Eddie Hearn has shrugged off Dillian Whyte’s complaints that he has been overlooked for Anthony Joshua’s next fight despite beating the man that has been chosen.
Although not officially announced, the man in the other corner for ‘AJ’s comeback is widely known to be American heavyweight, Jermaine Franklin.
He’s best known in the UK for his November 2022 fight with Whyte, losing via unanimous decision to the Brit but pleasantly surprising many pundits with his performance.
Whyte – who lost to Joshua in 2015 – made his feelings known to SunSport, calling the April 1 fight between his former opponent and Franklin the ‘battle of fools’, and branded Hearn and broadcaster DAZN scared of Joshua risking another loss on his record.
Hearn responded to Whyte’s rant via ID Boxing.
“I feel that Franklin gave Dillian Whyte a tremendous fight, and it was a very, very competitive close fight. So I don’t see why it’s a bad fight for Anthony Joshua. Anthony Joshua has no problem fighting Dillian Whyte. I think it’s a stadium fight, we can do that next.
AJ’s teamed up with a new trainer after losing two on the bounce against the pound-for-pound number one … Let’s see how Anthony Joshua does against Jermaine Franklin, versus how Dillian Whyte did against Jermaine Franklin.”
When pushed on Whyte’s claim that he was under the impression that the winner of his fight with Franklin would be given the Joshua shot, Hearn reiterated that it was never the plan.
“We’ve always planned for that fight for the summer. Dillian Whyte was coming off a defeat, he boxed Jermaine Franklin. AJ’s coming off two defeats, he’s boxing Jermaine Franklin.”
A press conference is expected this week to announce the Joshua-Franklin bout. Whyte, on the other hand, is on the sidelines with no opponent in sight. It’s unclear if he’ll accept a summer showdown with his old rival.