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The Split: Fury v Whyte

Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte boxing photo and news image

By Gav Duthie: In what should not be at all surprising, Dillian Whyte may not get a WBC title shot after all against compatriot Tyson Fury. Long story short, the WBC v Whyte arbitration case takes place in March.

Until then, a WBC split cannot be announced, so purse bids can’t take place. A WBC champion v an interim champion can have a sliding scale split from 80/20 all the way to 55/45.

Basically, Whyte and Matchroom feel they should get 45%, but Top Rank/Queensbury and Fury feel Whyte should get 20%.

The parties are so far apart they don’t even have a starting point for negotiations, so Frank Warren and Bob Arum have stated Fury will have a non-title fight in March instead.

As of yet, Eddie Hearn has not responded, but knowing him, he will be on IFL TV, Behind the Gloves, Boxing Social, and various other youtube outlets with his take on the situation very soon.

The WBC

In an important twist on ‘IFL TV,’ Bob Arum claims that WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is to allow Fury to fight in March with the WBC title not on the line. This is not good news for Whyte at all.

Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte boxing photo and news image

The names mentioned as potential non-title fight opponents were Andy Ruiz and Robert Helenius. The popular consensus is that Ruiz wouldn’t fight without the title involved.

Would Helenius, who was easily outpointed by Dillian Whyte in 2017, represent a good homecoming fight? In this writer’s opinion, no. Joe Joyce would be another option being British, but Fury may just continue fighting in Las Vegas.

Perceived value

Let’s get into the split. Is Whyte worth 55/45, 80/20, or somewhere in between? Warren suggests Whyte should get 20% and be happy with it. There is a huge disparity in boxing websites in the earning potential of Dillian Whyte.

Some claim that he only earns 300-500k per fight. That is ridiculous. I’ll be honest I don’t know how much he is worth.

Listening to him, he doesn’t seem to be about the money but make no mistake; he is a multi-millionaire. Suggesting he made less than 500k to fight Povetkin is nonsense.

It is possible that he made as much as £4 million for that first fight. Whyte has been on PPV for a long time.

Reports suggest that he sold around 330k buys on Sky Sports in the UK for Povetkin 1, and his lowest PPV sales were against the talented but unheralded Oscar Rivas at around 300k. This means that Whyte’s PPV generates between 6 and 7 million pounds.

Last seven opponents

Lucas Browne
Joseph Parker
Derek Chisora 2
Oscar Rivas
Mariusz Wach
Alexander Povetkin
Alexander Povetkin 2

Of his last seven fights, only Wach wasn’t PPV, and the only reason he took that fight on an AJ undercard was because he was finally cleared of drugs charges and needed to stay busy.

Arum suggests they are offering a $5.5 million guarantee (roughly £4.1 million) which seems relatively low given Whyte’s earning potential shown in less important contests.

Bob Arum has suggested that Dillian Whyte is not a big name in America. Whyte’s thoughts on that should be ‘who cares.’ This is a fight between two UK fighters in a UK stadium, so given the time difference, most of the money will come from the UK anyway.

Of course, it is important to be big in America, but there is a huge amount of money to be earned from Britain alone.

Tyson Fury, on the other hand, has fought his last five fights in America with his last 4 in Las Vegas. In his two fights in the UK in 2018, he was actually on the undercard (Terry Flanagan, Carl Frampton) as he made his comeback.

Although it was five years ago, it should be noted that the Fury-Klitschko rematch slated for Manchester Arena (now AO Arena) wasn’t selling well (for context, the capacity for this arena is 21,000, and Kell Brook v Amir Khan sold out in 10 minutes).

So despite Fury being English, it is hard to say how well he actually sells here. The Deontay Wilder fights were massive; it made him a star; that has to be noted, Wallin and Schwarz didn’t sell, but that was before the two Wilder KO’s.

My gut is that Fury could fight a traffic cone in the UK, and it would sell, but that is only an opinion. There is no actual evidence to suggest Fury sells a stadium in the UK other than BT PPV, but there is plenty of evidence for Whyte.

It takes Two

Fury has never sold out a UK stadium, neither has Whyte, but together I think they do. As aforementioned, Fury v Wallin, Schwarz didn’t sell, but Fury v Wilder was gold, but that was because of both of them together.

I am really disappointed that Fury’s promoters are not seeing the value in Dillian Whyte, but at the same time, Fury is the lineal champion, WBC, undefeated and has destroyed one of the most dangerous punchers of all time.

Fury is massively the A-side in this, but Whyte has value. I think 65-35 is a reasonable split, but as always, egos get in the way from the fighters and the promoters, and the reality is that until this fight HAS to happen, it probably won’t.




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