By Charles Brun: Bob Arum says Dillian Whyte has until February 19th to sign the contract for a fight against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
For whatever reason, if Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) elects not to sign the contract, Arum will move on and find another opponent for Fury to defend his WBC title against on April 23rd.
Arum states that Whyte wanted more money than the 20% split offered to him for the Fury fight, but he turned down the upside offer that he gave him.
As such, Whyte will be getting the “barebones” 20% for the fight as part of the purse, but with the chance to get an extra 10%, which is $4 million if he beats Fury.
Whyte’s purse for the fight is $7.3 million, so he can increase that considerably if he wins. That amount is far lower than what Whyte would have received had the purse split been 55/45, which his promoter Eddie Hearn had wanted.
Arum says Whyte turned down the upside offer
“He felt that his participation in the promotion of the fight demanded more money than he was entitled to in the purse bid, and he took that position,” said Bob Arum to iFL TV on Dillian Whyte, still not signing the contract for his April 23rd fight against WBC champion Tyson Fury.
“We said, ‘No, if you don’t want to be involved in the promotion, that’s up to you, but you have to sign the WBC form contract,’ which we sent to him, and he has until the 19th of February to sign it,” Arum continued about Whyte. “But I have no doubt that he will sign it. His attorney told us as much.
“The fact that we TRIED to accommodate him by giving him an upside at a certain level, I thought was the best thing to do, but his attorney felt it wasn’t adequate and turned it down.
“So now he’s [Whyte] just going to sign the regular contract, and that contract will include 20% of the purse bid.
“Less 10% of that amount, which is in escrow with the WBC, and so he has the opportunity to win four million dollars if he wins the fight in addition to 7.3 million, which he’s guaranteed to get. So it’s as simple as that,” said Arum.
If Whyte doesn’t sign the contract for the Fury fight, he’ll miss out on battling for his title, and it would arguably be a self-defeating move. Perhaps Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn has another path for him to fight for a world title?
If not, it could take ages for Whyte to get in a position to fight one of the champions. Whyte will be turning 34 in April, and he doesn’t have forever to get another opportunity.
Assuming Whyte doesn’t sign the contract for the Fury fight by February 19th, you got to believe he won’t be given a chance to fight for a title against IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk, meaning he would have to take part in a title eliminator.
Whyte had the ideal situation to fight for the WBC title eliminator by facing Oscar Rivas in 2019. The question is, does Whyte have enough talent to beat someone like Filip Hrgovic, Daniel Dubois, or Joe Joyce in a title eliminator? This writer doubts it.
Unfortunately, it’s improbable Whyte will be put in another position with an easy title eliminator in the future.
Dillian is getting a “barebones” contract
“If he [Dillian] doesn’t participate in the promotion, that’s on him,” said Arum. “I’m sure he’ll have second thoughts. I mean, it would be ridiculous for him not to because it would be better for his image in the future.
“If he doesn’t voluntarily particulate in the promotion, I know you guys will be searching him out and getting statements from him, and also, we are blessed to have Frank and I, as our fighter, Tyson Fury, who is the greatest promoter going.
“I’ve never talked to Dillian Whyte ever. Our lawyers are talking to his lawyers, and I think everything is now resolved by not being resolved,” said Arum about Whyte.
“In other words, you’re [Whyte] going to sign the WBC barebones contract, and if he feels that gives him license not to work and appear in the promotion, he’ll be missed but not that badly missed,” said Arum about Whyte.