Hearn talks Whyte, Price, Allen & Chisora
By Tim Royner: Eddie Hearn is quite pleased at the results of last Saturday’s card with heavyweights Dillian Whyte, Dereck Chisora and David Price coming out on top in their respective matches on DAZN and Sky Box Office at the O2 Arena in London, England. Hearn is relieved that Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) earned the mandatory spot to challenge WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder after defeating Oscar Rivas (26-1, 18 KOs) by a close 12 round unanimous decision to win the interim WBC title.
After 600+ days ranked #1 with the World Boxing Council, Whyte, 31, is now in position to get a title shot against WBC champion Wilder by late May 2020.
The news wasn’t all good for Hearn from last Saturday night, as domestic level heavyweight Dave Allen (17-5-2, 14 KOs) suffered a broken right orbital bone and a large gash in his tongue from his 10th round stoppage loss to 2008 Olympic bronze medalist David Price (25-6, 20 KOs). The injury will sideline the 27-year-old Allen for a while, and it makes it impossible for him to fight Alexander Povetkin in the near term.
Hearn sends message to Deontay Wilder: Dillian Whyte is now your mandatory
“You don’t really [put Dillian Whyte in a risky fight now that he’s WBC mandatory. Unless a fight comes up and it’s a huge money fight, then maybe,” said Hearn to IFL TV in saying that he doesn’t plan on matching Whyte against anyone risky until he gets a title shot against the WBC champion in 2020. He’s mandatory now. We’ve worked so hard to get to this position. Everyone knows about the 600 days [Whyte has been ranked #1 with the WBC]. That’s the deadline, end of May. The rules are the rules. Obviously the resolution has been prepared. Now you’re mandatory, but you’ve never been officially the mandatory challenger. Now Dillian Whyte is officially the mandatory challenger. Deontay Wilder, Dillian Whyte is now your mandatory,” said Hearn.
It’s an arguable point whether one would agree that Whyte worked hard to become Wilder’s WBC mandatory. Whyte beat three decent but flawed heavyweight in Rivas, Joseph Parker and Chisora. Those were all competitive fights that could have had gone the other way with different referees working the matches. Rivas lost the fight to Whyte because of his lack of stamina. He was carrying too much muscle for him to fight hard for more than one-third of each round without gassing out. Although Rivas had the hand speed, defense and boxing skills advantage over Whyte, his stamina wasn’t as good. Rivas’ lack of size was a major problem for him as well.
Hearn not sure when Whyte will get title shot
“They’ll probably give him the rematch,” said Hearn when asked what happens if Luis Ortiz beats Wilder in their rematch in November. “Mauricio Sulaiman has me phoning him every day. You’ve also got Deontay Wilder saying, ‘I just boxed my mandatory [Dominic Breazeale]. What’s going on? It’s not my fault.’ You also got [Top Rank Boxing promoter] Bob Arum phoning him, saying, ‘You can’t let Dillian Whyte be mandatory. You’ve got to let Wilder-Fury fight take place.’ What we do know is he [Whyte] is mandatory. If it’s in May, fantastic. If it’s in June, okay. I understand the business of boxing. If it creeps into June, we’re not going to have a baby about it. I’m realistic at the same time,” said Hearn.
Hearn says he understands the business of boxing, and realizes Whyte might need to wait until the summer of 2020 before he fights for the WBC belt. Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) has rematches against Luis Ortiz and Tyson Fury that he needs to take care of first before he can look towards defending against mandatory challenger Whyte. What Hearn isn’t saying is that Whyte might need to wait beyond next summer before he gets a title shot against the WBC champion.
The winner of the Wilder vs. Fury rematch will want to immediately face the winner of the Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua rematch in their next fight. They’re not going to want to take a lesser fight against Whyte, which they won’t be able to sell to the casual boxing fans in the United States. Whyte vs. Joshua sells in the UK, but not in the U.S. Wilder or Fury vs. Whyte won’t interest American fans, many of which have never seen Dillian.
Whyte not impressive against Rivas
The U.S fans that saw Whyte’s win over Oscar Rivas last Saturday weren’t impressed by his performance. Whyte was knocked down in round nine, hurt in round 12, and missing badly all night. It was not an exciting fight for American boxing fans, who have become spoiled form watching exciting heavyweight like Wilder and Ruiz. Whyte’s performance against Rivas was underwhelming to say the least.
It would be a good idea for Hearn to have Whyte fight a couple more times on DAZN against other guys before he looks to setup the fight with WBC champion Wilder. Whyte needs to put in a couple of good performances to get the American boxing fans interested in seeing Wilder defend against him.
