Wilder would accept WBC Franchise tag to “DUCK” Joshua or Whyte says Hearn
By Charles Brun: Deontay Wilder would agree to the WBC Franchise tag if it means he can “DUCK” fights against former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua or Dillian Whyte, according to Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn.
Although Wilder recently told the boxing media that the Franchise tag doesn’t “fit” him, Hearn maintains that he would agree to being given that status if it means he can avoid fighting Joshua or Whyte in the future.
Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) is the mandatory challenger for WBC heavyweight champion Wilder. However, the World Boxing Council has Whyte suspended due to his adverse findings in a UKAD test following his victory over Oscar Rivas on July 20.
Whyte is clear to fight, but his status as the interim WBC heavyweight champion and mandatory to the unbeaten Wilder (41-0-1,40 KOs) has been suspended by the sanctioning body. Tyson Fury has taken Whyte’s place as the WBC mandatory. Whyte will be able to face Wilder in 2021 as his mandatory.
“Now he says he’ll turn down a Franchise belt. If he gets the opportunity to duck Dillian Whyte or Anthony Joshua, or anybody by being elevated to Franchise champion, he would do it in a heartbeat,” said Hearn about Wilder to skysports.com. “I think everyone would give Deontay Wilder trouble.”
Hearn sounds bitter about not being able to set-up fights between Joshua and Wilder before AJ lost his IBF/WBA/WBO titles to Andy Ruiz on June 1. Wilder didn’t want to agree to the flat fee offers that Hearn was talking about.
With Hearn talking about Wilder not being on the same level as Joshua in terms of fans and popular appeal, it made negotiations impossible.
“I’m not interested in that. I want the mandatory,” said Wilder last week when asked if he’d agree to being elevated to WBC Franchise champion. “That’s what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to take the excitement away from anyone.”
Some believe that Hearn’s huge push to try and get Whyte to fight Wilder was a way for him to keep ‘The Body Snatcher’ away from Joshua, because he had problems with him in their fight in 2015. Hearn could have easily matched Whyte with Joshua in a rematch ages ago, but instead he’s chosen not to do so.
Dillian has invested a lot of time trying to get a title shot against Wilder, and he has nothing to show for it. Hearn could have made things easy for Whyte by setting up a rematch with Joshua instead of letting him burn up 3 years of his career TRYING to get a fight against Wilder. Now that the WBC has told Whyte that he needs to wait until 2021 to fight Wilder, it might be a good idea for Dillian to cut his losses and move on.
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