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What is the WBC ‘diamond’ belt? Title Tyson Fury wants for Dillian Whyte fight

EXPLAINED

The sport of boxing has been proliferated with trinket titles

Tyson Fury has declared that he is willing to fight Dillian Whyte next, if the WBC sanction it for one of their ‘diamond’ belts.

Last week the governing body revealed they were planning to order Fury vs Whyte for their ‘interim’ title and as a final eliminator to determine Deontay Wilder’s next mandatory challenger.

A look at the WBC ‘diamond’ belt

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A look at the WBC ‘diamond’ belt

While Whyte insisted he was up for this idea, Fury stated he has no interest in fighting a final eliminator to get a shot at Wilder, having already turned down a rematch with him earlier this year.

Now though, the ‘Gypsy King’ has performed a remarkable U-turn and said he would take the bout – but only if the WBC ‘diamond’ trinket is at stake.

talkSPORT.com have since been informed by the WBC they ‘would consider’ this proposal, and it’ll be decided by their Board of Governors.

But what is a WBC ‘diamond’ belt anyway? Read below to find out…

Deontay Wilder kept hold of the main WBC title in his controversial December draw with Tyson Fury

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Deontay Wilder kept hold of the main WBC title in his controversial December draw with Tyson Fury

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.”

Manny Pacquiao beat Miguel Cotto to win the first ‘diamond’ belt

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Manny Pacquiao beat Miguel Cotto to win the first ‘diamond’ belt

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 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.

Does the ‘diamond’ belt mean more than the actual WBC world title?

No, absolutely not.

There is only one legitimate WBC world title in each division, and at heavyweight this is currently held by Wilder.

The American is the WBC heavyweight world champion and a ‘diamond’ fight between Fury and Whyte would not change this in any way, shape or form.

Leo Santa Cruz and Jorge Linares both held the legitimate WBA title, plus the WBC ‘diamond’ belt

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Leo Santa Cruz and Jorge Linares both held the legitimate WBA title, plus the WBC ‘diamond’ belt

So, other than looking pretty, what can the WBC ‘diamond’ belt actually be used for?

Well, the truth is 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.

Hypothetically in this instance it could work as neither Fury nor Whyte hold the WBA, IBF or WBO titles.

However, in the past, fighters have vacated the ‘diamond’ belt and just kept their legitimate WBA/IBF/WBO world titles instead.

Callum Smith currently holds the WBC ‘diamond’ belt as they allowed it to be in the WBSS tournament he conquered last year

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Callum Smith currently holds the WBC ‘diamond’ belt as they allowed it to be in the WBSS tournament he conquered last year

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 will probably never happen).

Ultimately, the WBC ‘diamond’ belt is a nice, shiny trinket belt that doesn’t really mean anything.

It’s unclear quite why Tyson Fury has decided it means so much to him, but if it means we end up seeing him in a big fight with Dillian Whyte later this year, then we might actually have something to thank the ‘diamond’ belt for.

That would be a first.

If the WBC ‘diamond’ belt makes Fury vs Whyte happen, it will have finally proved useful for once

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If the WBC ‘diamond’ belt makes Fury vs Whyte happen, it will have finally proved useful for once

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