Whyte to face Wach on Ruiz-Joshua undercard

Despite ongoing issues over a failed drug test in July, heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte will face former world title challenger Mariusz Wach on Dec. 7, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Wednesday.

The scheduled 12-round bout has been added to the card headlined by the rematch between unified heavyweight titlist Andy Ruiz Jr. and former titleholder Anthony Joshua, who meet at the recently completed temporary Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia (DAZN).

In his last fight, on July 20 in London, Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs), 31 of England, rallied from a ninth-round knockdown to win a unanimous decision over Oscar Rivas. However, Whyte was allowed to fight by British regulators despite having failed a pre-fight drug test.

During the week of the fight the results of a random test conducted by United Kingdom Anti-Doping, which oversees drug testing in the United Kingdom, came back positive for the banned steroid dianabol in his A sample. It remains unknown if Whyte asked for his B sample to be tested.

UKAD, for reasons never made clear, allowed Whyte to face Rivas. The Rivas camp was never told about the failed drug test, angering the fighter and his team.

Following the fight, which was for the WBC’s interim heavyweight title, the sanctioning body withdrew its recognition of Whyte as interim titleholder.

The positive test was the second of Whyte’s career. He also tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine following his ninth professional fight in 2012.

Regardless of the drama surrounding his return to the ring, Whyte is excited to fight again.

“I’m delighted to be fighting in Saudi Arabia against Mariusz Wach,” Whyte said. “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 Dec. 7.”

Whyte has won 10 fights in a row since suffering a seventh-round knockout loss to Joshua for the British and Commonwealth titles in December 2015.

Wach (35-5, 19 KOs), 39, of Poland, has won two fights in a row against poor opposition – the opponents were 6-30 and 2-5 going into the bouts – since a three-fight losing streak. In 2012, Wach challenged then unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko and lost a near-shutout decision.