Wilder vs Whyte on tap? Hearn stacking the odds?
Will the WBC force its heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, to face red hot No. 1 contender Dillian Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) next?
Or will the organization step aside and allow Wilder a voluntary defense prior to facing his WBA/IBF peer Anthony Joshua in what would be the biggest fight in boxing?
Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua and Whyte, thinks the WBC will attempt to make Wilder vs Whyte in 2018 a reality.
"Dillian can box him in June or July or whenever," Hearn said via BoxingScene.
"[Wilder] may have no choice, because if Mauricio Sulaiman orders the mandatory.... he boxed Stiverne which was an outstanding mandatory, but at some point in 2018 the WBC is going to call the mandatory."
"We're offering him $3 million dollars, plus U.S. TV [money], which [all together] is around $4 million. I reckon that he made about $2.5 million against Ortiz. But this week is going to be fun, because Wilder is coming to Cardiff and Dillian is coming to Cardiff, and there will be 80,000 people."
Stacking the odds
This isn't the first time Hearn as offered Whyte as a substitute for Joshua. Late last year, while fans and media were discussing the probability of a Joshua vs Wilder superfight, Hearn was floating Wilder vs Whyte.
"He [Wilder] hasn’t had a serious fight yet and he needs to fight someone real before he can start making demands," stated Hearn via The Sun UK.
"I want him to fight Dillian Whyte at the O2 on February 3."
Now, after Wilder's sensational win over elite-level heavyweight Luis Ortiz, Hearn still seems to be floating Whyte over Joshua.
Is Hearn using Whyte as an obstacle to Wilder vs Joshua?
Should Whyte upset Wilder, