Heavyweight contenders Dominic Breazeale and Dillian Whyte have clamored for a chance to fight for a world title and they will get one of sorts.
The WBC announced on Tuesday that its board of governors has voted unanimously for Breazeale and Whyte to fight for the organization's interim title.
If their camps do not make a deal the WBC said there will be a purse bid at its headquarters in Mexico City on March 12 to determine the promotional rights and fighter purses. If the fight goes to a purse bid each fighter would receive 50 percent of the winning bid.
"It's great. It's about time the WBC ordered this fight," Whyte told ESPN. "Breazeale shouldn't have been the mandatory in the first place. I'm about to go and claim what is mine, the WBC world heavyweight title. This fight will take me one step closer. Let's go, baby! Let's go!"
The WBC world title is held by Deontay Wilder, but he is headed to a rematch with lineal champion Tyson Fury. They fought to a draw on Dec. 1 and the WBC recently ordered the immediate rematch both fighters said they wanted as soon as the fight last year was over. Wilder and Fury are likely to meet again in April or May.
But when the rematch between Wilder and Fury was ordered, Breazeale, who became Wilder's mandatory challenger in November 2017, was passed over for the next shot at the title.
Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs), 33, a 2012 U.S. Olympian from Eastvale, California, has won three fights in a row since his lone defeat, which came by seventh-round knockout challenging Anthony Joshua for his version of the heavyweight title in June 2016.
In ordering Breazeale to face Whyte, the WBC said that it appreciated Breazeale's patience and was rewarding him with the interim title fight. In a statement, the WBC said Breazeale has "in an exemplary action, accepted the WBC's ruling to support the efforts to potentially finalize the fight between Wilder and Joshua throughout 2018 as well as accepting the WBC sanctioning of a voluntary defense of champion Wilder vs. Tyson Fury, which took place on December 2018. ... In order to provide activity to the heavyweight division and address the rights of Breazeale as mandatory challenger, the WBC is ordering a fight for the interim championship."
England's Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs), 30, who holds one of the WBC's key regional titles, suffered his only loss by seventh-round knockout to Joshua in December 2015 in the fight before Joshua won his world title. Whyte, however, has won nine fights in a row, including against opponents such as former titleholder Joseph Parker, Dereck Chisora (twice) and Robert Helenius, to put himself in position for a world title bout.
The winner of the likely Wilder-Fury rematch would eventually be ordered to face the winner of Breazeale-Whyte.