Eddie Hearn believes that his promotional know-how would have helped Dillian Whyte better navigate fight week with Tyson Fury.
The promotion for the WBC heavyweight title defence was one of the strangest of the year. Due to behind the scenes contract disputes, Whyte didn’t show up for the first press conference and barely promoted the fight on social media.
When he did, he was polite and the pair – much to fans’ surprise – were cordial.
As for the action in the ring, the challenger from Brixton didn’t find much success at all, and Fury ended proceedings in the sixth with an uppercut knockout.
Hearn, who has promoted Whyte’s fights throughout his career, told Sporting News that his involvement would have helped.
“I’ve never had a contract with Dillian White and he’s just chosen to work with us over the years. I felt like it was a mistake to not have us more involved.
I think he looked lost: he looked lost in the promotion, he looked lost on the ring walk. Sometimes you need those familiar faces — those people that know the sport and the business inside out.”
Frank Warren and Queensberry, Fury’s promoters, submitted a winning purse bid of £31million ($41,025,000) to have the right to stage the fight. It was a record bid, split 80/20 in their fighter’s favour, and cleared Hearn’s number by around $10 million.
As for the fight itself, Hearn agreed with the majority in recognising it as a one-sided contest – believing that to be a mixture of a poor showing from Whyte and the elite skills of Fury.
“He took a shot against Tyson Fury, but it was a poor performance from Dillian Whyte. I’m not taking anything away from Tyson Fury, though, who is a fantastic fighter. There’s a difference sometimes between world level and elite level, and Tyson Fury showed the levels that night.
[When he came out southpaw], I was wondering, ‘what’s going on?!’ He did quite well in that round — maybe he should have stayed southpaw! It was an interesting tactic. Fury looked confused. We all were!”
For his part, Whyte has remained adamant that the stoppage was early, although not many in the sport argue that point alongside him.
The fan favourite is coming off a win over formerly undefeated American, Jermaine Franklin, and will be looking for a big 2023 under Hearn’s guidance to get into a position of challenging for a world title once more.
Fury has stayed undefeated with a win over Derek Chisora, and looks to fight for the undisputed title against Oleksandr Usyk next.