By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Frank Warren ridiculed Eddie Hearn’s demand that Deontay Wilder’s team must finalize a deal for a Wilder-Anthony Joshua fight April 13 before Wilder faces Tyson Fury.
Warren is confident Fury, the lineal heavyweight champion he promotes, will beat Wilder on December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. And even if Wilder wins, Warren doesn’t think Hearn has any genuine intention of making a Joshua-Wilder fight for April 13.
Hearn’s promotional rival is convinced Hearn has already determined Joshua will fight Dillian Whyte again April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London.
Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) stopped Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) in the seventh round of their December 2015 battle in Manchester, England. London’s Whyte is 8-0 since losing to Joshua, though, including a unanimous-decision victory over former WBO champ Joseph Parker (24-2, 18 KOs) in his last fight, July 28 at O2 Arena in London.
“First of all, I don’t really care what [Hearn] says,” Warren told BoxingScene.com during the Wilder-Fury promotional tour. “We’re doing something that he didn’t do. We put the fight on. He was offered $50 million [for Joshua-Wilder] and then $30 million for a rematch, should Joshua [lose]. That tells you all you need to know. And I said a long time before they were even talking about Wilder that will never happen. He will fight one guy, and that guy was [Alexander] Povetkin. He will now fight Dillian Whyte. It doesn’t matter what happens in this [Wilder-Fury] fight, whatever the outcome is. They’re not gonna ruin their cash cow.
“And the reason they won’t ruin it is because the man who makes the decisions, Barry Hearn, has been quite – I don’t know if it was a Freudian slip or what – but he came out and said, ‘We don’t care if he’s gonna fight [Wilder] in two years or 10 years, this is a seven-year plan.’ That tells you, ‘Let’s line up seven years of two fights a year, and let’s keep milking this cow.’ And that’s what their mentality is. Do they wanna fight these guys? Of course they don’t wanna fight them, not in a million years.”
Whyte reportedly could take another rematch against British rival Dereck Chisora (29-8, 21 KOs) in December. They engaged in one of the best action fights of 2016, a brutal battle Whyte won by split decision in December of that year.
Warren doesn’t think that rematch will happen because it could ruin Hearn’s plan for a Joshua-Whyte rematch April 13.
“I’m telling you now, they’re fighting Dillian Whyte, who he’s already beaten in seven rounds,” Warren said. “That’s where their heads are at.”
Alabama’s Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) and England’s Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) completed their three-day, three-city press tour Wednesday in Los Angeles. Wilder, 32, has been installed as slightly less than a 2-1 favorite over Fury, 30, in their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.