Whyte calls on rivals to ‘adapt’ to new reality and accept pay cuts
Dillian Whyte yesterday criticised the highest-paid boxers in the world for refusing to take a pay cut to fight behind closed doors to keep the sport’s blue riband division buoyant and relevant for fans.
Whyte, the mandatory challenger for the World Boxing Council title held by Tyson Fury, is in Portugal preparing to face Alexander Povetkin on the lawns of Matchroom Sport in Brentwood, Essex, without a live audience, on Aug 22.
“There is no reason why there shouldn’t be these big fights. These are testing times. We need to adapt. We can’t just stop and sit around. The world doesn’t stop,” said Whyte, pointedly talking of rivals Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.
The WBC has mandated that Whyte must have the opportunity to challenge for the title before February 2021, but with the trilogy fight between Fury and Deontay Wilder tentatively pencilled in for Dec 19 in Las Vegas, it seems likely that Whyte’s opportunity will have to wait until next spring.
Whyte was incensed when the talk of Fury and Joshua having “agreed” to two fights for next year was announced by Fury.
“Straight away I got on the phone to Eddie Hearn and my guy got on the phone to WBC to ask what was going on to ask why my mandatory challenge was being overlooked again. I was enraged,” he said.
Elsewhere, the mandatory challenger to Joshua’s International Boxing Federation belt, Kubrat Pulev, has complained that Hearn has been stalling in rescheduling their June 20 contest.
Ivaylo Gotzev, the co-promoter of Bulgarian Pulev, accused Hearn of “smoke and mirror” tactics over a new venue and slammed Hearn for “dragging his heels” on rearranging the clash.
Hearn had suggested that JoshuaPulev could take place in Croatia this year.