Hearn wants Deontay Wilder vs. Dillian Whyte early next year
By Scott Gilfoid: Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) wants a unification fight against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs), but he’s going to have to go through Dillian Whyte (21-1, 16 KOs) to get that fight.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s going to try and make the Wilder vs. Whyte fight in early 2018. That’s the fight that Hearn wants and he’s insisting on it taking place. In the past, Hearn had talked excitedly about wanting to make a Joshua vs. Wilder fight, but now he’s changed his tune. Hearn wants Whyte to fight Wilder. The endgame is seemingly clear.
If Whyte can take care of Wilder for Joshua, then it gets a potentially lethal opponent out of the way for his money fighter. Hearn already knows that Joshua can beat Whyte, but he doesn’t know if Joshua can beat Wilder. That’s the tricky part. If Joshua loses to Wilder, then it’s quite possibly going to lead to a drop off of PPV buys. Hearn is head of the game though. That’s why he’s seemingly sticking Whyte in front of Wilder as an obstacle to Joshua.
“I think Dillian Whyte is a big fight,” said Hearn to IFL TV. “I want to see Dillian Whyte fight Deontay Wilder. That’s the fight we’re talking about, and that’s the fight we’re trying to make for early next year.”
Right now, Whyte is fighting #9 IBF Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius (25-1, 16 KOs) for the WBC Silver heavyweight title on October 28 on the undercard of the Joshua vs. Carlos Takam fight at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. If Whyte beats Helenius, then he stands a good chance of becoming Wilder’s next mandatory challenger.
The World Boxing Council hasn’t said anything about the Whyte-Helenius fight being a WBC title eliminator, but it’s quite possible they’ll slide Whyte into the No.1 spot with the sanctioning body if he comes out victorious on October 28. Even if Whyte did become the mandatory, it’s not likely that the WBC would move so soon to force Wilder to face him. After all, Wilder is fighting his WBC mandatory in Stiverne on November 4.
Wilder should have at least 1 year before he’s required to face his mandatory challenger. If the WBC makes Whyte the mandatory, he’s still likely going to need to wait until 2019 at the earliest to get a title shot against Wilder. But here’s where it gets interesting. If Hearn lets Wilder know in no uncertain terms that unless he fights Whyte FIRST, he’s not going to get the Joshua fight, then the Bronze Bomber will have no choice but to fight him.
You can argue that it’s not worth it for Wilder to be roped into the Whyte fight unless he’s got a guarantee from Hearn in writing that he’s going to get the Joshua fight if he wins the fight. If Wilder beats Whyte, what’s to stop Hearn from putting another one of his heavyweights in between him and Joshua, letting the Bronze Bomber know that he needs to beat another fighter to earn the fight. It comes across to some in the boxing world that Hearn is trying to prevent Joshua from fighting Wilder to save him from getting knocked out. By sticking Whyte in front of Wilder and insisting he faces him, it looks to some like Hearn is hoping that that he can beat the Bronze Bomber so that Joshua doesn’t have to face him and risk losing.
Wilder is fighting his #1 WBC mandatory Bermane Siverne on November 4 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The fight will be shown in the States on Showtime Championship Boxing.
”I’m the most frustrated guy around,” said Wilder in sound dejected at him not being able to get the fights he wants against the likes of Joshua. ”I don’t understand. The best are supposed to fight the best, right? I’ve always done that. I called Klitschko out years ago.” said Wilder.
Wilder sounds very frustrated in indeed. He’s finding out the hard way that the top fighters don’t want to fight, and their promoters want to protect him. Whyte would seem to be running interference for Joshua. I believe that Whyte is the last moat that prevents Wilder from storming the castle to take the king. If Wilder gets past the moat and brings down the draw bridge, then he’s in an enviable position to take down King Joshua. Of course, you can never rule out Hearn coming up with something else from his bag of tricks to slow Wilder’s progress to a fight against Joshua. I don’t know who it would be, but Hearn has the means to sign some other heavyweight contender that he can stick in front of Wilder and insist that he fight him too in order to get the Joshua fight.
Well, if Wilder loses the fight to his mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne, there won’t be any reason for Hearn to stick Whyte in front of him as an obstacle. Wilder will be out of the running for the Joshua fight. Instead, it’ll be Joshua vs. Whyte 2. For me, I think that’s an inferior fight than Joshua vs. Wilder. but I think Hearn has his reasons for wanting Wilder to fight Whyte.
Is Hearn hoping Wilder will lose to Whyte so he’s no longer a threat to Joshua or does he truly believe that the winner of the Wilder-Whyte fight will create a more attractive opponent for Joshua? We saw Whyte lose to Joshua, but that fight was tainted due to Whyte suffering a shoulder injury in round 2. We saw Joshua staggered and badly hurt in round 2 of the Whyte fight. That was the same round in which Whyte suffered a left shoulder injury. From that point on, Whyte was fighting with just his right hand, which isn’t much of a weapon or it didn’t used to be. If Whyte hadn’t suffered the injury, he might have beaten Joshua. Hearn just sees it as a win for Joshua, and now he wants to see if Wilder can beat Whyte too. I still think Wilder won’t get the fight with Joshua even if he knocks Whyte out in the 1st round. If anything, I see it working against Wilder with Heasrn dragging his heels when it comes to making that fight.
“It’s a good fight. No-one can deny me a world title fight if I win this fight,” said Whyte to skysports.com about his October 28 fight against Helenius. ”No-one can say I’m not ready or I haven’t fought anyone. I’m ranked highly across the board and I’m fighting a legitimate contender,” said Whyte.
As you can see, Whyte sounds very certain that he’s going to get past Helenius to get the title shot against Wilder. Whyte better hope he doesn’t slip on a banana skin on October 28, because anything is possible in that fight. Helenius can punch, and it’s not as if Whyte has had a lot of preparation for this fight. We are talking just 2 weeks’ notice for Whyte, who should have lost his fight against Dereck Chisora last December. Whyte isn’t good enough to just assume he’s going to get a victory each time he goes out there.
“I’ve seen him, he’s a good fighter, very well-rounded with a good jab and good boxing ability. You can see he’s got a very good amateur career,” said Whyte about Helenius.