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Hearn: ‘Whyte can fight Povetkin in August, then Ruiz in November’

Andy Ruiz Jr. Dillian Whyte

By Kenneth Friedman: Eddie Hearn is floating the idea of having Dillian Whyte face Alexander Povetkin in August, and then Andy Ruiz Jr. in November to close out 2020. Hearn says he’ll increase the existing $4 million offer to Ruiz to $5 million to take on WBC interim heavyweight champion Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs).

It sounds like a crazy idea for Whyte to fight TWICE in the second of this year, but he’s a fearless old-school fighter. He might just be capable of pulling it off. Whyte can’t get hit by those guys as much as he did in his last fight against Mariusz Wach last December. Whyte’s speech sounded slurred the day after the match.

The promoters for Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) failed to accept the previous $4 million offer, so Hearn is saying he’ll bump it up to $5 million. It’s unknown if Hearn is serious about having Whyte take two potentially hard fights against Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) and Ruiz consecutively.

If Whyte takes punishment against former WBA champion Povetkin in August, he won’t have much time to heal up and recover before needing to begin training camp to face Ruiz three months later in November.

If Whyte takes those two fights back to back, he could be a physical wreck by the time he gets his WBC mandated title shot against Tyson Fury. That fight is due in February of 2021, although few boxing fans believe that Whyte will actually get the fight that soon.

Hearn doubts that former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz will agree to the $5 million because his management will want to keep him fighting on PBC.

Ruiz’s team knew the $4M offer could be increased – Hearn

“When I send stuff like that to Dillian, I know there’s a chance that it goes out on social media,” said Hearn to IFL TV about an e-mail he sent to Whyte about a $4 million offer for him and Ruiz Jr to fight. “Just to make it simple for you, what happened was, we made Andy Ruiz an offer to fight Dillian Whyte in England.

“This was some time ago. The answer was, ‘No.’ To be fair, it wasn’t a great offer. It was the max we could afford for a fight in the U.K. Then we spoke to DAZN, we spoke to Dillian. I said, ‘Look, we can do the fight in the U.S.. and it’s massive.’ I then made an offer to Tom Brown and Luis Decubas for $4 million.

“We basically could have gone up to $5 million. I spoke to Luis DeCubas and spoke to Tom Brown and alluded to that, but we NEVER made a $5 million offer in writing.

“It was only $4 million. But to be fair, there was an argument that they knew it would be five [million], and they did. But to be fair to them, the inwriting offer to them was $4 million,” said Hearn.

Why would Ruiz’s team know that the $4 million offer would be increased? Hearn is guessing here. If Hearn wanted Whyte to get the Ruiz fight, he should have increased the offer immediately when they failed to agree to it. Instead, he’s talking about the failed negotiations months afterward.

Andy Ruiz Jr. Dillian Whyte

Ruiz can still face Whyte in November

“So Dillian said, ‘we made you an offer of $5 million,'” said Hearn. “What I said to Dillian when I messaged him was ‘go back to him on social media and say.

“If you want to play it like that, the official offer, even though you knew you could get five, was $4 million, but are you up for the fight because I spoke to Eddie, and he said game on.’ But he just posted the message to him, really. That’s basically the situation.

“One of the offers is $4 million. I spoke to their team and said, ‘There’s a little bit of movement. If he’s interested in $5 million, no problem. Let’s go.’ Basically, what happens is, and this is where I’m coming from for the Wilder stuff if you remember.

If Hearn is serious about the $5 million offer to Ruiz, then he should be contacting his management to let them know. Ruiz needs an opponent still for his next fight. Tony Bellew seems to be interested in facing Ruiz. Hearn already said no to letting Bellew fight Ruiz, but maybe if he makes a similar offer for him, he could get a deal done.

Hearn discusses an old offer from Wilder

“When you have an offer that’s made, the next thing that you say, ‘Here’s the offer.’ The next thing you say is, ‘Send me a contract, please.’ So when we had an offer from Wilder himself, which was $50 million.

“We said, ‘Alright, send the contract.’ And they went, ‘You’ve got to agree to it first.’ We said, ‘We’re interested but send the contract.’ ‘No, not until you publically say you’re accepting it. But we don’t know what the terms are. So I can offer Andy Ruiz $4 million, but in the contract, he’s got to come into the ring with his old boy hanging out.

“You’re not going to accept it, are you? Do you understand what I’m saying? Can you imagine the Wilder offer? Understand this: We asked to see a contract, and they wouldn’t send one to us. How ridiculous is that? So we want to come out in public and go, ‘We got an offer [from Wilder], and we accept. We’re in.’

“And then you get the contract, and it says, ‘It’s going to be in Alabama, and it’s going to be on a network that we’re not allowed to fight on. And Anthony Joshua has got to wear 18-ounce gloves, and he’s got to walk second.’

“That’s the devil in the details. If I ask you for a contract, it doesn’t mean they’re fighting Dillian Whyte. It means I’m interested. Show me the terms so we can actually consider this properly. We didn’t get that far. We just got, ‘No,'” said Hearn.

It seems like there’s a failure in communication between Hearn and Wilder’s management. If Hearn had agreed to the $50 million, then Team Wilder would have put together the contract. At the very least, it would have gotten the negotiations moving. Instead, Hearn failed to agree to the $50 million offer from Wilder.

Andy Ruiz Jr. Dillian Whyte

$5 million for Ruiz to fight Whyte

“So on record, $5 million to Andy Ruiz if he wants it to fight Dillian Whyte,” said Hearn. “It can be instead of the Povetkin [fight]. Right now, we want to make the Povetkin fight. Dillian Whyte is one of the people saying, ‘I’m up for fighting behind closed doors against Povetkin.’

“A lot of people are saying, ‘You can’t stage the big fights behind closed doors.’ I’m trying to take that perception away. I want to stage some of the big fights behind closed doors. If we wait too long, we won’t have a choice. So let’s crack on now.

“Yes, we’re going to lose money, and yes, we’ve got to overcome this. We can’t just come back from boxing, and then we’ll bounce right back in with Whyte vs. Povetkin. If Ruiz wants to step up. For me, I have absolutely no belief that Andy Ruiz will fight Dillian Whyte for $5 million or at all.

“It’s not even Andy Ruiz. I think they’ll probably want to keep him on PBC, and I’ve made a song and dance out of it. I like Andy Ruiz. He’ll fight anyone. He’s not scared of Dillian Whyte, but there’s an offer for him if he wants to fight.

“In a scenario with Povetkin, that might be one where we could take another fight. Andy Ruiz is in camp in Portugal. He’s ready to fight in July. So we’re up for doing Povetkin in July or August, and Ruiz in November.

“Anything is possible right now. Certain contracts will involve different clauses, and some fights can fall away, and some fights can be rescheduled,” said Hearn.

Ruiz might want more money to fight Whyte now. If Ruiz doesn’t agree to the offer, then Hearn can always consider sweetening it if he feels it’s a big enough fight to justify the costs.

 


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