By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn is trying to increase the pressure on Tyson Fury to defend his WBC heavyweight title against his mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte.
Hearn is hinting that if Fury vacates his WBC title without facing Whyte, then he may not get the same financial deal against Anthony Joshua as he would if he were the world champion.
Further, Eddie states that Joshua wants the WBC title, and whoever has that belt is the one that he’ll be looking to fight.
So if Fury vacates the WBC belt, then Whyte will fight for the title against the highest-ranked contender in the World Boxing Council’s rankings/
Fury’s promoter Frank Warren said this week that he plans on going straight into the match against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua )23-1, 21 K.O.s) after he faces Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 K.O.s) in December.
Hearn is saying that if Fury gives up his WBC title, then Joshua will fight Whyte or whoever ends up with the belt. In other words, Fury is only relevant for a match against Joshua if he has the WBC title.
The casuals in the States don’t know who Whyte is at all. The ones that watched the Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr rematch lat December might remember seeing a fat 271-lb Dillian struggling to beat 39-year-old journeyman Mariusz Wach in Saudi Arabia. Apart from that, Whyte is a nobody in the eyes of U.S. boxing fans.
Joshua wants to fight for WBC title
“It’s [WBC Diamond] is on the line for the first time,” said Hearn to IFL TV about the WBC Diamond title being on the line for the Whyte vs. Povetkin clash. “It’s still for the interim world heavyweight title, but also the Diamond belt.
“It’s the most important heavyweight fight this year by a mile. Alexander Povetkin can bowl in and become WBC mandatory just by winning this fight. Dillian Whyte has waited 1000 days.
“So this is everything on the line. Mauricio Sulaiman has made it ultra-clear. The winner of Fury against Wilder has to fight Dillian Whyte or Povetkin or vacate the belt. If they [Fury and Wilder] fight in December, we’ve always known that February is unlikely. We want to do that because I want to do the undisputed.
Fury should call Hearn’s bluff
“By the way, if Tyson Fury doesn’t want to fight Dillian Whyte, I’ve already talked to AJ. AJ wants the WBC world title. He wants to be the WBC world champion. So whoever has the WBC world title, they’ll be fighting AJ.
“So if Fury wants to vacate and Dillian Whyte fights #1 or #2 for the title, he can fight AJ for the undisputed,” said Hearn.
It sounds like an empty threat from Hearn about Joshua looking to go in another direction than Fury if he chooses to give up his WBC title without facing Whyte. The WBC title isn’t why Fury, the guy that boxing fans want to see him face Joshua.
Fury’s WBC title is a trinket and utterly meaningless. Fans want to see Fury face Joshua because he’s the most famous heavyweight in the division, and he’s viewed as #1.
If Hearn is serious about choosing Whyte over Fury for Joshua if he gives up his WBC title, then he”s making a critical mistake Fans don’t want to see Whyte face Joshua more than they do Fury, and the WBC is meaningless.
People don’t care about the WBC title or any of the other useless belts in the watered-down heavyweight division. They want to see Fury and Joshua fight because they view them as #1 and #2. Whyte is just an average heavyweight in the same class as Dereck Chisora. In other words, Whyte isn’t relevant outside of the U.K.
With all the blabbering Hearn is doing about Joshua choosing Whyter over Fury, it could be a good idea for ‘The Gypsy King’ to call Eddie’s bluff by giving up the WBC title, and then seeing what he does.
Fury will be a challenger to A.J. if he vacates WBC belt
Fury and Joshua already have a two-fight deal for 2021. Does Hearn ignore that deal and try shoving the Joshua vs. Whyte rematch down the throats of boxing fans or does ake the mature approach and realize that he can’t force Fury to fae the badly flawed Dillian, who is unknown outside of the U.K.
“Frank [Warren] wants to make the most money, so he wants to do the Joshua fight,” said Hearn. “He made a comment saying, ‘If Wilder isn’t ready this year, we’re fighting someone else.’
“All we’re saying is if you’re fighting someone else and Dillian Whyte is you’ere mandatory, and the whole world wants to see it, why wouldn’t you fight Dillian Whyte? That’s what we’re saying.
“He [Whyte] is your mandatory, and you have to fight him,” Hearn continued in trying to pressure Fury to face Dillian. “You want to fight someone else. So why wouldn’t you want to fight him? Look, we have to see what happens with Wilder as well, but there’s not going to be any escape,” said Hearn in letting Fury know that he HAS to fight Whyte whether he wants to or not.
Fury will need to decide whether he wants Hearn to lead him around by the nose, making him fight his Matchroom Boxing stable fighters to help them out. It would be one thing if Fury were to get something from fighting Whyte, but that’s not the case.
Whyte has a few fans in the U.K., but he’s not a name guy outside of England. American boxing fans have no idea who Whyte is other than remembering him being knocked out by Joshua in 2015.
Dillian might get Joshua fight instead of Fury
“So you either have to vacate the [WBC] title or fight Dillian Whyte if he beats Povetkin,” continued Hearn. “Or you could wind up fighting Joshua not for the undisputed but just vacating and fighting Joshua.
“Maybe that fight happens as well. Maybe Dillian Whyte gets a shot at the vacant world title. But Joshua wants to fight for the WBC world title. Do you get me?
“It’s incredibly confusing because he gets the same deal if he vacates because he’s no longer a world champion. It’s a voluntary defense. Next week is so big because we find out everything in this heavyweight jigsaw.,” said Hearn.
If Hearn is all worked up about letting Whyte fight Joshua, then Fury should step aside, toss the WBC belt in the trash where it belongs, and elect to go after the likes of Andy Ruiz Jr, Oleksandr Usyk or one of the other top heavyweights in the division.
Hearn can try and peddle a rematch between Joshua and Whyte (27-1, 18 K.O.s) to boxing fans, and see for himself that the interest isn’t there outside of the British fans. The Brits would be happy seeing Joshua fight Whyte, but they’d also be enthusiastic seeing A.J. face bottom feeders like Dereck Chisora, Dave Allen, and Joe Joyce.
In other words, Joshua can do prime numbers no matter who he faces. He doesn’t need to fight a good heavyweight for him to do well in the U.K., but it’s a much different story when you’re talking about attracting interest from U.S. boxing fans. I
t’s got to be someone famous like Fury if Joshua wants the American fans to pay attention to him. Hearn can’t trot out Whyte or Kubrat Pulev as Joshua’s opponents and expect the U.S. fans to want to watch those mismatches.