Hearn says Dillian Whyte’s next fight could be in U.S against Povetkin or Ruiz

By Boxing News - 01/28/2020 - Comments

By Tim Royner: Dillian Whyte could be fighting in the United States in his next fight against either Alexander Povetkin or Andy Ruiz Jr., according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

More likely, British heavyweight Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) will be fighting in the UK next if Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) is the one that he winds up facing However, there’s a chance that the Whyte-Povetkin fight takes place in the U.S in New York, which is something that DAZN is interested in.

Andy Ruiz = better choice for Whyte than Povetkin

Ideally, the guy that Hearn and Whyte wants is former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs). That would be a big fight for Whyte, but Ruiz won’t come cheap. Whyte won’t get much attention fighting 40-year-old Povetkin, who is coming off of a 10 round draw against Michael Hunter on December 7. Before that, Povetkin was knocked out in 7 rounds by Anthony Joshua in September of 2018.

Hearn says Ruiz Jr. has already turned down a significant 7-figure offer from him for the Whyte fight. Just how much money Ruiz Jr. is looking to get for a fight with Whyte, 31, is unknown. It wouldn’t be surprising if Ruiz wants $5 million, and who knows? Maybe $7 million? If Hearn wants the best for Whyte, he’s got to open up his piggy bank and pay the man what he wants.

A lot of money to make for Ruiz vs. Whyte fight

Whyte vs. Ruiz Jr. would bring in a lot of pay-per-view buys on Sky Sports Box Office, and it would sell a lot of tickets in the United States, provided that it’s staged in Southern California. Placing the fight in the East Coast would be the wrong move by Hearn.

“We’ve got Usyk vs. Chisora, which is virtually a done deal now,” said Hearn to IFL TV. “We’ve got Dillian Whyte against Alexander Povetkin, possibly against Andy Ruiz, and we got Joshua against Pulev. We want all those fights to be 4 weeks apart each, you know? But don’t rule out Dillian Whyte’s next fight in America, even if its against Povetkin,” said Hearn.

Placing Whyte vs. Povetkin in the U.S might be a tough sell unless Hearn stacks the undercard with guys that will bring in fans. Hearn wants Whyte to fight in New York, a move which would be designed to take advantage of the British fans that live in the city. Whyte-Povetkin would be a poor main attraction in the U.S, because neither are well known.

The U.S hardcore boxing fans obviously know who Povetkin is. They know him as an aging fighter that was beaten a couple of times. Povetkin’s recent performance against American Michael Hunter was poor. The Russian fighter was almost knocked out in round 1 by Hunter.

50-50 chance Whyte’s next fight in America

“Possibly, it’s something we’re looking at, year,” said Hearn about Whyte’s next opponent in U.S could be Povetkin or Ruiz. “50-50 [Whyte’s next fight in America]. I just feel that it could be a good move for him. He wants to make some noise over there. He’s had a lot of fights in the UK. It’s something we’re looking at.

“The favorite is to do it in the UK,” said Hearn of the Whyte vs. Povetkin fight. “Mainly, we’re looking at doing the Ruiz fight in America, but then we started thinking, ‘Maybe we’ll do the Povetkin fight in New York?’ It’s raised a couple of eyebrows. DAZN is certainly interested in that. We’ll have to see. But all these fights I’m talking about, we’ll be closing in this week and getting it done,” said Hearn.

By now, Hearn likely has a pretty good idea about how much Ruiz wants for him to take the fight with Whyte. There’s no chance that Ruiz is going to agree to fight Whyte in England. Whyte has had a number of fights where the officiating was arguably not up to par.

If Ruiz is going to fight Whyte, he’s not going to let him have home country advantage. the belief is that if Ruiz is going to lose to Whyte, it won’t be due to a referee blowing a call or not making the call.

It would be surprising if the Whyte vs. Povetkin fight winds up in the U.S, because it’s a fight that would be better suited for the UK.

Whyte complains a lot about not getting title shots

Although Whyte is well respected by his British boxing fans, he has a reputation of being a complainer. Some fans see Whyte as playing the victim all the time. His main them seems to be that he should have been given a world title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. However, when the World Boxing Council ordered Whyte to fight in a world title eliminator against Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz, he opted instead to fight Dereck Chisora.

Not long after, Whyte complained that he should have been made mandatory, even though he chose not to fight in the title eliminator. Also, Whyte had a chance to fight Anthony Joshua for his IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight titles last year, but he failed to take the fight.

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Whyte seemed to be under the impression that just being ranked #1 with the WBC meant that he should be the mandatory, but unfortunately that’s not how it goes. He needed to fight in a title eliminator, which he finally did last July against Oscar Rivas.