miguel Cotto to win the first ‘diamond’ belt
Does the ‘diamond’ belt mean more than the actual WBC world title?
No, absolutely not.
There is only one legitimate WBC world title at heavyweight and this is currently held by Fury.
The ‘Gypsy King’ is the WBC heavyweight world champion and a ‘diamond’ belt fight between Whyte and Povetkin does not change this.
However, Whyte will get his opportunity to change this when his mandatory title shot comes around next year.
Leo Santa Cruz and Jorge Linares both held the legitimate WBA title, plus the WBC ‘diamond’ belt
The WBC ‘diamond’ belt is just used as a trophy
What can the WBC ‘diamond’ belt actually be used for?
In truth, not a whole lot.
Every now and again, the WBC try and make their ‘diamond’ champion mandatory for the legitimate title-holder.
However, most of the time the ‘diamond’ belt is held in conjunction with one of the other three titles, and so the other champion does not feel pressured into a guaranteed unification.
Prime examples of this come in the shape of Adonis Stevenson vs Sergey Kovalev (which never happened) and Leo Santa Cruz vs Gary Russell Jr (which never happened).
Smith has the WBC ‘diamond’ belt, but is yet to get a shot at the full title
In this instance it will make no difference to Whyte whatsoever as he already holds the ‘interim’ belt and the genuine mandatory position – which are both far more meaningful.
Ultimately, the WBC ‘diamond’ belt is a nice, shiny trinket belt that doesn’t really mean much in terms of Whyte’s current situation.
Regardless, he still remains mandatory and, so long as he wins on Saturday night, should be challenging for the world title early next year.