By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn insists that WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will be blocked from making a quick voluntary defense in February before Dillian Whyte’s arbitration case is settled.
Hearn says things are going on behind the scenes to prevent Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) from making a voluntary defense while the WBC interim champion Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) Matchroom Boxing wait for the ruling from the arbitration case.
Also, Hearn says the 80-20 split that Fury’s promoters at Top Rank are asking the WBC to consider for Whyte is “ridiculous.”
Hearn states that the rule for WBC interim champions is to get up to a 55-45 split when challenging for a world title.
The arbitration will decide Whyte’s split
“That’s not the rules at all,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV when told that Bob Arum said that the 80-20 split for Whyte are ‘just the rules’ for a title defense by WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury against Dillian.
“You’re talking about the rules. Interim world champion rules can be up to 55-45 on a split, so that’ll be decided by the WBC,” Hearn continued.
“You can’t have a guy that is 80-20, which is ridiculous, considering how long Dillian Whyte has waited. [Kubrat] Pulev got 35% against AJ under the IBF.
“So, of course, we’re going to push for the biggest split possible, and Bob is going to push for the smallest split possible.
“We’re all going to say what we believe, but I believe Dillian Whyte, who has been a pay-per-view fighter on Sky for many years and has solid out arenas across the country, is a big draw, a big name, and I believe he deserves a fair split in that fight.
“I think that’ll be decided by the WBC or the arbitration,” said Hearn. “Yeah, I think they will. Whether it’s acceptable or not [remains to be seen],” said Hearn when asked if Fury’s management will make an offer to Whyte.
It will be interesting to see what Hearn’s reaction will be if Fury’s promoters get their way with the 80-20 split. You can imagine Hearn will be an unhappy camper, as well Whyte.
Of course, Whyte can always choose not to take the fight and get back in line with the rest of the contenders, and that’s always an option.
Maybe if Whyte goes after one of the other titles, he’ll get a better split, but that’s for him to decide.
Eddie vowing to be aggressive
“The whole thing about the arbitration is to get what Dillian Whyte deserves and not just a random offer of a lowball,” Hearn said.
“So that’s why that procedure is in place, and we will be aggressive with that to make sure he does get what he deserves and that includes a fair split.
“The offer that they make at the moment, and they’re more than welcome to do so, will be unacceptable,” said Hearn about Top Rank potentially offering Whyte an 80-20 split for a fight with Fury.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, at the moment, they’ll say he hasn’t been called as the mandatory. So, we’ll make sure we go through that process to make sure he is,” Hearn said of Whyte.
Ultimately, the WBC will likely be the one that decides what Whyte’s purse split is, and Top Rank has already asked them to consider lowering it to 80-20.
If that’s what the WBC decides, there’s probably not much Whyte can do about it other than to choose not to take the fight.
Whyte can always get back in line and wait for a better deal in the future or try and become mandatory for the IBF, WBA, or WBO titles. However, at 33, Dillian is running out of time.
Hearn believes Fury won’t be allowed a voluntary
“I don’t think so [that Whyte will be denied his title shot against Fury].,” said Hearn. “They could move quickly and take a voluntary. There’s a lot taking place behind the scenes in the legal case where I think that won’t actually be possible, but we’ll see what happens.
“Not the best,” Hearn said in reacting to being told that Otto Wallin is pushing for a rematch with Fury.
“That was a good fight, but Fury was lucky to win that fight because of the cut, but I don’t see that fight happening,” said Hearn.
If the arbitration case doesn’t end soon, it’s doubtful that Fury will be blocked from making his voluntary defense of his WBC title.
The way things are looking now, Fury will quickly be back inside the ring to make a defense of his title in February, possibly against Joe Joyce or another highly ranked contender.
It’s unclear why it bothers Hearn so much that Fury wants to keep busy.
If Whyte can’t fight because he decided to take it to arbitration, why spoil it for the boxing public and Fury for him to keep busy. Fury can’t afford to wait around years for Whyte’s arbitration case to end.
In hindsight, Whyte shot himself in the foot with his decision to take it to arbitration rather than waiting for the World Boxing Council to order the fight, which they likely would have done at the convention last week if not for Dillian.