TYSON FURY has replaced Dillian Whyte as the mandatory challenger for Deontay Wilder’s WBC world heavyweight title.
The Body Snatcher, 31, beat Oscar Rivas to become WBC interim champion in July having previously been made No 1 challenger all the way back in November 2017.
But Whyte was subsequently found to have had an adverse finding in a drugs test returned three days before his win over Rivas.
Whyte’s lawyers are currently trying to resolve an ongoing UKAD case on the matter – and Eddie Hearn previously expressed his surprise that Whyte was made mandatory.
The Matchroom boss was set to appeal the decision.
Whyte is not officially suspended but he has lost his status as interim champion and mandatory challenger.
As a result, the WBC decided at their convention last week to install Fury – whose most recent ‘fight’ was against Braun Strowman in WWE – as the No 1 challenger, say talkSPORT.
Whyte could fight for the belt in 2021 if his drugs scandal is resolved.
Fury confirmed he will take on Wilder for a second time on February 22 after their first bout ended in a controversial draw.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said: “Dillian Whyte is in a process from an adverse finding from UKAD. It is highly confidential and highly legal.
“We have met with Dillian Whyte, his representatives. We are doing an ongoing investigation, so the fight of Fury against Wilder in February  will be the mandatory of that year.
“We have set the next mandatory for February 2021.
“If Dillian Whyte is cleared of everything and of the process, he’s confirmed as ‘interim’ champion and mandatory challenger.
“He [would get] that secured February 2021 championship fight against the champion, whoever it is.
“Dillian is not available at this moment. He’s not suspended [from fighting], but there’s an enquiry, something that is being investigated.
“His right that he earned as mandatory and ‘interim’ champion right now is suspended until everything is cleared.”