Hearn: Wilder doesn’t deserve 50-50 split with Joshua
By Tim Royner: Eddie Hearn was’t amused at hearing WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s 50-50 purse split demand that he wants before he’ll agree to take the unification fight against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in November. Hearn says that Wilder doesn’t deserve 50% of the pot for the fight, and he says that he may be forced to fight Dillian Whyte, even if his chooses not to fight Joshua for the money he’s offering him.
Hearn has already met with the World Boxing Organization to ask them to order the winner of the May 18th fight between Wilder and Dominic Breazeale to defend against #1 WBC rated Whyte. The WBC will be making a decision on this request within 2 weeks.
“He said, ‘the only way it happens is if it’s 50-50,'” Hearn said to IFL TV in talking about what Wilder reiterated in an interview this week in talking about what needs to happen in order for him to fight Joshua. “There’s no point in me saying anything. If that’s what he believes, we’ll have to just see what happens. For me, the focus is Jarrell Miller on June 1st. Let’s make sure Anthony Joshua wins that fight, and then we can start talking about the undisputed fight. Wilder has got to beat [Dominic] Breazeale. I don’t know Wilder’s mindset. I don’t know his mentality. Is he believing in this hype too much, because I know our guy is the most focused guy on the planet. He can’t look passed Jarrell Miller. For us, the Deontay Wilder talk is irrelevant. Let him do his interviews, and have his opinions. Good luck to him,” Hearn said.
Hearn is still willing to make the Joshua vs. Wilder fight even if neither guy is a world champion. So it would be nice if both heavyweights win their next fights against Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller and Breazeale, it’s not imperative that they do so in order for them to face each other.
“I agree, [that Wilder wouldn’t take the fight with Joshua even if he were offered a 50-50 split]. So we need to call his bluff one day,” Hearn said. “But he doesn’t deserve 50-50 in my opinion, but it’s up to AJ. You may have to give it to him [Wilder] to get that fight. This sounds to me like a guy that doesn’t really want the fight [with Joshua]. ‘This is it. No negotiations,'” Hearn said in imitating Wilder. “Maybe he’s saying that because he won’t get it or he shouldn’t get it. Again, let him fight Breazeale. Concentrate on that fight. Don’t get beat in that fight. By the way, Dillian Whyte will probably be his mandatory anyway. So, he’s either going to have to fight AJ or Dillian Whyte, and there may not be any intervening fights before Dillian. He’s got to fight Dillian. I’d love to see that,” Hearn said.
Wilder probably won’t agree to the 60-40 split that Hearn and Joshua want him to take. Hearn has been hoping that Wilder would change his mind about wanting the 50-50 split that he’s been demanding, but it doesn’t look like he will. The monstrous new contract that Wilder is about to get for re-upping with Showtime is going to give him the freedom to ask for the purse split that he wants for the Joshua fight. If Whyte is Hearn’s only hope of forcing Wilder to agree to the smaller split that he wants him to take for the Joshua fight, it’s not going to work. Wilder isn’t afraid of Whyte, and given how poorly Dillian fought against Dereck Chisora and Joseph Parker, there’s a high probability that he’ll be knocked out by Wilder. We don’t know if the WBC is going to give Hearn his wish in making Whyte the mandatory for Wilder without needing to earn the spot by fighting in an official eliminator the way that’s normally done.
WBC might order Whyte to face Luis Ortiz
If the WBC forces Wilder to fight Whyte immediately after already fighting Breazeale, it’ll look like they’re showing favoritism to Hearn and his Matchroom promotion. The reason why Wilder didn’t defend against Breazeale earlier is because the WBC failed to do their job in ordering the fight. They could have, but they didn’t, and Breazeale has waiting since 2017 for his mandated title shot against Wilder. The fair move by the WBC would to have Whyte fight the #3 WBC Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz in an official eliminator, which is what the sanctioning body should have done a long time ago.
Whyte has been fighting the guys that has been choosing for him, but he failed to fight Ortiz in a secondary title eliminator when the WBC wanted him to take that fight. If WBC orders Whyte and Ortiz to fight in an official eliminator, will Whyte go along with that or will he choose to have Hearn set him up with a Joshua fight? The problem with Whyte having to fight Ortiz is there wouldn’t be a world title on the line, and there would be just much risk in him losing the fight as there would be if he fought Wilder or Joshua. Breazeale is the WBC mandatory now because he fought in a WBC eliminator.
Hearn is trying to have Whyte made the mandatory challenger to Wilder without fighting an eliminator. That’s not fair to the other contenders waiting in line for a crack at a world title in the World Boxing Council’s top 15. Ortiz, 39, would be skipped over by Whyte if he’s made the mandatory without having to fight him. If Wilder faces Whyte, and beats him, Ortiz might have to wait a couple of years before the WBC gets around to finally ordering the mandatory. Ortiz would need to fight someone else to get the mandatory spot in the WBC’s rankings, and it would take a long time for everything to get sorted out. The WBC can make things easy now if they simply order Whyte and Ortiz to fight each other next in an eliminator.
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