Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is beginning to have creeping doubts that Deontay Wilder WON’T be facing Tyson Fury in November or December in their trilogy match.
Hearn hasn’t heard anything from the former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), who has been eerily quiet in the last five months since his embarrassing seventh-round knockout loss to Fury on February 22.
If Wilder is unable or unwilling to face Fury, then Hearn wants the World Boxing Council to step in and order Fury to face WBC mandatory Dillian Whyte.
Dillian will still need to win his August 22 fight against the always dangerous Alexander Povetkin for him to move forward for the Fury fight, but Hearn is confident he’ll have no problems doing that. If Hearn weren’t optimistic of victory for Dillian, he would have never made that contest, to begin with against the tough Russian fighter.
As for Wilder, some boxing fans believe he’s mentally shattered from his humiliating loss to Fury, and that he lacks the motivation to go through with the fight.
If Wilder lacks the motivation to take the Fury trilogy match, then Hearn wants to know as soon as possible so he can have Whyte step in to face Fury.
Hearn wants WBC to order Fury vs. Whyte
“I think what should happen is the WBC turns around and says ‘congratulations on another thrilling victory,'” said Eddie Hearn to IFL TV when asked what should happen after Dillian Whyte beats Alexander Povetkin.
“‘You have now beaten a plethora of top 15 opponents, you have now had 10 or 11 WBC fights, and you have now been mandatory for 1,000 days. Number one for 1,000 days and mandatory for nearly as many.
‘Your next fight is against the [WBC] champion.’ What do I think will happen? I think a lot depends on Fury-Wilder. Right now, if you look at America and you think, ‘How on earth can that fight happen in November or December?’
“Things are so difficult at the moment. We’re staging an event there on August 15 behind closed doors. That’s not in doubt, but every day is a concern. We haven’t heard from Deontay Wilder.
“He hasn’t been vocal about the third fight. I’m actually in a position as soon as Dillian Whyte beat Alexander Povetkin, we’re on it, mate. ‘Is this fight [Fury vs. Wilder 3] happening or not? If not, then order this fight [Fury vs. Whyte]. I’ll do Whyte-Fury. I’ll stick the dough up. It’s a huge fight.
“But we understand the position. Tyson Fury has got to fight Deontay Wilder. Good luck, crack on. It’s difficult for everyone. It’s difficult for us. It’s difficult for us to stage AJ against Pulev,” Hearn continued.
In theory, we should know fairly soon if Wilder plans on going through with the Fury trilogy match. Surely, Wilder will contact his team and let them know that he’s not up for the fight.
If it’s a confidence issue or a lingering injury problem, then Wilder will tell his team that he can’t take the fight. Whyte will then be able to face Fury before the end of 2020.
Fury vs. Wilder 3: Does it happen in November or December?
“Will they do Fury against Wilder 3, and will they do it in November or December?” said Hearn. “The cutoff date for Whyte to fight for the WBC title is the end of February, and we expect that to be kept to. If they [Fury-Wilder III] fight in early December, and we make an agreement to fight in early March, yes, we will accept that.
“But the key to what Dillian is doing is continuously putting the pressure on. As much as the Povetkin fight carries a huge amount of risk, it enables him to keep that momentum going, keep that pressure building on the WBC. Keep the public and the paying fight fans saying, ‘he must get his shot now. Come on.’
‘I believe a statement victory over Alexander Povetkin enables him to do that. I’ve been doing what I can for him for years, and Dillian knows that as well. It’s been incredibly frustrating. It is part of the game, unfortunately, but it’s also sometimes part of the game when there are other big fights like we’ve seen with Fury-Wilder.
“That’s basically slowed Dillian down by a year, and more notably they’re ruling over the hearing and the situation with UKAD. He should not have been penalized one day by the WBC for that, especially when he was found innocent on every level,” said Hearn.
It’s got to be frustrating for Hearn and Whyte, not knowing if Wilder will carry out his trilogy match with Fury. For ‘The Gypsy King’ Fury, he’s probably thinking too, ‘What’s up with Wilder? Am I training for nothing?’
The sad part is, if Wilder chooses not to speak at all to the media up to the fight in November or December, he’ll cripple the event in a significant way. Fury can’t market the battle all by himself.
Hearn to put pressure on WBC after Whyte vs. Povetkin
“So I keep thinking, Mauricio Sulaiman is a really good guy,” said Hearn. “He loves boxing. I keep thinking to myself. I know he reads social media, and I know he sees the comments from the fans. You have to do what’s right, and I believe he will.
“And after the victory over Alexander Povetkin, we will put increased pressure on. AJ is not going to fight until November or December. He’s not going to fight again until June or July of next year.
“So you’ve got February, March, April. Make the fight [Fury vs. Whyte]. They’re talking like Fury-Wilder doesn’t exist. If they get through those fights, Tyson Fury, the bigger risk for him, is he might have to fight Dillian Whyte in between.
“I think AJ is desperate to fight Tyson Fury. We know Tyson Fury is desperate to fight for the undisputed championship. That’s what he wants. But you’ve got all these situations. You’ve got Usyk. If he beats Chisora, he’s [WBO] mandatory challenger,” said Hearn.
Eddie wants to make sure that Whyte gets his mandated title shot with the WBC by the end of February 2021, and that’s going to be his priority in making sure that happens.