Joshua vs. Usyk & Fury vs. Whyte site deals for Middle East being discussed
By William Lloyd: Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is in Dubai looking to work a deal for a pair of lucrative site deals to stage the Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk 2 and Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte heavyweight match-ups in the Middle East.
If Hearn successfully puts together two massive site deals, Joshua-Usyk II & Fury-Whyte will make a ton of money fighting in the Middle East.
That’s a win-win situation for those four fighters if Hearn is successful, but of course, UK and U.S boxing fans will come out the loser because they won’t be able to see these fighters live and in person.
At this point, it’s standard for Joshua and Fury’s fights to be sold to the highest bidder, so it shouldn’t be a shock to the fans of those fighters.
They’re not going to fight in a country that doesn’t offer them the most amount of money for their purses, especially when they have to deal with high taxes on their earnings.
Hearn in Dubai negotiating site deals
“When I heard Usyk was coming, it was good to sit down with him and Egis Klimas. Again, we have to do our work across this territory to look at special site deals for Joshua – Usyk and Fury against Whyte, and all kinds of different heavyweight fights,” said Hearn to iFL TV.
“So, that’s the predominant reason for the trip [to Dubai], and it’s good to see Oleksandr Usyk. He’s very chilled and getting ready for talks to progress for an Anthony Joshua rematch.
“The news that the WBC was ordering the Tyson Fury – Dillian Whyte fight kind of put an end to the step aside discussion unless that evolves in some way over the next week or so, which doesn’t look to be the case.
“Right now, it looks very likely that the two fights will be in play between Dillian Whyte and Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk,” said Hearn.
“So obviously, on the one hand, we have Dillian Whyte fighting Tyson Fury. There are negotiations that have been ordered no [by the World Boxing Council],” said Hearn.
It’ll be great if Hearn can work a pair of lucrative deals to stage the Fury vs. Whyte and Joshua vs. Usyk II fights in Saudi Arabia, where the four fighters will make a boatload of money.
With the high risk those fights present to Fury and Joshua, it’s vital that they make as much money as possible.
Joshua could be facing extinction as an elite fighter in his rematch with Usyk, whereas Fury could taste defeat for the first time at the hands of the tough Dillian.
Fury vs. Whyte could go to purse bids
“It could go to a purse bid if negotiations don’t come to a conclusion, and, of course, there’s Oleksandr Usyk against Anthony Joshua. We have to work collectively with K2 to ensure that we deliver the best opportunity to the fighters.
“So, meetings here and other countries in the Middle East to look for the potential where those fights might take place. There is no specific date in the correspondence,” said Hearn when asked how much time does Fury and Whyte have to negotiate their fight.
“Normally, it would be 28 days of negotiations. As I keep going back to, we have no news on the split of that purse bid [between Fury and Whyte]. It’s very difficult to negotiate a fight when you don’t know the split.
“I’m confident we can get a deal together, provided we feel it’s a fair reflection of Dillian Whyte’s value and history in terms of a position of waiting for that fight [with Fury].
“It’s very clear that the high end of the interim champion [with the WBC] is 55-45.
“Top Rank has already been campaigning for an 80-20. Obviously, if they come forward with an offer at that level, it’s not acceptable to us,” said Hearn.
The way Hearn is talking, it sounds like the Fury-Whyte will wind up going to a purse bid because it’s challenging to picture Top Rank giving Dillian the 55-45 split that he and Eddie are seeking.
Fury’s promoters at Top Rank view him as being the far more marketable fighter of the two, which makes it difficult for them to fathom giving Whyte almost parity at 55-45 when he brings little to the table.
Whyte & Hearn are not trying to be difficult
“But we’re not looking to be difficult or clever,” said Hearn about the negotiations between Whyte and Team Fury.
“Dillian Whyte is looking to get his opportunity to fight for the world heavyweight title, but if the offer isn’t what we believe and Dillian believes is a fair reflection of his value, we will go to a purse bid to make sure he gets a fair reflection of his value.
“There’s a long way to go. We’ll see where it goes,” Hearn said of the Fury vs. Whyte negotiations. “There’s a good chance,” said Eddie when asked what are the chances of the Fury-Whyte fight taking place in the UK.
“We’re here because we have to do our work and speak to many different countries that are going to be making offers to stage big heavyweight fights. That’s our job. We have to do that on behalf of the fighters.
“But Fury against Whyte, whether that’s Millennium Stadium, wherever. AJ against Usyk, maybe back at Spurs or Wembley. There’s a very good chance that will be the location for those two fights,” said Hearn.
There will be many disappointed fans if the Fury vs. Whyte and Joshua vs. Usyk II fights both winds up in the Middle East rather than the UK.
If everything goes right and Whyte gets the deal that he and Hearn feel is fair for the Fury fight, they won’t bother with a purse bid.
But if Top Rank digs in their heels and insists on the 80-20 split that they’ve been campaigning for, it’s going to force Matchroom’s hand to send it a purse bid.
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