Hearn told WBC they’ll accept Fury vs. Whyte for Diamond belt
By Tim Royner: Tyson Fury will need to confirm with the WBC soon whether he’ll agree to face Dillian Whyte for the Diamond heavyweight title like he originally agreed to. Promoter Eddie Hearn says he told the World Boxing Council that he will accept a fight between lineal champion Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) and Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) for the Diamond title. However, Hearn doubts whether Fury will agree to take the fight with Whyte for the Diamond title, even though he said a week ago that he would take the fight with him if the WBC puts up their Diamond strap.
Hearn says the WBC is finalizing the resolution now, and he believes the interim belt will be on the line for Whyte’s next fight against Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs) on July 20. Once that fight is out of the way, Hearn wants to match Whyte against Fury for the Diamond title. The winner of that match will then be the mandatory for WBC champion Wilder.
“Tyson Fury said he will fight Dillian Whyte for the WBC Diamond championship,” Hearn said to IFL TV. “So we’ve told the WBC we accept that, no problem. So we’re [Whyte] fighting Oscar Rivas, and the WBC will order Tyson Fury against Dillian Whyte. Tyson Fury will have to confirm after he fights on June 15th, whether he’ll keep his word and accept that fight, so we will see. We’ve said to the WBC, ‘Please order that fight,’ which they’ve confirmed they will do. We’re getting the final resolution down, and we will see if Tyson Fury will fight Dillian Whyte after June 15th. Dillian Whyte will be #1, and Tyson Fury #2. It should be 60-40 for Dillian Whyte, but it’ll be 50-50. Tyson Fury will have to confirm in writing with the WBC if he’ll accept that fight. Dillian Whyte will fight Tyson Fury no problem at all. He just pulled out of the Deontay Wilder fight to fight Tom Schwarz,” Hearn said.
It’s highly unlikely Fury will agree to take the fight with Whyte for the Diamond belt or any title for that matter. Fury appeared to be just talking when he told a female interviewer that he would fight Whyte if the WBC put their Diamond belt up. It looked to this writer that Fury was just trying to impress the female interviewer with his bold talk. The reality is, Fury is taking a soft opponent in Tom Schwarz on June 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Once that fight is out of the way, Fury will likely take another soft opponent later this year that is picked out by his new co-promoters at Top Rank. Once Fury wins that fight, then Top Rank will look to put together a rematch against Wilder in early 2020. Fury and Wilder fought to a 12 round draw on December 1. There’s a lot of interest in a second fight between them, so that’s the match that Top Rank will look to make. Theyre not going to put Fury in with a risky opponent like Whyte, who fights on Sky Box Office and DAZN. That’s not happening. Fury’s next fight after Schwarz will probably be someone like Bryant Jennings, Agit Kabayel, Junior Fa or Kyotaro Fujimoto. It’ll be another obscure contender. Schwarz is ranked #2 with the World Boxing Organization, but he’s beaten a bunch of no name fighters to get that ranking.
“I’m not interested in the Diamond belt. I’m interested in Dillian Whyte vs. Tyson Fury,” Hearn said. “It’s a great fight. But Dillian Whyte wants to fight Deontay Wilder. If the WBC is saying he has to fight Oscar Rivas and Tyson Fury to get to Wilder, so be it. Right now, he has to beat Oscar Rivas on July 20th, which is a great fight. As soon as Tyson Fury wins on June 15th, the WBC will say, ‘You’re in for this, we’re ordering the fight, yes?’ And then he has to confirm if he’ll do what he said, which is to fight Dillian Whyte,” Hearn said.
Hearn isn’t saying what will happen if Fury turns down the Whyte fight. Presumably, the WBC will keep working down the list of contenders in the rankings until they find a suitable opponent that does agree to fight Whyte. Hearn wants the WBC to just agree to make the fight between Whyte and Rivas for the WBC mandatory to Wilder. The WBC isn’t likely going to do that, because if they did, it would give the appearance that they’re being led around by their noses by Hearn and Matchroom. When promoters are able to hand-pick the contenders that their fighters face for mandatory spots, then it makes a laughing stock out of the sanctioning bodies, who are the ones that are supposed to pick out the fighters that battle for the mandatory positions. The WBC attempted to do that last year when they ordered Whyte to face Luis Ortiz, but Whyte chose not to take that fight. He instead fought Dereck Chisora, Luis ‘Big Daddy’ Browne and Joseph Parker in 2018. Parker is a good fighter, but Chisora is more of a journeyman, and Browne just looks shot and old at 40. Neither of those guys would be good fighters for the WBC to say that Whyte has done enough to be made the mandatory to Wilder for beating those guys. Whyte’s win over Parker was tainted by a blown call in the second round after the referee let Whyte get credit for a head-butt that resulted in Parker falling down.
“It’s all ongoing. It should be today,” Hearn said about the World Boxing Council letting him know what their resolution is about his request to have the July 20th fight between Whyte and Rivas to be made for the interim WBC heavyweight title, and made the immediate mandatory for WBC champion Deontay Wilder. Whyte-Rivas, I’m very confident will be for the interim [WBC] world title. It has to, and I believe the WBC will do the right thing. I don’t believe he [Whyte] should have to fight Tyson Fury. He should just be mandatory, but that’s fine. If we have to fight Tyson Fury, no problem. Order that fight as well, and Tyson will have to confirm if he accepts that fight. Let’s go,” Hearn said.
It doesn’t help Hearn if Whyte is made the interim WBC champion if he beats his hand-picked opponent Rivas. Jermall Charlo is a WBC middleweight interim champion, and he’s been waiting for two years to get a title shot for the WBC 160-pound strap. Being made the interim WBC champion just means that Whyte would eventually get a title shot one of these days, but it could take years. Whyte would be better off leaning on Hearn to get him a title shot against Anthony Joshua. Even if Whyte did fight Wilder, he’d likely wind up getting knocked out like Dominic Breazeale did. Parker almost knocked Whyte out in the 12th round.
Hearn might not realize this, but Fury is a bad match-up for Dillian. He could lose that fight easily to Fury. Whyte is like a bigger version of Chisora, and Fury dominated him twice in easy wins. Fury’s fighting style would be a real headache for Whyte. You could expect for Whyte to try and rough Fury up to get win, but that’s not going to help him get a win. If a good referee works the Fury-Whyte fight, then Whyte will end up losing a lot of points if he decides to foul like he did in the Parker fight.