Hearn not sure if Joshua will face Fury if he vacates WBC belt

By Boxing News - 08/19/2020 - Comments

By Charles Brun: Promoter Eddie Hearn backtracked a little on Tuesday in saying that he’s not sure if Anthony Joshua will face Tyson Fury if he vacates his WBC heavyweight title. Eddie wants Fury to face Dillian Whyte, his WBC mandatory.

Hearn states that he’s not sure if IBF/WBA/WBO champion Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) will fight Fury or not if he vacates his WBC belt, which is the opposite of what he’d said on Monday.

Eddie had claimed that if Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) chooses to vacate his WBC title without fighting Whyte, then Joshua wouldn’t fight him. Instead, he would face Whyte for the WBC title.

The boxing public immediately came down hard on Hearn, letting him know that they want Joshua to fight Fury regardless if he vacates the WBC title, which to them is just another one of the many that the sanctioning body has.

It’s Hearn and Joshua that are helping to empower the World Boxing Council by giving weight to their title by insisting that Fury have the belt to make their mega-fight happen.

What Hearn and Joshua don’t understand is the fans are tired of all the silly titles that sanctioning bodies that are giving out like mints. There is some interest from boxing fans in seeing Joshua fight Whyte again, but not nearly as much as there are in people wanting to see Fury and AJ battle it out for the title or not.

Image: Hearn not sure if Joshua will face Fury if he vacates WBC belt

Whyte has been waiting 1000+ days

“People said from Fury’s team, ‘We are not fighting Dillian Whyte,'” said Hearn to IFL TV. “So I said, ‘If you don’t fight Dillian Whyte, you’re going to be stripped of your world title.’

“And then I said, by the way, Anthony Joshua wants to win the WBC world title because he wants to win all the belts. He wants to be undisputed.’ So if Tyson Fury vacates the belt, then AJ can’t win the WBC belt.

“So, therefore, he’ll fight Dillian Whyte for the WBC belt. Does anyone not understand how. You can criticize the comments, but click your brain into gear or get a brain to start with and start looking at the scenario.

“You can’t moan that Dillian Whyte has been waiting 1000 days for a title shot, and then finally, the WBC says, ‘You know what? You’re right. The winner of Wilder-Fury has to fight Whyte. No exceptions,’ and then moan that Fury has to fight him,” said Hearn.

Whyte hasn’t been waiting 1000 days as the WBC mandatory challenger. He’s only been mandatory since last year in July, which is when he finally took part in a title eliminator against Oscar Rivas.

Before then, Whyte was ranked at #1 with the WBC since 2017. There’s a difference between being listed at #1 and being mandatory, and Hearn either doesn’t realize that, or is he perhaps deliberately being obtuse?

“He’s mandatory. And then the comments, ‘Wilder’s not ready this year. The fight can’t be made. Fury’s not waiting. He’ll fight this year.’ Well, fight Dillian Whyte if he beats Povetkin. He’s mandatory. Why wouldn’t you fight him? It’s a massive fight.

“That’s two million pay-per-view buys,” said Hearn in predicting massive buys in a clash between Fury and Whyte. “No,” said Hearn when asked if Joshua-Fury would be an undisputed fight if the World Boxing Council makes Fury Franchise champion,” said Hearn.

Fury-Wilder winner can’t be made Franchise champion

“Part of the resolution and the argument is you can’t make Fury-Wilder the Franchise champion,” said Hearn.

Image: Hearn not sure if Joshua will face Fury if he vacates WBC belt

“The winner has to fight Dillian Whyte. Not that they’ll be elevated so that they’ll be avoided. So that’s part of the agreement. That question doesn’t even work because he’s not going to be the Franchise champion.

“My headspace is Dillian Whyte has to get his shot [at the WBC heavyweight title]. I want to make the undisputed fight. It has to because of what the WBC has ordered,” Hearn said that Dillian must get his title shot against the Fury vs. Deontay 3 winner.

