Eddie Hearn playfully predicted Dillian Whyte’s itinerary for the rest of 2020 and 2021.
“Listen, we’ve got Povetkin first,” Hearn said during a recent video interview with the British heavyweight contender for Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube Channel. “Then we want Andy Ruiz and then you’ve gotta fight for the WBC world title.”
Whyte wasn’t satisfied with the second phase of his promoter’s plan. As much as he wanted a fight with Ruiz earlier this year, the WBC’s interim heavyweight title-holder isn’t interested in facing the former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champ anymore.
“Forget Andy Ruiz,” Whyte said. “I want Joshua or Tyson Fury after Povetkin. Forget Andy Ruiz. Andy Ruiz has got a big fight with diabetes at the minute. Not type 1, type 2. Type 2, the bad one.”
London’s Whyte joked about Ruiz battling diabetes because the overweight ex-champion came into his immediate rematch against Anthony Joshua at 283½ pounds, 15 pounds more than he weighed when he upset Joshua by seventh-round technical knockout nearly a year ago at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Ruiz and Whyte went back and forth on social media before the COVID-19 pandemic began regarding Hearn’s $4 million offer to Ruiz to face Whyte, who initially claimed it was a $5 million offer for them to fight in the United States. Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) since has agreed to face former WBA champ Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs).
Whyte-Povetkin initially was scheduled for May 2 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. It was pushed back to July 4 at Manchester Arena due to coronavirus restrictions.
If Whyte, the mandatory challenger for Fury’s WBC crown, beats Povetkin, he is supposed to receive his title shot by sometime in February. That deadline could change due to the pandemic.
Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs), who lost a unanimous decision to Joshua in their rematch, does not have an opponent or a date for his next fight.
If Ruiz were to fight Whyte, Tony Bellew, who co-hosted the aforementioned show with Hearn, believes Whyte would become the first fighter to stop Ruiz inside the distance.
“It’s a brilliant fight, and it’s one that Dillian wins and wins quite handily, in my opinion,” Bellew said. “I actually think he stops Andy Ruiz. I just don’t think Andy Ruiz is cut out and set for the kind of pace that Dillian can set. That’s the first off. And then, number two, he doesn’t have the height, the reach, the size to be able to compete over 12 rounds. It’s all well and good fighting Andy Ruiz in his fight, which is up close and in the pocket, and letting him trade and get off.
“But Dillian has advantages going into that fight. First of all, his height and reach, they’re huge advantages. I think, you know, he’s actually probably a harder, one-punch hitter than Andy Ruiz. I don’t think you could see Andy Ruiz going in there and starching people. I think it’s a culmination. That’s how Andy Ruiz works. So, I think Dillian would beat Andy Ruiz, and I think Andy Ruiz knows that.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.