Chisora’s win over Szpilka sets up Parker fight says Hearn
“He was told to harass Szpilka,” said Hearn in talking about Chisora’s win over Szpilka last Saturday night. “He was going to harass him, and try to beat him up. What we saw tonight was electric from Dereck. That tees up a massive fight against Joseph Parker, and a great fight. If he fights like that against Parker, it’ll be an absolute war. It’s the type of fight that we’d like to headline it’s own show. Both guys want that fight,” said Hearn.
Hearn did a good job of matching Chisora (31-9, 21 KOs) against a weak opponent Artur Szpilka (22-4, 15 KOs) in a showcase fight last Saturday. Chisora knocked Szpilka out in the second round to setup a fight between him and Joseph Parker (26-2, 21 KOs) next. Hearn says he wants to put the Chisora vs. Parker fight as a headliner on it’s own card rather than package it for the undercard of the Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. fight. That’s a big ask on Hearn’s part to have Chisora-Parker as a main event, because he’ll likely stick the fight on Sky Box Office, and ask the British boxing public to pay to see it.
Hearn discusses Dave Allen’s broken orbital bone from David Price fight
“He broke his orbital bone,” said Hearn about Dave Allen in his loss to Dave Price last Saturday. “He had a terrible laceration down his tongue. He’ll know it wasn’t a great performance, but he didn’t really seem himself, particularly through the middle stages of the fight. I don’t know if that was because he was repeatedly hurt throughout the fight. We don’t know if that was because he broke his cheekbone. To even fight with a broken cheekbone is madness. David Price schooled him. It was a great performance,” said Hearn.
Allen never did get untracked for the Price fight. He looked weak, intimidated, and lost out there. He wasn’t fighting with the same aggression that we’d seen from him in the past in fights against Nick Webb and Lucas Browne. It’s a mystery why Allen fought so passively. He looked like he’d dieted down too much, and lost a lot of muscle as well as fat during training camp. That was obviously a mistake on Allen’s part.
Hearn: David Price is gaining confidence
“I feel sorry for Price, because everyone will be talking about either it was a bad performance by Dave Allen or he was taken away on a stretcher,” said Hearn. “But respect Price’s performance, because he stuck behind his jab. He hit Allen hard and often, and he controlled the pace of the fight. That’s three wins on a bounce for David Price. That’s Kash Ali, Tom Little and Dave Allen. That’s three domestic wins, and I’m not saying he’s going to go on and fight for a world title. What David Price will do is fight again. I think he’s an exciting fighter. I think he’s gaining confidence. He still has the frailties that make him an exciting fighter,” said Hearn.
The victory for the 36-year-old Price helped his self confidence in a major way. His conditioning looked better than it has since 2011, and fought a smart fight in boxing Allen rather than slugging. That’s the fighter that fans were hoping Price would develop into years ago, but he’s gotten stuck on trying to slug it out with everyone he faces. Price isn’t built to go to war with his opposition. He’s a much better fighter when he’s fighting with the Wladimir Klitschko style. The victory for Price now sets him up for a bigger fighter. Hearn didn’t seem to excited when Povetkin’s name was floated as a possible option for Price to fight next. He needs to face at least a fringe contender at the world level for his career to go anywhere. He can’t continue to fight domestic level heavyweights at his age.
Povetkin possible for Lomachenko-Campbell card on August 31
“Quite possibly, yeah, on August 31st,” said Hearn when asked if Alexander Povetkin will be fighting next month on the undercard of the Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Luke Campbell card.
Hearns plans on matching Povetkin against Allen on August 31 have been foiled. It’ll be interesting to see who he can find for Povetkin to face. It’s doubtful that he would want to risk putting one of his young heavyweight in with the still dangerous Russian talent with just one month to go before the August 31 card. Hearn has plenty of fighters from his Matchroom Boxing stable that he can match against Povetkin if he’s willing to take a risk with them.
Here are few guys that would be perfect for Povetkin:
- Filip Hrgovic
- Michael Hunter
- Joseph Parker
- Dereck Chisora
- Oleksandr Usyk
- Zhilei Zhang
Campbell has shot at beating Lomachenko says Hearn
“If I didn’t give Campbell a shot, I wouldn’t bother doing it,” said Hearn about him believing Campbell has a shot at beating Lomachenko. “It would be easy to take this fight to the U.S. I just feel like Luke has got a chance in this fight. I really do. Lomachenko thinks he wins this fight easy. You can see that, can’t you? His body language. They’re both stubborn. They’re both familiar with each other, and know each other technically. They’re both gold medalists. For me, this is one of the toughest fights in the division for Lomachenko stylewise, and it’s in England,” said Hearn.