Hearn increasing offer for Wilder to fight Whyte
By Scott Gilfoid: Promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s going to sweeten the $3 million offer to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) for him to accept a fight against #3 WBC Dillian Whyte (21-1, 16 KOs) for February 3rd at the O2 Arena in London, England.
However, the wily Hearn says the offer won’t be anywhere near the $7 million that Wilder is asking for to fight Whyte. Hearn says the offer could be $4 million, which is a little over halfway to the kind of green stuff that Deontay is asking for to take the fight with the 29-year-old Whyte.
Hearn recommends that Wilder accept the offer and take the fight with Whyte, because if he wins, it could be potentially another $7-10 million that he can put in the bank. Hearn seems certain that Wilder will wind up making additional money for a Joshua fight if he defeats Whyte. However, Hearn didn’t mention giving Wilder a guarantee that he would make an extra $7M to $10M to fight Whyte. Hearn is just guessing that Wilder will make extra money if he fights Whyte and beats him. Since it’s just speculation on Hearn’s part that Wilder will make more money in a fight with Joshua if he beats Whyte, it’s probably not worth the risk of taking that fight, especially since it would take place in Whyte’s hometown of London.
“Deontay Wilder,” said Hearn to IFL, when asked who Whyte will be fighting on February 3rd. “It’s not going to happen,” said Hearn about Wilder wanting $7 million for the Whyte fight. “We offered him $3 million dollars plus U.S TV, maybe $4 million dollars. Your people came back and said, ‘I want $7 million dollars.’ Why? We run a business. I could tell you how much money is in that fight. I don’t need you to tell me. So, we’re going to go back and we’re going to improve our offer. It’s certainly not going to be $7 million dollars or anywhere close, but we’re going to improve our offer to try and make that fight,” said Hearn.
Hearn goes on to say that he believes that his fighter Whyte will beat Wilder. If Hearn truly believes that Whyte can beat Wilder, then it’s a self-serving move on his part to try and get the Bronze Bomber to accept the fight with Whyte for $4 million rather than making the bigger fight between Wilder and Joshua. It’s also a crazy move on Hearn’s part to have Whyte try and take care of Wilder to get him out of the way of the Joshua fight. Matching Joshua against Wilder straightaway would make the most sense monetary wise rather than having Whyte potentially beat the Bronze Bomber in a smaller fight.
I think it probably comes down to Hearn seeing Wilder as a threat to Joshua, and Whyte is someone that he’s putting on him to get him out of the way. It’s not in Wilder’s best interest to take the small money that Hearn is offering for him to fight Whyte rather than taking the bigger cash to fight Joshua. You got to respect Hearn’s honesty though. He’s a straight shooter when telling the boxing media why he wants Wilder to fight Whyte. He wants Wilder to get beaten by him for less money than he’ll get fighting Joshua. Most boxing fans would say that Wilder will beat Whyte, but anything is possible though in the heavyweight division. Why would Wilder take a risky fight against Whyte if he can get the bigger payday against Joshua? If Hearn wants to match Whyte against someone, he should put him in with Joe Joyce or Daniel Dubois, and see how well he does against those 2 fighters.
“Stephen Espinoza is here this weekend,” said Hearn about Showtime vice president of sports Espinoza. “I’m going to talk to him. What Wilder’s team wants is they want to wrap the Joshua fight into the Dillian Whyte fight. It doesn’t happen. It’s 2 different fights, and 2 different people. If you beat Dillian Whyte, you’re value in the Joshua fight, your earnings for the Joshua fight will probably go up 10 to 15 percent. That could be $7 to $10 million dollars improved purse in that fight. So, one you’re going to get a huge payday against Dillian Whyte, and 2, you come through, the Joshua fight is inevitable if he keeps the belt. But if he beats Whyte, the Joshua fight becomes huge,” said Hearn.
I don’t think there’s any accurate way to quantify how much extra money Wilder will make by beating Whyte. It could be more like Hearn says or it could even be less if Wilder doesn’t look good in beating Whyte. Just because Hearn is guessing that Wilder will make a lot more money fighting Joshua if he beats Whyte first doesn’t mean it’ll play out that way. If Whyte was a huge star in UK boxing, then I’d ay that it would definitely give Wilder a huge boost if he beats him. That’s not the reality though.
Whyte isn’t a big name, and he doesn’t draw huge crowds as of yet. If Whyte were to beat Wilder, then maybe his popularity would increase in England, but I don’t see it helping Wilder if he comes out on top in that fight. For Wilder to get anything out of beating Whyte, he would need to be an established name right now. Unfortunately, Whyte isn’t a big name. As such, Wilder gains nothing from beating Whyte other than the payday that Hearn is offering him. Since there’s risk involved for Wilder in taking the fight, I don’t see him accepting the fight. If Wilder didn’t have a huge payday fight against Joshua in front of for next year, I think he’s accept the fight against Whyte tomorrow. But the fact of the matter is Wilder will soon be fighting Joshua for big cash, so he doesn’t need to fight Whyte.
”As it goes, I think Dillian Whyte beats Deontay Wilder,” said Hear. ”That’s what I think, but we’ll find out hopefully on February 3rd. Will they take the fight? I would say I thought maybe 30 percent chance [before]. Now, I’d say 50 percent chance, but Dillian has got to beat Helenius on Saturday. It’s a tough fight. It’s huge,”said Hearn.
So, there it is. Hearn is saying he expects Whyte to beat Wilder on February 3 if he accepts the fight. So, in other words, Hearn is playing Wilder for a sucker by trying to get him to take the fight with Whyte. Hearn just wants Wilder to take the fight with Whyte so he gets beaten by him, and then he doesn’t need to worry about risking Joshua’s hide by making the Joshua-Wilder fight. I think this is all about Hearn protecting his golden goose Joshua from a real threat that Wilder poses.
Wilder, 31, will be fighting on November 4 against his WBC mandatory Bermane Stiverne at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Whyte and Joshua will be in action this Saturday night against different opponents at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Whyte faces Robert Helenius for the vacant WBC Silver heavyweight title. Joshua will be defending his IBF/WBA heavyweight titles against Carlos Takam. Neither of these fights are sure things wins. There’s a small chance Whyte and Joshua lose. That’s why it’s still too early for Hearn to be talking about a Wilder-Whyte fight.
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