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Wilder not obligated to fight Whyte says Dibella

By Scott Gilfoid: Dillian Whyte (21-1, 16 KOs) is not someone WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) must fight in order to get a unification fight against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs), says promoter Lou Dibella.

Whyte, 29, is not someone that Wilder plans on fighting just so that he can get a fight with Joshua. Dibella sees it as ridiculous that Wilder would need to face Whyte for him to get the big match-up with British heavyweight Joshua.


Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is the one that has been pushing hard to get Whyte a title shot against Wilder before he’ll consider making a fight between Joshua and him. Hearn says he’s confident that Whyte can beat Wilder. It’s also very strange that Hearn wants Whyte to fight Wilder so badly. It’s a self-defeating move on Hearn’s part. Wilder vs. Joshua is the much bigger money fight than Joshua vs. Whyte 2. For Hearn to be trying to get Whyte to defeat Deontay, it suggests that he’s worried about Joshua having problems with the “Bronze Bomber.” If Hearn was confident that Joshua could beat Wilder, he’d make that fight right away instead of trying to use Whyte to beat Wilder and get him out of the picture.

“The concept that we would somehow feel obligated, or the necessity to fight Dillian Whyte for a chance to fight Anthony Joshua is a joke,” DiBella said to skysports.com. “”We’re not running from that fight. It’s nothing against Dillian Whyte personally, but I have no need to discuss Dillian Whyte. Dillian Whyte is irrelevant to the future of Deontay Wilder,” said Dibella.

There it is. Dibella has zero interest in matching Wilder against Dillian Whyte. Now if Hearn is still insistent on Wilder fighting Whyte in order to get the Joshua fight, then it’s going to require that the World Boxing Council order the Wilder-Whyte fight. That’s not likely to happen anytime soon. Whyte is probably at least 2 fights away from being named as Wilder’s mandatory challenger by the WBC. Whyte’s fight against #9 IBF Robert Helenius (25-1, 16 KOs) on October 28 likely won’t be enough to get him ranked No.1 by the WBC. Even if the WBC does order the fight between Wilder and Whyte, it’s not going to happen in 2018.

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Hearn can obviously dig his heals into the ground and stall the Joshua-Wilder for a year or two until Wilder is forced to fight Whyte by the WBC. Of course, that’s going to make Hearn look like he’s protecting Joshua from Deontay. I don’t know if the shaming and the criticism from the boxing fans will be enough to force Hearn to make the Joshua vs. Wilder fight.

If Hearn doesn’t want to make that fight, then he’s going to insist on Wilder fighting Whyte first, and there’s probably nothing Dibella can do about it other than appeasing him. From Hearn’s stand point, he’s helping his fighter Whyte become more valuable to his Matchroom Sport stable by fighting Wilder. The added benefit of Whyte fighting Wilder is it potentially gets one very real threat out of the hair of Joshua.

If Whyte can take care of Wilder, then Hearn has every excuse he needs to not make the Joshua-Wilder fight. Right now, Wilder is the only serious threat to beating Joshua in the heavyweight division. Having Wilder out of the way will give Joshua at least 2 good years of easy title defenses until the next threat to him comes up the pipeline in Joe Joyce. You can bet that Hearn will try and force Joyce to fight Whyte as well to in hopes of him beating him.

It would be disappointing if Hearn turns Whyte into the guardian of Joshua to filter out the threatening guys that are bad style match-ups for him, but I think that’s a very real possibility. Joshua is vulnerable, extremely vulnerable, as we saw in his win over Wladimir Klitschko last April. If Wilder or Joyce got Joshua into a real shoot out, they could cause him to gas out quickly. If you insert Joyce and Wilder into the same position Wladimir was in when he had Joshua gassed out in round 6, I think they would knock him out. Those guys aren’t going to take it easy on Joshua to try and win a decision the way Wladimir foolishly did. But that’s where Whyte comes in. If Hearn decides he wants to use him as the protector of Joshua to run interference for him, then he can do that unless those guys become his mandatory challenger.

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Wilder is in a bad position as champion. He’s at the mercy of Hearn. Wilder and Dibella can’t force Hearn to make the Joshua fight. All they can hope for is he’ll do the right thing by putting the fight together next year. Judging by the comments that Hearn has been making about him absolutely wanting Wilder to fight Whyte in early 2018, I don’t think he’s going to let him have the fight with Joshua until that happens.




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