Eddie Hearn reacts to Whyte comments on Joshua vs. Franklin fight on April 1st

By Boxing News - 02/05/2023 - Comments

By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn addressed Dillian Whyte’s recent complaints about Jermaine Franklin getting the Anthony Joshua fight on April 1st instead of him by pointing out that his win over the American last November could have gone the other way.

Hearn says Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) will still get the opportunity to face Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) in a rematch in July in a stadium fight in the UK, but in the meantime, AJ will battle Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) on April 1st at the O2 Arena in London.

As long as the 34-year-old Whyte doesn’t get beaten again before July, he’ll most certainly get the rematch with Joshua. Given that, Whyte will likely choose to stay inactive, electing not to take a chance of him losing to someone.

Dillian no threat to Joshua

With the way that Whyte has looked absolutely shot in five of his last six fights, it would be too risky on his part to face a contender in the division because his chin is too fragile, and he looks pretty slow and seemed much older than his chronological age.

Dillian can still punch, but his reaction time, stamina, and his chin aren’t what they used to be a decade ago. Obviously, that won’t stop Whyte from getting the rematch with Joshua because he’s still popular in the UK, and the fight will make a lot of money for both as well as Matchroom.

That’s arguably the #1 reason why Hearn still wants Whyte as Joshua’s opponent for July in a stadium fight. Money. The #2 reason that Hearn is so eager to match Joshua against Whyte is that Dillian is over-the-hill and no threat to beating AJ.

Put differently, Whyte is another tune-up for Joshua and will give him another confidence booster, which he’ll need for his third fight in 2023, against potentially Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.

Whyte will get AJ in the summer

“He [Whyte] had a very close fight with Jermaine Franklin. He had a fight that many people felt could have gone either way,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social, reacting to Dillian Whyte complaining about Anthony Joshua choosing to fight Jermaine Franklin next instead of him on April 1st at the O2 Arena in London.

We’re up for the Dillian Whyte fight in the summer. AJ has chosen his next opponent for his next fight, and that will be announced on Monday,” Hearn continued.

For many boxing fans, Joshua vs. Whyte is a dreadful fight for the first order, but it’ll make money, in the same way Tyson Fury’s recent clash against 39-year-old journeyman Derek Chisora made boatloads of cash last December at Wembley Stadium in London.

Unlike Americans, British fans don’t give up on their washed-up fighters. They’re more willing to put up with seeing totally over-the-hill fighters being tossed in against guys that they have no business fighting. Joshua vs. Whyte will make a lot of cash for Matchroom. Hence, it’ll happen, but many boxing fans will likely be hopping mad afterward, feeling ripped off for having to pay to watch Joshua beat up on a shot Dillian Whyte on DAZN pay-per-view.

In theory, with the way Whyte has looked since 2019, Joshua-Whyte should be s freebie for boxing fans, but it obviously won’t.

Hearn will peddle it to the fans, likely at a steep price, counting on them believing it’ll be a similar fight as their 2015 clash, and then feign surprise afterward when it turns out to be a complete mismatch in favor of AJ.

Will Joshua fight three times this year?

“It doesn’t have to be, but that’s the plan,” said Hearn when asked if Joshua has to fight three fights in 2023. “One in April, one in July, possibly in early August, and one in December.

“Possibly,” said Hearn when asked if all three of Joshua’s fights will be in the UK. “We want a stadium fight in the summer, so Dillian Whyte will be that guy.

It’s very, very, very doubtful that Joshua will fight three times in 2023 because the time required to negotiate the Whyte rematch will likely stretch on for many months. If Joshua fights Wilder or Fury in December, the negotiations for either of those matches will stretch on into infinity.

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