Hearn will appeal WBC’s decision to order Dillian Whyte vs. Luis Ortiz
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn says he plans on appealing the World Boxing Council’s decision to order a fight between #1 WBC Dillian Whyte and #3 Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz for the second mandatory position to get a title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder.
Hearn wants the WBC to install the 29-year-old Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) as Wilder’s mandatory so that he can get a title shot straightaway rather than having to go through Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs).
“We’re going to appeal that. [WBC president] Mauricio Sulaiman said he would talk about it this week, and maybe post a resolution,” Hearn said to skysports.com.
This looks bad. Hearn not wanting to go along with the WBC with their decision to have Whyte earn a title shot against Wilder the proper way by taking on the highly experienced and talented Luis Ortiz rather than having the spot thrown into his lap after his win over the painfully slow and inactive Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne.
It’s hard to understand why Hearn doesn’t want to let Whyte take on Ortiz. Hearn is always saying how Whyte is one of the most talented heavyweights in the division, and how he thinks he can beat Wilder. If Hearn truly believes that, then Whyte should easily beat Ortiz, right? I mean, if Whyte is good enough to beat Wilder, then surely he can beat Ortiz as well. You would think.
Of course, if Hearn doesn’t actually believe Whyte can beat Ortiz and Wilder, then it’s understandable why he would resist the notion of a Whyte-Ortiz fight the way he’s doing now. To me, it looks like there’s some fear there on Hearn’s part about the Whyte vs. Ortiz fight. If Ortiz gives Whyte a boxing lesson and knocks him out, then Hearn will have lost a valuable pawn that he can use for a nice money fight for Joshua in the future.
Right now, rematch between Joshua and Whyte would make lots of cash in ticket sales and PPV buys on Sky Box Office. But if Whyte faces Ortiz and gets knocked out or badly schooled, then Hearn can forget about a second Joshua-Whyte fight for the time being. Hearn would need to rebuild Whyte for another three years or so before he makes a fight between him and Joshua. Who’s to say whether Whyte could hold up another three years?
Hearn can’t keep throwing him into the ring with slow and old guys like Lucas Browne, Robert Helenius, Malcolm Tann and Dereck Chisora and expect the UK boxing public to get excited about him. The fans would expect Whyte to be matched against good contenders like Alexander Povetkin, Adam Kownacki, Carlos Takam and Jarrell Miller. I’m not sure that Whyte beats those type of heavyweights.
I hate to say it but it seems to me like Whyte and Hearn don’t fancy the idea of having to take on Ortiz to actually earn a crack at Wilder rather than having the mandatory position given to them on a silver platter by the WBC. Whyte wants to be given the mandatory spot for Wilder the easy way after his wins over Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne, Robert ‘The Nordic Nightmare’ Helenius, Malcolm Tann and Dereck ‘Del Boy’ Chisora. Those are decent heavyweights the most part, but none of those fighters what you call title eliminator level talents, are they? I mean, come on. Tann is a 38-year-old journeyman, Chisora and Helenius are bottom fringe level heavyweights. The 39-year-old Browne had fought only once in the last 2 years at the time he fought Whyte.
An inactive and old fighter like Browne was clearly not worthy of being put in a title eliminator by the WBC. They wisely didn’t say the Whyte vs. Browne fight was a WBC title eliminator. As such, Whyte fought Browne just for the heck of it rather than to earn a title shot against Wilder. What Hearn should have done is spoken to the WBC ahead of time and asked them who Whyte needs to fight for him to be put in a title eliminator. The WBC would like have told Hearn that Whyte would need to fight Ortiz. Hearn could then have said forget it, and moved Whyte to safer pastures by taking the IBF’s offer of a world title eliminator between Whyte and Kubrat Pulev to earn a shot at IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Since the WBC has already made up their mind in ordering Whyte to fight the dangerous southpaw 38-year-old Ortiz to earn a shot at Deontay, it’ll be interesting to see if Hearn can persuade the WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman to change his mind and make Whyte the mandatory for Wilder right now. I would love to listen in on the conversation with Hearn and Sulaiman to hear what the Matchroom Boxing promoter would say to get the WBC to change their mind.
“I’ve had the sanctioning fights, I’ve done everything they have asked me to do,” Whyte said in complaining to skysports.com about being ordered to fight Ortiz instead of being given the WBC mandatory position after his win over 39-year-old Browne. “My information was – I was meant to be next in line.”
Whyte says he thought he was supposed to be next in line for Wilder’s WBC mandatory spot. Obviously he was wrong. Whyte is NOT next in line, so he needs to stop bellyaching about the WBC’s decision, get back in the gym and get in shape for a real fight against Luis Ortiz. Whyte had his seven soft jobs in a row since his 7th round knockout loss to Joshua in December 2015. Now it’s time for Whyte to step up a level and fight a world class heavyweight for a change in Luis Ortiz. If Whyte doesn’t want to agree to that, then he needs to step out of the way and let someone else fight Ortiz for the secondary mandatory position.
The WBC has already made up their minds about 2012 U.S Olympian Dominic Breazeale being the #1 WBC mandatory for Wilder to fight. That fight should take place this summer unless Hearn wants to accept the $50 million offer by Team Wilder for a fight against him.
Some boxing fans believe that Whyte should be made Wilder’s WBC mandatory challenger by the fact that he beat Robert Helenius last October to win the vacant WBC Silver heavyweight strap. The fans feel that when a contender wins the WBC Silver title, it means they’re going to be the mandatory challenger. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen like that all the time. Sometimes fighters that capture the WBC Silver title become the mandatory, but it’s not always that way. The WBC gives more weight to contenders that take on high level opposition than in guys taking easy fights for their WBC Silver title. If Whyte wanted to be guaranteed a title shot against Wilder, then he should have pushed Hearn to match him against Miller, Povetkin, Takam or Ortiz. Those are tough fighters. Instead of Whyte fighting Malcolm Tann in 2017, he should have fought Adam Kownacki, Breazeale or Charles Martin. It’s all about good match-making. If a promoter wants to impress the WBC, he needs to match his fighter against the best instead of middle of the road opposition like we’ve been seeing with the way Hearn has been matching Whyte.
Ultimately, I expect Whyte to face Kubrat Pulev in the IBF ordered title eliminator. The winner of that fight will be Joshua’s IBF mandatory. Whyte stand a better chance of beating Pulev than he does Ortiz.