Hearn wants Dillian Whyte vs. Deontay Wilder in June
By Tim Royner: Eddie Hearn is counting on the WBC ordering Deontay Wilder to defend his World Boxing Council heavyweight title in June against his fighter Dillian Whyte following his 6th round knockout victory on Saturday night against Lucas Browne at the O2 Arena in London, England. However, the boxing public doesn’t want to see Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) fight Whyte next.
The fans want to see Wilder face IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) in a unification fight. Hearn says that fight can’t happen next, because Joshua won’t be available to fight until later this year after he faces WBO champion Joseph Parker in a unification fight on March 31. Hearn says Wilder must fight somebody in his next title defense, so it should be Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) in the summer wherever.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn doesn’t mind that he’s putting a much bigger money fight between Joshua and Wilder at risk potentially by him insisting that Whyte be next for the Bronze Bomber. It’s a positive for Hearn either way, as he promotes Whyte. So, if Whyte defeats Wilder, Hearn can then match him against Joshua.
A lot of promoters wouldn’t try and make a smaller money fight at the expense of a bigger money match-up, but Hearn doesn’t seem to care. He’s willing to risk having Joshua miss out on a tremendous payday against Wilder by pushing for the Wilder-Whyte fight. It’s probably a pipe dream on Hearn’s part thinking that Wilder and his management will agree to fight Whyte in the summer. Hearn is talking and wasting his time. The WBC isn’t going to order Wilder to fight Whyte next, and even if they did, his management would work out a deal with the promotional company to allow him to wait for the Joshua fight.
Hearn says he doesn’t want to match Whyte against Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz, because he doesn’t see anything that can be gained from that fight. Ortiz isn’t a world champion, and there wouldn’t be a title on the line for him and Whyte to fight on. Hearn’s goal is to have Whyte fight for a world title in his next fight, and the way for him to do that is to match him against Wilder.
“The aim now is for Dillian Whyte to fight for a world title,” Hearn said to secondsout.com about his hopes of making a fight between Whyte and Wilder in the summer. “No disrespect to Luis Ortiz. It is a great fight, but if you’re in a fight that dangerous, you’d want some kind of carrot, and there’s no carrot in the Luis Ortiz fight other than it’s just a great fight for the fans. But really, I want to see him fight Deontay Wilder next,” Hearn said.
The money Wilder, 32, would receive for a title defense against Whyte would be more than what he’s ever received before, according to Hearn. Wilder doesn’t like the idea of fighting Hearn’s stable fighter Whyte to earn a fight against Joshua. He sees it as pointless now as it was when Hearn was asking him to take the fight in the past. Wilder would make much more money fighting Joshua than Whyte. Wilder would be risking his big payday by fighting Whyte. Hearn doesn’t seem to understand that, or he simply doesn’t care. Hearn shouldn’t be too surprised when he’s ignored by Wilder’s management about his hopes of having him agree to fight Whyte in the summer. That’s not going to happen unless Hearn is willing to offer him huge money for the Whyte fight. In the past, Wilder wanted $7 million. After the way Whyte dispatched Lucas Browne on Saturday night, it would be logical to assume that he’ll want even more than that. The WBC probably won’t help Hearn force Wilder to fight Whyte.
”That’s not that we’re trying to swerve the AJ fight next,” Hearn said about him wanting Wilder to fight Whyte next. ”If AJ fights Deontay Wilder in his next fight, it won’t be until October, November or December anyway. So, those guys (Wilder and Whyte) can fight in June or July. It’s not like it’s short money. It’s the biggest payday of his (Wilder) career by a mile, and it takes the Joshua fight to another level as well,” Hearn said.
Wilder beating Whyte likely won’t significantly increase the interest from the boxing public in a Joshua-Wilder fight. There will be some extra interest, but not a great deal. Wilder just beat a better fighter than Whyte in Luis Ortiz, and he got a big surge in popularity from that fight. Defeating Whyte won’t do much for Wilder, because he’s already been beaten by Joshua. Whyte hasn’t beaten anyone good since then. Browne looked terrible tonight. He looked so bad that it took away completely from Whyte’s win. The real Whyte was the one that we saw in his fights against Dereck Chisora and Robert Helenius. Whyte struggled in both of those fights, and he looked like nothing special. Against Browne, Whyte looked good because he was fighting an overweight, old, inactive and slow guy. Browne is about to turn 39, and he’d only fought once in the past two years going into tonight’s fight with Whyte.
Hearn says he’s not having Joshua swerve Wilder by pushing for the Wilder-Whyte fight, but it looks like that’s the case. Why else would Hearn have Joshua take a much smaller money fight against Jarrell Miller rather than face Wilder? The answer is simple. Hearn is worried about what Wilder could do to Joshua if he lands one of his big right hands on his fragile chin. Wilder could knock Joshua out if he hits him hard enough. Wilder won’t get short money fighting Whyte, but he also won’t get the same kind of dough that he’ll make fighting Joshua. That’s the problem. Wilder risks everything to fight Whyte for a fraction of the money he’d get fighting AJ. Hearn is not seeing things the way that Wilder and his team are seeing it.
“June or July,” Hearn said, when asked when Whyte plans on fighting next. “He wants to stay active, and I think we need to build off the momentum of a big win,” Hearn said.
If Whyte is going to be fighting in June or July, then Hearn needs to start looking for an opponent for him right away, because he’s not going to get a talented contender to agree to fight him if he takes his time looking around. Wilder isn’t going to fight him. There are some good options for Whyte’s next fight.
Here are some fighters that Hearn should look to stick in the ring with Whyte this summer:
• Dominic Breazeale
• Kubrat Pulev
• Dereck Chisora
• Adam Kownacki
• Agit Kabayel
• Luis Ortiz
• Jarrell Miller
• Zhilei Zhang
• Joe Joyce
• Daniel Dubois
• Carlos Takam
• Christian Hammer
Some of those guys would likely beat Whyte depending on where the fights take place. But these are guys that Hearn needs to be contacting to try and get one of them to face Whyte, because Wilder is probably not going to do it.
“My ideal scenario is Dillian Whyte fights Deontay Wilder in June anywhere, and then Joshua fights him him in September, October or December,” Hearn said to Fighthype. “That makes the sense for everybody. It’s not a question of do you want him (Wilder) through Whyte first. No, Anthony Joshua is fighting on March 31st. He’s not going to fight again until August at the earliest. Wilder, probably September or October,” Hearn said.
Hearn doesn’t seem to realize that there’s only one month that separates Wilder and Joshua for their March fights. Wilder fought on March 3, while Joshua will be fighting on March 31. A month is nothing. Wilder can afford to wait just as long as Joshua before he faces him later this year.
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