Dillian Whyte is a ‘Damn fool’ if he doesn’t promote says Arum
By Charles Brun: Bob Arum says Dillian Whyte wants extra money to help promote his title fight against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on April 23rd and he’s NOT going to grant his wish.
According to promoter Frank Warren, Whyte has until February 19th to sign his contract for the Fury fight. Fury has already signed, and they’re waiting on Dillian to sign for the battle to be a done deal for April 23rd.
Arum isn’t saying how much extra Whyte wants to help promote the event, but it’s enough for him to be digging in his heels and refusing.
Fury’s promoter Arum states that Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) may choose to be silent throughout the promotion if he’s not paid extra on top of the $7.3 million that he’s already getting for the fight.
With 57 years in the promotional business, Arum says he’s not worried if Whyte chooses to help promote his own fight.
Arum says Whyte is a “damn fool” if he doesn’t help promote because he’s going to lose out on an opportunity to expand his popularity for future fights.
If Whyte is going to be silent during the entire promotion of the fight, including the press conferences and weigh-in, he’ll be losing out.
Instead of being able to show his personality to boxing fans that have never seen him before, Whyte will be a prop for Fury’s stand-up comedy routines. That won’t be a good look for Whyte.
If Arum did agree to pay Whyte to get him to participate in the promotion, you can argue that this could start a new trend in which B-side fighters refuse to help promote events unless they’re paid extra to speak.
Arum: Dillian wants more money to promote
“We won the purse bid, and there were certain things we had to accede to; one of which was 10% of the bid had to go in escrow with the WBC, and that was done a day before it was due,” said Bob Arum to The Lowdown on the purse bid for the Fury vs. Whyte fight.
“So the WBC is holding over four million one hundred thousand dollars of our money,” said Arum. “Now, then we had to send out contracts with everybody for the fight, and, of course, Tyson Fury signed his contract immediately.
“We’re having trouble with Dillian Whyte because first, they said they wanted more money, but for that, they would participate in the promotion. I thought they’re getting plenty of money and they should participate in the promotion.
“But that’s not their theory, so we sent them a barebone in accordance with the WBC rules, and they have that contract now. The lawyer for Dillian Whyte said they will sign that contract and send it back to us.
“So that contract will come back sometime next week, and then Frank [Warren] will set the date for the press conference. It may be a press conference with Tyson Fury and a contract,” said a laughing Arum.
“The contract [for Whyte] has to be signed by the 19th of February, and as Bob said, I expect as well they’ll sign it, and if for any strange reason they don’t, then he’s out of it,” said Frank Warren about Whyte.
“We’d have preferred for him [Whyte] to do it earlier, so we could get out and promote,” said Warren.
Arum is fortunate that he has Fury as his fighter in this case because if he had someone with less charisma, he would need Whyte’s participation in promoting the event to make it a success.
With the $41 million that Team Fury paid to win the purse bid, it’s essential that both fighters work in unison to help promote the event.
If you’re Arum, you’re going to need someone that can act as a prop for Fury when he’s on stage for trash-talking. It’s not going to be a fair fight if Fury ridicules a silent Dillian on stage.
Fury is incredibly popular in the U.S
“They thought they had a real threat to get more money for us by saying they weren’t going to participate in promotional activities for the fight,” said Arum about Dillian Whyte.
“Now, in a lot of circumstances, that might be a real threat, but on the other side, we got Fury, and we don’t need anybody else promoting the fight.
“There was a survey of who is the most popular best known American fighter, and it’s Tyson Fury, even though everybody in America conveniently forgot that he’s a Brit.
“In America, Tyson Fury has such a personality that he is now Americanized himself, even though he’s here now and he’s happy to be fighting back in the UK. But he is a larger-than-life personality.
“We haven’t had anybody in the heavyweight division like him since Muhammad Ali. I’m not talking about us not having great fighters, but we haven’t had a fighter that is such a showman and brings such attention to himself and his event since Muhammad Ali.
“So a threat from somebody, ‘Well, if you don’t pay us more, we’re not going to ready get out and promote.’ Hey, that’s not a big threat for us,” said Arum about not being worried about Whyte potentially not helping to promote his tight with Fury on April 23rd.
“We want Dillian to be involved and promote it,” said Warren. “If he don’t, that’s his choice. We’ll get on with it. We got the best fighter to promote in Tyson Fury.”
“He’s trying to get more money,” said Arum when asked if Dillian Whyte is trying to get a mental edge against Fury by being silent. “He’s trying to hold us up because when you win a purse bid, it says the fighters will help in various ways to promote.
“That’s sort of ambiguous, and most fighters are professional, and they will promote,” said Arum. “Now he’s saying, ‘I want extra money to promote because you’re stuck paying me what the purse bid said, which is 7.3 million dollars. I want some more money from you to get out and promote.’
Whyte’s popularity will increase by promoting
“Our position is, ‘We’re not going to give it to you now,” said Arum. “If the fight does enormously well, yeah, we’ll give you a taste at the backend where everybody has made money. But we’re not going to be put in a position where you’re threatening us that you’re not going to be participating in the promotion.’
“If he doesn’t [help promote], he’s a damn fool because there’s always tomorrow, and even if he loses the fight, which he figures to do, by participating in the promotion, he builds his own image and his own career.
“Secondly, and even more important, is that he really needs the exposure from this big fight, and his threat is, he’s not going to avail himself of that exposure. He pulled a gun out and pointed it to his head, ‘If you don’t give me more money.’
“It is a dangerous fight. Whyte is a good puncher, and he’s very competitive. But Tyson Fury is the best heavyweight out there far and wide. Everyone can be beaten, but I don’t think he’ll get beat. Is Whyte dangerous? Yeah, but so is Wilder very, very dangerous,” said Arum.
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