Eddie Hearn has once again questioned whether Tyson Fury’s trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder – planned for later this year – will actually happen.
Hearn is pushing for long-time World Boxing Council (WBC) mandatory contender Dillian Whyte (27-1) to get his shot at the hallowed green belt before the end of February 2021. And Hearn – who promotes Whyte along with Fury’s big rival Anthony Joshua – says ‘The Body Snatcher’ is ready to step in even sooner than that.
Wilder has been strangely silent for a while now, having blamed a number of excuses on that crushing first professional defeat at the hands of Fury at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas back in February. And Hearn – not for the first time – has questioned whether the third fight actually goes ahead.
“Maybe I’m being devious but something doesn’t smell right about the Wilder situation,” he said during a Q and A session with users of subscription platform The Athletic.
“I haven’t heard much from him. Does he want the fight? Is he 100 per cent fit (Wilder underwent bicep surgery after the rematch)? Is he going to be ready for October or whenever it’s going to be? Is he going to be happy with the amount of money that’s going to be generated by that fight? I don’t know. If he’s not, Whyte’s ready to jump in there. And if Wilder is going to fight Fury in November, Whyte is going to put all the pressure, along with us, on the WBC to say the winner must fight him. The easiest thing for the WBC to do is to make Fury the Franchise Champion.”
While the ‘franchise champion’ designation would be the simplest route for the WBC to take, according to Hearn it would not be the best. He recently said the tag is “no good for the sport of boxing”.
“Whyte would then be emailed to say, ‘Congrats you are now the Heavyweight Champion of the World.’ That’s not a way to win a world heavyweight title,” he explained. “And AJ doesn’t want to fight the Franchise Champion, he wants to fight for the undisputed. So, we hope that if Wilder’s not ready then Fury will fight Whyte this year – though he has to get past Povetkin first. We also need to make sure that if Fury does fight Wilder we push the Whyte mandatory.”
Whyte’s showdown with former world heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1) is now set for Hearn’s Matchroom Fight Camp at Brentwood in Essex on Saturday August 22.