Hearn negotiating Dillian Whyte vs. Kubrat Pulev IBF final eliminator for July 21
By Scott Gilfoid: Dillian Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) will be returning to the ring on July 21 against Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) in an IBF heavyweight final eliminator match at the O2 Arena in London, England. The fight isn’t a done deal yet, but Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping to get it made soon.
Hearn is negotiating the Whyte vs. Pulev fight. The winner of the contest will be the IBF mandatory to champion Anthony Joshua. Hearn would also like to make a fight between Whyte and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder if he’s unable to put together a Joshua-Wilder fight, which he currently is trying to negotiate. However, it isn’t looking too promising that Hearn will be able to put together the Joshua-Wilder fight.
The problem is Hearn doesn’t feel that Wilder deserves a percentage deal. He thinks he’s only worthy of a flat fee deal. Those kinds of deals are usually done when a popular fighter is dealing with a contender. Wilder is world champion, so Hearn is heading nowhere fast with his negotiation attempts.
“The 21st is a potential date for Dillian Whyte, but still, we have to look to agree terms with Kubrat Pulev and [promoter] Kalle Sauerland, and his team. That will be an eliminator for Anthony Joshua,” Hearn said to skysports.com.
Hearn is so anxious to get Whyte a world title shot against Wilder or Joshua. What he should do is stay calm and hope that Whyte can beat the 6’4 ½” Pulev, because this is a fight that he can’t just assume that he’s going to win. Whyte looked something awful against Dereck Chisora in December 2016 in winning a controversial 12 round split decision, and that was the last time he fought a decent opponent. That was a fail for Whyte in my view, as I had him losing to Chisora. Since then, Hearn has taken it easy with Whyte by putting him in with journeyman Malcolm Tann, Robert Helenius and Lucas Browne. Those guys are not in the same class as Pulev or any some of the other contenders in the division like Jarrell Miller, Alexander Povetkin, Luis Ortiz, Joseph Parker or Dominic Breazeale. Those are top 10 talents. The guys that Whyte has been matched against by Hearn lately are more bottom feeder level opposition.
It’s interesting how Hearn is getting all worked up about Whyte after his wins over the fodder opposition that he’s been feeding him. What Hearn should be doing is putting Whyte in with someone like Luis Ortiz, because if he can beat the Cuban heavyweight, it would be a good reason for him to be spouting off about how good he is. Right now, Hearn just looks silly bragging about Whyte when he’s been feeding him the likes of Tann, Browne and Helenius.
Hearn would like for Whyte to fight Wilder, but he’s not the WBC mandatory challenger, so that fight is not going to happen yet. Of course, Hearn could still lure Wilder into taking the fight with Whyte if he were willing to make him a huge money offer, but as of yet, he hasn’t shown interest in doing that. Wilder asked for $7 million for the Whyte fight, but Hearn has only offered $4 million. Hearn says he believes that Whyte can beat Wilder. If that’s the case, then he should make Wilder a big enough offer for him to accept the fight with Whyte.
”He’s a guy who is on the verge of a heavyweight world title shot and he can do it. I believe he can win,” Hearn said of Whyte. “If Deontay Wilder doesn’t man up, and fight Anthony Joshua, there’s Dillian Whyte waiting for him as well.”
Is Hearn saying that Whyte can beat Joshua or is he speaking about Wilder? It doesn’t matter what Hearn says about his believe that Whyte can beat Wilder. That fight is not happening in 2018 and likely not even 2019. Hearn can speed up the time that it takes for Whyte to get a world title shot by putting him in with Joshua in an in house Matchroom Boxing fight. I don’t think Hearn is ready to do that yet. He’s just hoping that if he keeps banging the drum long enough talking up a fight between Whyte and Wilder that it will eventually happen.
I don’t think it will. Wilder wants the Joshua fight, and he’s not going to do Hearn any favors with him offering him a small flat fee deal for the fight. Why would Wilder want to turn around and do Hearn a favor by fighting Whyte with him talking about how he doesn’t deserve a percentage deal? There’s nothing Wilder gets out of fighting Whyte. The guy isn’t well known in the United States, so there’s nothing that Wilder can get for fighting him. The thing is, even if Wilder did help Hearn out by fighting Whyte, it could lead to him asking Deontay to fight other fighters in his Matchroom stable rather than matching him against Joshua by offering him a fair deal.