Hearn could be correct about his comment on the winner of the Fury vs. Wilder III fight not being able to be elevated to Franchise champion with the WBC, but that still doesn’t mean that Joshua won’t face the winner if they give up the WBC title.

“If Anthony Joshua wants to fight Tyson Fury, it can’t even be for the undisputed until he’s boxed, Dillian Whyte. Fury can vacate the [WBC] belt. Basically, if Fury beats Wilder in November or December, he’s got two options. Fight Dillian Whyte or vacate the title, right?”

Joshua knows that the boxing public worldwide will be angry if he elects to fight Whyte if the Fury vs. Wilder 3 fight vacates the WBC title. The battle the fans want to see is Joshua vs. Fury or Wilder.

“So the question is if Tyson Fury vacates the WBC title, will Anthony Joshua still fight him?” said Hearn. “Quite possibly, yes. Will it be undisputed? No. Does AJ become undisputed?

“That’s the whole thing he wants, you know? Only the undisputed,” Hearn said when asked, ‘what’s more important to Joshua between fighting Fury for the undisputed or because of how much interest there is from fans,” Hearn said.

So there it is, Joshua may still fight Fury if he vacates the WBC title.

Hearn: Joshua might not have WBO title on the line

“It’s never been about Fury. He wanted to fight Wilder since he had the WBC title,” said Eddie. “As soon as Fury beat him, Joshua wanted to fight Fury. By the way, he still wants to fight Fury belt or no belt, but that’s his decision.

Image: Hearn not sure if Joshua will face Fury if he vacates WBC belt

“I can’t speak to him on that path. I might say to him, ‘Dillian Whyte is the WBC world champion. You can fight him for the undisputed, or you can fight Fury, and Fury is the Ring Magazine Champion. What do you want to do?’ He may choose Fury.

“But what I know is the whole point of what we’ve been doing all this time is to try and become undisputed. So all of a sudden, if AJ can fight Dillian for the undisputed championship, do you not think he’ll do that?”

Hearn sounds like he’s got a preoccupation with Joshua being the undisputed champion. Joshua winning that last trinket title won’t help him become more valued by boxing fans.

If Joshua wins that title against Whyte, no one will care. For Joshua to gain respect from fans, he must beat Fury.

“A lot of people since the interview on Sky are literally losing their s***. Have a breath, and simplify the situation.

“We’ve got the same problem with [Oleksandr] Usyk potentially. Usyk has got to fight Chisora. If Usyk beats him, we might not be able to put the WBO on the line,” Hearn said.

Unfortunately for Hearn, there isn’t as much interest from the boxing public in seeing Joshua face Whyte as much as he does. The fans have nothing to gain from seeing Joshua fight Whyte again. Hearn does, but the fans don’t.

Image: Hearn not sure if Joshua will face Fury if he vacates WBC belt

Whyte-Povetwin winner in a good position

“Do you know what I mean? What I’m saying is that the winner of Fury-Wilder has to face the winner of Whyte-Povetkin,” said Hearn. “To be honest with you, if Povetkin wins, they might give him some leeway because it’s not the same legal situation as it is with Dillian Whyte because of how long it’s been going on.

“But by the way, Povetkin can come in and spark Dillian Whyte and become the WBC mandatory challenger. He has to fight Dillian Whyte,” said Hearn when asked what happens if Wilder beats Fury.

“Yeah,” said Eddie when asked if it’s the situation for either fighter – Fury or Wilder – in having to face Whyte in their next match. “Listen, I want to do the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, but you can’t win, can you?

“Half the people are moaning that ‘Dillian Whyte has not got his opportunity. When are you going to get Dillian Whyte his opportunity?’ And the other half of the people are saying, ‘Don’t worry about Dillian Whyte.

“‘Just make Fury against AJ.’ I haven’t made the ruling that the Fury-Wilder winner must face Willian Whyte. The WBC made that ruling,” said Hearn

It would be smart for Hearn to keep his focus on letting Joshua and Fury fight, and forget about all the titles. They don’t matter anymore. Hearn recently lectured on how he wanted to make titles obsolete. Well, this is his chance of doing that.