Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte in April or May says Eddie Hearn

By Boxing News - 01/17/2022 - Comments

By Jack Tiernan: Eddie Hearn says Dillian Whyte “will definitely” get his title shot against WBC heavyweight Tyson Fury but the match won’t take place until April or May.

Sounding like he’s the person in charge of when the contest will take place, Hearn has ruled out the March 26th date for the Fury vs. Whyte fight, telling the BBC Sport that it’s “unrealistic” for it to take place then.

Fury’s promoters at Top Rank continue to work out a deal with Hearn to avert the purse bid, which has now been moved from January 18th to the 21st. The purse bid was initially scheduled for January 11th, but it keeps moving.

Whyte wants a more significant purse split that is fitting for an interim WBC champion, something in the 55/45 split, but the World Boxing Council has already ruled that the split will be 80/20.

It will be interesting to see if Top Rank is willing to agree to the $10 million+ that Whyte wants for the fight. If it’s $50 million that they’re working with, $10 million would be an 80/20 split.

Not surprisingly, it makes sense for Whyte to be asking for more than that, potentially $15 million.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said that the $10 million that Whyte was asking for was just a starting point for the negotiations and that he would likely want the number increased upwards. Arum said he’s offering $5.5 million, which he feels is fair.

If the overall money pot for the Fury vs. Whyte fight is $40 million to $50 million, you can understand why Hearn would want the starting number to be $10 million.

Image: Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte in April or May says Eddie Hearn

The only thing that Hearn and Whyte have to nudge Fury and Top Rank nearer to their goal of a 55/45 split is the purse bid, which they would have an excellent chance of winning. Top Rank doesn’t want that to happen.

Whyte and Hearn have appealed to the WBC to change their ruling on the 80/20 purse split to give them the 55/45 split that they want, and it remains to be seen whether they’ll have any success.

If not, then the only thing Hearn and Whyte have to get a better deal is the looming purse bid, which Top Rank doesn’t want to happen.

That’s starting to look unrealistic for a fight of this magnitude,” said Hearn to 5 Live Boxing Podcast on the possibility of Fury defending against Whyte on March 26th.

“Either March, April, early May potentially,” added Hearn. “This is the window for the fight. Depends on what happens this week,”  said Hearn.

It probably won’t matter too much to Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) if he’s forced to wait until April or May to defend against Whyte.

If Fury has made up his mind that he intends on holding onto his WBC title, he probably won’t care too much that he has to wait a month or so before making the fight.

“You’re talking about a lot of money – a difference of 25%,” Hearn said on the difference between 80/20 and 55/45 split.

The normal split for an interim champion is up to 45%. We feel in terms of the commercial value of Dillian Whyte and the time he’s had to wait, 80/20 is quite ridiculous, really.”

“Dillian Whyte will definitely get his shot at the WBC title, but we have to fight for his rights and make sure it’s fair,” said Hearn.

If Fury chooses to vacate his WBC title rather than give in to Whyte and Hearn’s demands for the purse split, he’ll be beltless when he eventually faces the Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk 2 winner.

We don’t know if the winner of that fight will be more focused on fighting the WBC belt than they are in taking on Fury. In that case, Whyte would get the fight with the Joshua-Usyk II winner, assuming he’s elevated to the new WBC champion.