Tyson Fury could face Charr or Helenius next if Whyte fight doesn’t happen
By Charles Brun: Dillian Whyte’s push for a more significant purse split for his WBC-ordered fight against heavyweight champion Tyson Fury could ultimately cost him the bout.
According to promoter Bob Arum, Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) won’t wait for Whyte to complete his legal dispute with the WBC. Fury WILL be fighting in late March or early April, be it against Whyte or Plan-B opponents Manuel Charr or Robert Helenius.
Ideally, Arum would like to reach a deal with Whyte this week for the Fury fight on March 26th to avert the purse bid scheduled for January 18th. If no agreement can be achieved, Arum will proceed with the purse bid under the recent ruling of 80/20 split handed down by the WBC.
For Arum to avoid the purse bid from taking place, he’ll likely need to bump up Whyte’s pay to near the $10 million that he reportedly wants for the fight. With that kind of money, it would likely come out to Whyte getting between 30 to 40% for the Fury fight.
Arum has already offered Whyte $5.5 million, which was rejected. If he gives Whyte the $10 million+ that he’s asking for to fight Fury, he winds up losing money if the match fails to bring in revenue to cover the purse costs.
Whyte is nowhere near as popular as Anthony Joshua in the UK, and his recent knockout loss and inactivity haven’t helped his popularity.
“If Dillian Whyte is not going to fight, obviously we’re not going to keep Tyson Fury [inactive], and not going to make him pay the price of waiting,” said Arum to TalkSport.
Although Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn has insisted that Fury-Whyte will be a huge fight, it might not. Whyte hasn’t beaten anyone of note for a long, long time.
“Fury wants to fight and wants to fight sooner rather than later,” Arum continued. “We can look around, get a good, decent opponent for him to fight if Whyte isn’t available. You’ve got guys like Robert Helenius and Manuel Charr.
“You just look at the rankings and pick a couple of guys from the rankings who would make decent opponents,” said Arum in making it clear that he won’t have Fury’s career stalled out due to Whyte’s legal battle with the World Boxing Council.
Dillian’s best career win came against Joseph Parker in a foul-plagued fight in 2018. Since then, Whyte has been facing lesser opposition, battling Dereck Chisora, 39-year-old Mariusz Wach, Oscar Rivas, and 41-year-old Alexander Povetkin.
Fury vs. Whyte will do good numbers in the UK, but the fight is nothing special for Americans, who view Dillian as the guy knocked out by Povetkin recently.
U.S fans don’t see Whyte as an exceptional talent to get excited about seeing Fury fight. Americans want Fury to face Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua, not Whyte.
Whyte and his promoter Eddie Hearn are appealing the 80/20 split ruling and are pushing for a 55/45 split, something close to that number.
The 37-year-old WBA Champion in Recess Charr (32-4, 18 KOs) will be a suitable replacement opponent for Fury to face if Whyte is still mired in quicksand with his legal case against the World Boxing Council.
In terms of U.S appeal, Charr is no different than the 33-year-old Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs), as neither of them is a household name, and Fury would be expected to do all the heavy lifting to attract eyeballs to a fight involving either of those two.
Last May, Charr returned to the ring after a four-year hiatus to halt the capable Christopher Lovejoy by a second round knockout.
If Fury faces Charr or ‘The Nordic Nightmare’ Robert Helenius, it might cost him his WBC heavyweight title, but that’s a small price for him to pay for getting back in the ring.
Fury will lose money if he sits inactive for the remainder of 2022, waiting for Whyte’s legal case with the WBC to conclude, and Arum will not allow that to happen.
It might be better for Fury to vacate his WBC title and use his lineal & Ring Magazine heavyweight titles to put on the line against Charr or Helenius. What’s essential is Fury gets back in the ring and stays sharp and ready to face the winner of the Joshua vs. Usyk 2 rematch.
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