Hearn expects WBC to decide Dillian Whyte’s case by next week
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn says he expects the WBC to make a decision this week on whether #1 WBC Dillian Whyte is made the mandatory for the winner of the May 18th fight between World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Dominic Breazeale.
Whyte will be fighting on July 13 on Sky Box Office pay-per-view against an opponent still to be determined. Hearn wants to wait until the WBC makes their announcement on Whyte’s situation before he signs an opponent for him to fight on the 13th of July.
Hearn openly admits that he won’t be putting Whyte in with a dangerous guy on July 13th if the WBC orders him to fight the winner of the Wilder vs. Breazeale fight. Hearn still says it won’t be a soft opponent, but once you take away Ortiz, there’s not much to pick from. The fans don’t want to see Dereck Chisora trotted out again as Whyte’s opponent, and Joseph Parker is another waste of time. Carlos Takam is already in use as Oleksandr Usyk’s next opponent, so Hearn can’t use him as Whyte’s July 13 opponent.
Hearn just signed two-time Olympian Zhilei Zhang to his stable on Wednesday, so he might be a possibility for Whyte. That’s not a good pay-per-view fight though. Zhang is about to turn 36, and he’s slow as molasses, and not looking very impressive as a pro. Zhang almost beat Anthony Joshua in the 2012 Olympics, but that was seven years ago when the Chinese fighter was 28, and fighting at high level. Hearn also signed 2012 U.S Olympian Michael Hunter on Wednesday. The news for the signing of Hunter was announced earlier today. Hunter isn’t a great opponent either, although he would have a very good chance of beating Whyte, as long as the referee isn’t blowing calls on head-butt knockdowns, like we saw in the Whyte vs. Joseph Parker fight, and failing to call obvious fouls.
With that being said, Hearn maintains that he’s not looking to fight a “tick-over” opponent for Whyte to fight on July 13, since the fight will be shown on Sky Box Office, but he says he’s not going to sign someone like Luis Ortiz if the WBC is going to order the Wilder-Breazeale winner to fight Whyte without an interim fight. In other words, Hearn won’t want to put Whyte in a risky fight he could very well lose against the talented Cuban.
“A lot hinges on the WBC’s decision. That’s a pivotal moment for his career, what the WBC rules in terms of his mandatory position for him fighting the winner of Wilder and Breazeale,” Hearn said about Dillian Whyte to IFL TV. “We’ll hear from them hopefully this week, but the plan remains the same, box in July, and he’s ready for a serious fight,” Hearn said.
What will be interesting to see is what Whyte does if the WBC says, ‘We want you to fight Luis Ortiz in a WBC eliminator. The winner becomes the new mandatory.’ Does Whyte go in the opposite direction or does he take the fight and potentially get knocked out? It would be a tough choice for Whyte, because he doesn’t need the Wilder fight for him to get a nice payday title shot. He obviously will take a fight with Wilder if it’s given to him on a silver platter by the WBC, but likely not if he has to actually work for it by fighting a talent like Ortiz.
If Whyte were to have to earn the mandatory spot by fighting Ortiz, he could lose, and then that would mess up his chances of not only fighting Wilder but also Joshua. Whyte is ranked #1 with the World Boxing Organization, but he’s about to lose that spot to Oleksandr Usyk, who is moving up to heavyweight to go after a fight against Joshua. Whyte had a chance to fight Joshua recently, but he rejected the offer, so here is hoping the WBC makes him Wilder’s mandatory challenger without him having to fight in an official eliminator.
“They’re being considered,” Hearn said when asked if Whyte could potentially fight Luis “King Kong” Ortiz or Alexander Povetkin next on July 13. “There are some others as well. I’ve always liked the Povetkin fight. We’re just kind of waiting on the WBC to see what they order. If he [Whyte] becomes mandatory for the Wilder-Breazeale winner with no intermediate fights for the winner, then you’re not really going to fight Ortiz, for example,” Hearn said.
Hearn feels that Whyte should be made the mandatory for Wilder, because he’s been ranked #1 with the WBC for two years without being ordered to fight for the title. However, Breazeale has been the WBC mandatory for that length of time since he beat Eric Molina in 2017.
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