By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn confirmed today that Dillian Whyte will be taking the fight with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury despite the silence on his part since Matchroom lost the purse bid.
Hearn insists that they’ve had no conversations with Whyte (28-2-, 19 KOs) on him going in a different direction. This is the fight that they want against Fury.
As for Whyte’s silence, Hearn says using that with Fury is sometimes good because you don’t waste energy with the back and forth trash talking. What Hearn isn’t saying is whether Whyte will cooperate with the promotion of the fight with Fury.
If Whyte is going to stay silent throughout the promotion because he didn’t get the 55/45 purse split that he wanted instead of the 80/20, it’s going to affect Fury’s promoters that put down the huge $41 million winning purse bid.
Even with Whyte helping out with the promotion of the fight, there’s a possibility that the event won’t bring in $41 million to break even.
If Whyte chooses not to help out with the promotion of the event, it hurts Fury’s promoters but does nothing to Matchroom, since they lost the bid.
With Whyte’s $8 million purse guaranteed, he can do whatever he wants in terms of helping out with the promotion. If he chooses to play passive-aggressive, he can and really mess things up for Fury’s team.
What’s unclear is what Team Fury will do if Whyte chooses not to promote the event. Do they then default on their purse bid to save money, figuring the fight won’t make back the money they put into it? If so, Matchroom will take over as the promoter for the event, given that they had the next highest bid at $32 million.
Ultimately, that would hurt Whyte because he’ll make less money, but if Matchroom is willing to make up the difference, then Dillian will be happy.
What would be a real nightmare for Whyte and Matchroom is for Fury’s promoters to default on their bid. It would leave it to Matchroom to promote the event. Fury could then vacate his WBC title, which would leave Whyte and Matchroom scrambling for an opponent to fight for the vacant WBC title.
Whyte would probably end up with Luis Ortiz, a fighter that he chose not to fight in a WBC-ordered title eliminator in 2018. That would be a 50-50 fight, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the 43-year-old Ortiz knocked Whyte out just as 40-year-old Alexander Povetkin did in 2020.
“Sure, he’s just training,” said Eddie Hearn to MMA Hour when asked if Dillian Whyte will take the fight with Tyson Fury. “I think there’s a way to deal with Fury.
“I think sometimes going on the quiet side personally [the way to go]. Do you really want to get into a slagging match with Tyson Fury and lose all that energy? Do your work, do your training and go and knock him out.
“This is a shot that he’s been working for a long time,” said Hearn about Whyte. “There are no conversations going on between us right now, ‘Oh, should we go in another direction?’ There is no other direction. This is the fight,” said Hearn on Whyte wanting the title shot against Fury.
“No, it’s business,” said Hearn on whether he was bitter about losing the purse bid. “The moment you start acting on ego, it’s the moment that you make a catastrophic error that can cost you millions of millions of dollars.
“The fact that we were even there meant that Dillian received that money [$8 million] because we turned up and they went, ‘S***, Matchroom are here.’ If we didn’t turn up, they would have bid five million dollars, ten million dollars because they [Top Rank] would have been the only bidder.
“When it comes down to it, two bidders. All these other people that were so interested in the fight, where were they putting the money up? They haven’t got no money,” said Hearn.