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Hearn reacts to Fury turning down Whyte fight

Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury Dillian Whyte Eddie Hearn


By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn didn’t take the news of Tyson Fury turning down the Dillian Whyte fight too well. It was common knowledge that Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) was just joking when he originally volunteered to fight Whyte for the Diamond strap. For some reason, Hearn took Fury seriously, and didn’t realize he was just messing around.

Eddie says the WBC was set to order the Fury vs. Whyte fight for the Diamond title. The winner of the match would have been the mandatory for Wilder.


Hearn says Whyte will be made mandatory for Wilder if he beats Oscar Rivas

Hearn says the World Boxing Council will be making the winner of the July 20th Dillian vs. Oscar Rivas fight the mandatory to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. However, Hearn doesn’t say he knows for a fact that the WBC will make the Whyte vs. Rivas winner the mandatory to Wilder. It’s hard to know if Hearn is guessing again, and going down the wrong road in working up the hopes of another one of his fighters.

It would obviously be better for Hearn to wait until the WBC has told him what their plans are now that Fury has decided not to fight Whyte. Hearn is speculating that the WBC will now make the Whyte vs. Rivas winner the mandatory for Wilder, and then order the fight to take place after Deontay’s September rematch against Luis Ortiz.

Given Hearn’s track record in guessing what the WBC’s moves will be regarding Whyte, it would be better for him to wait until the sanctioning body makes their decision. There’s a good chance WBC will pick another top contender for the winner of the Whyte-Rivas fight to face in a title eliminator.

You’ve got the following top 10 contenders that the Whyte vs. Rivas winner could face in an official WBC title eliminator:

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– Adam Kownacki


– Joseph Parker

– Alexander Povetkin

– Agit Kabayel

Povetkin would be an ideal option for the Whyte-Rivas winner to face in a title eliminator.

“Now he says, ‘No.’ Was he joking?” said Hearn to IFL TV in talking about Fury revealing on Thursday that he won’t be taking the fight with Whyte. “It’s really frustrating. There’s a lot of time-wasters out there, and we’ve got to deal with what we do know, which is right now Joshua against Ruiz Jr., Whyte against Rivas, and if Whyte beats Rivas, and if Tyson Fury doesn’t fight him, Dillian Whyte is mandatory for Deontay Wilder, and Deontay Wilder will have to fight Dillian Whyte. I’m gutted because Whyte-Fury is a good fight,” Hearn said.

How did Hearn not know Fury was joking about wanting to fight Whyte?

It’s baffling to this writer that Hearn didn’t understand that the 6’9″ Fury was just having a bit of fun when said he would be open to fighting Whyte for the Diamond title. It seemed painfully obvious that Fury wasn’t at all serious, and that would NEVER take that fight to earn a rematch with Wilder. Perhaps it was desperation on Hearn’s part in wanting Fury to fight Whyte. Hearn needs opponents for Whyte, as he’s been putting him in with a lot of mediocre guys like fringe contender Dereck Chisora [twice], Robert Helenius, Dave Allen, 40-year-old Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne, Malcolm Tann and Joseph Parker.

Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of soft match-making done for Whyte by the wily Hearn. Despite having some good fighters in his Matchroom Boxing stable like Michael Hunter, Zhilei Zhang and Filip Hrgovic, Hearn matched Whyte against weaker opposition. Hearn has made a lot of noise about the fact that he’s matched Whyte against the unbeaten, top ranked Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs) for his June 20th fight, but he fails to say is he’s short at 6’0″, and he was on the verge of losing his last fight against Bryant Jennings when he scored a 12th round knockout last January.

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Rivas looked absolutely terrible against Jennings. In a word, Rivas was EXPOSED. As such, out of nowhere, Hearn selects Rivas to fight Whyte, and talks endlessly about what great fight is is. This is not a great fight. This is another example of clever match-making by Hearn. Rivas’ resume is filled with weak opposition. If you remove all the soft opponents that Rivas has beaten to win his 26 fights as a pro, you’re left with a record of 0-0. In other words, Rivas has beaten nobody that you can call a talented fighter in this writer’s opinion. Hearn could have matched Whyte against Hunter, Hrgovic of Zhang. Why didn’t he? It’s pretty easy to guess why. Whyte would likely lose to all of them. Heck, Whyte almost lost to Parker. He should have lost to Parker if the referee had done a better job of officiating the fight.

“Hopefully, the WBO will make him [Fury] the mandatory or say he’s the mandatory, and he’ll turn it down as well, and he’ll blame the percentage split,” said Hearn about the possibility that the WBO could make Fury the mandatory to Joshua. “We will push that [Joshua vs. Fury] as mandatory. You’ve got [Tom] Schwarz against Fury in a couple of weeks. I don’t know what’s going on with [Oleksandr] Usyk. You’ve got Dillian Whyte out there. It looks like Dillian Whyte is going to be WBC mandatory. We [Joshua] have no problems fighting Tyson Fury. These people talk a great game. He wants 50-50. He was offered 60-40. The Whyte stuff was frustrating, because he was the one that came out.”

“He [Fury] was ordered to fight Whyte for the interim [WBC] title. He said, ‘I’m not willing to fight Whyte for the interim. Make it for the Diamond, and I’m. I’ll smash you everywhere.’ So we came back and spoke to the WBC, and got it all the moving, and said, ‘it’s one!’ Now he’s saying, ‘Actually, I’m not fighting him.’ Of course, he is,” Hearn said about Whyte being angry about Fury changing his mind about wanting to fight him. “We’ve been working behind the scenes to get this up and running. He wants to fight Tyson Fury. It’s more personal because he called him out. You’re this you’re that. Dillian went, ‘Come on, let’s go.’ He [Fury] went, ‘Actually, no.’ We’ll concentrate on this,” said Hearn.

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It’s kind of funny to see Hearn get all worked up about Fury backing out of fighting Whyte, but he should have seen it coming. It was obvious to boxing fans that Fury had no intention of fighting Whyte. He was just messing with Hearn’s mind by saying he would take that fight.

“He says it’s unnecessary, because he thinks Fury should fight him for a world title,” Hearn said about Joshua telling him that it’s “unnecessary” for Fury to fight Whyte for the WBC Diamond belt when he can fight him for his IBF/WBA/WBO titles. “What he’s saying is, ‘Fight me or fight Wilder.’ He turned down the Wilder fight. Now you’re turning down the Whyte fight as well. You don’t have to fight [for the Diamond title]. What Joshua means is you don’t have to fight Dillian Whyte for the Diamond belt, when you can fight me for the unified heavyweight championship, and make more money. I doubt it,” said Hearn when asked if he thinks Fury will agree to fight Joshua. “I think Tyson Fury will box in September or October against another easy opponent, and then hold out for a big fight next year,” said Hearn.

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