Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn takes some time to give his reaction to Dillian Whyte not appearing for the opening press conference for his world title fight against Tyson Fury. Hearn says Whyte hasn’t be treated with the respect he deserves so far in this promotion, and later touches on the status of the heavyweight title rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua. Check out some excerpts of what Hearn had to say below.
Hearn on Whyte not showing up for the opening press conference
“Just been disrespect, really, in my opinion. There’s still a lot of stuff that’s still to be resolved, that he hasn’t had answers for. I don’t want to go into it too much but, you know, tickets for the fight, escrow for the money, he wanted a plane to bring him in, he didn’t want to just go on a low budget airline because COVID still exists.
“Some people want to buy Rolls Royces but they can’t afford the petrol. And this is a problem. If you want to spend $42 million on a fight, are you going to bring in a guy from Portugal and you want to put him on an airline? There’s other stuff, they don’t want to give him tickets for the fight. So under a purse bid agreement there’s things he does and doesn’t have to do, like it’s not a commercial agreement as per normal. So it’s his own decision. I saw Tyson Fury say ‘I told him not to go to the press conference’ — absolute rubbish. So there’s still some things to be sorted out and hopefully we can get there.”
On if Whyte not being at the presser to promote the fight hurts the fight’s commercial appeal
“It’s not our fight so I’m not really that bothered, really. I just want Dillian Whyte to prepare the best he can and be in the best condition for the fight...If they wanted him there they could’ve had him there, but sort of really didn’t make the effort to treat him in the appropriate manner, in my opinion.
“I think Dillian Whyte’s been waiting a long time for this fight, he just wants to make sure he can make it there healthily, physically ready for the fight.”
On if Whyte has a real shot to beat Fury
“Absolutely. He’s a very, very tough man. He’s had Tyson over many times in sparring so he’s very confident. He believes he can knock him out and he has a devastating left hook and he’s a fantastic body puncher. Tyson’s a very good fighter so it’s a very good fight, but absolutely live in this fight...He’s the underdog but he has the ability to turn your lights out with one left hook, and if Tyson Fury gets sloppy that will land on him and it’ll stop him.”
On the status of Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2 considering Usyk has gone back to the Ukraine to defend his country
“We obviously respect Oleksandr Usyk and our thoughts are with everybody in Ukraine. We’ll give him the time that he needs and we don’t know how long that’s gonna take. The only fight AJ wants is Oleksandr Usyk, so we don’t want that obligation for the rematch to disappear, we don’t want to get out of it, he’s already turned down a lot of money to get out of it — AJ’s got no interest. If we’ve got to have an interim belt whilst we wait for Oleksandr Usyk that’s something we’ll look at as well but we want the Oleksandr Usyk fight and we’ll give him the time and respect that he needs.”