Hearn says he’ll increase offer to Wilder to face Whyte in June
By Scott Gilfoid: Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says he’ll be submitting an increased offer to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) to fight #1 WBC contender Dillian Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) in June at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Hearn has already offered Wilder $3 million plus U.S television for him to fight Whyte in the past. But now Hearn says he’s going to increase that offer for Wilder to face Whyte in June. Hearn isn’t saying how much of an increase it’ll be. Unfortunately, it’s not likely that Hearn will give the 6’7” Wilder an offer big enough for him to accept the fight.
If Hearn bumps up the $3M offer for Wilder, he might need to more than double it to get him to say yes to the fight with Whyte. Further, Hearn will likely need to be agreeable to having Whyte fight Wilder in the U.S in New York or perhaps Alabama. After all, Wilder is the champion, and Whyte is just a guy that beat an older, inactive former world champion in 38-year-old Lucas Browne. That guy was made to order for Whyte. It was the perfect situation for Whyte.
It sure would be nice if Hearn made an offer for Wilder to fight Anthony Joshua. I wonder what’s causing Hearn to drag his feet in making the Joshua vs. Wilder fight.
Hearn seems desperate to make the Wilder-Whyte fight. It reeks of Hearn wanting to try anything to keep Wilder away from his prize cash cow Anthony Joshua. That’s the general sense that a lot of boxing fans have for why Hearn is showing so much desperation to try and get Wilder to agree to fight Whyte in June. It doesn’t look like it’s about trying to turn Whyte into a star. It looks more like Hearn is trying to keep Wilder as far away from Joshua as possible.
“There was a lot of pressure on him tonight,” Hearn said to IFL TV about Whyte. ”So, the whole idea tonight of making this fight was Dillian getting his own platform for him to try and become a star, because he’s been riding a little bit on AJ’s wave, boxing chief support, obviously with the Chisora fight and with the Helenius fight. When people start saying, ‘No one has heard of him in America. Okay, we’ve made a start now. He’s just been live on HBO. What’s your excuse now?” Hearn said.
Hearn believes that Whyte has become well-known in the U.S from his one televised fight against Lucas Browne last Saturday night. What Hearn doesn’t quite understand is that it takes more than one fight against a little known former world champion to become a household name in the U.S. It’s likely that very few casual boxing fans tuned in to see the Whyte-Browne fight last Saturday night. The fight was on a premium channel on HBO Boxing, and a lot of fans don’t have that channel. Moreover, there wasn’t a lot of marketing about the Whyte vs. Browne fight.
The hardcore boxing fans knew about the fight, but the casual fans likely heard nothing about the fight, and even if they did hear about it, the names Whyte and Browne meant nothing to them. When casual boxing fans hear the names of obscure fighters in a main event, it doesn’t cause them to want to divert their schedules to tune in to see the fights. That’s why the smart promoters in the U.S place fighters that they’re trying to turn into stars on undercards of the well-known fighters.
In the case of the Whyte-Browne fight, HBO unwisely stuck them in the main event last Saturday, which was arguably a stupid thing to do. Whyte vs. Browne needed to be packaged with a bigger fight involving fighters that the casual boxing fans had heard of before. HBO didn’t do that. so it’s likely very few fans tuned in last Saturday. Like I was saying, it takes a long time for fighters to become well-known in the U.S. You don’t become a household name after one fight. Hearn is deluded if he actually believes that all of America now knows who Dillian Whyte is after his 6th round knockout win over 38-year-old Browne last Saturday night.
”Every one’s talking about Wilder vs. Joshua,” Hearn said. ”He’s got to beat Parker first, and that’s a tough fight. He isn’t going to fight Wilder in June. So if he fights him next, it still won’t be until October, November or December. So why not Wilder fight Dillian now in June in London for loads, loads, loads of dough. We’ve already offered him $3 million dollars plus U.S TV. What’s that, $4 million? I’m probably going to step it up on Monday,” Hearn said.
Hearn isn’t saying the reason WHY Joshua won’t be fighting Wilder in the summer. Hearn just says Wilder won’t be able to fight Joshua in June, and that’s his rationale for pushing him to fight Whyte in that month. Hearn plans on matching Joshua against Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller in the summer. But by listening to Hearn talk, he makes it sound like Joshua won’t be fighting until October, November or December. The reality is, Joshua will be fighting this summer in July or August, and he wants to match him against New Yorker Jarrell Miller in a fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
There’s no reason why Wilder can’t fight Joshua in July or August. Hearn doesn’t want to make the Joshua vs. Wilder fight in the summer though. But to listen to Hearn talk, he makes it sound like Joshua won’t be fighting again until later this year. It’s clever the way Hearn chooses to not to reveal that Joshua will be fighting in the summer. The thing is, if Wilder agrees to fight Whyte in June, Hearn will likely announce that Joshua will be facing Miller in July or August. I wish I could say that Hearn is hoping Wilder will beat Whyte so that it’ll setup a much bigger fight between Wilder and Joshua for later this year, but I don’t believe that’s the case. I think Hearn is hoping like mad that Whyte beats Wilder, so he can get him away from Joshua. That’s Hearn’s golden goose.
”Deontay Wilder is coming to town next week,” Hearn said. ”We get Dillian Whyte at ringside. We got AJ fighting Joseph Parker. Deontay Wilder’s stock next week is going to go through the roof, because he’s going to be everywhere. He’s going to get mobbed. It’s great for his profile,” Hearn said.
You must believe that Wilder is going to be put under intense pressure next Saturday by Hearn and Whyte to make the fight with him in June. That would be crazy for Wilder to agree to on many levels. First off, Wilder would have to fight in the UK in front of Whyte’s boxing fans, and deal with the pro-Whyte fans. If the fight goes to a decision, Wilder might lose a controversially. With the history of quick stoppages in the UK, Wilder would be at risk of losing by a knockout if he’s stunned by one of Whyte’s shots. It’s hard for me to see Wilder having made it through his last fight against Luis Ortiz in round 7 if that fight had taken place in the UK, and if Whyte was the one that he was facing on the night. I think the fight would have been halted in the 7th as soon as Wilder was hurt, and he would have ended up as a knockout victim. If Wilder did agree to fight Whyte, it likely wouldn’t be in the UK. Hearn must think that Wilder and his management were born yesterday. Those guys will never agree to a fight against Whyte in the UK. That’s not happening.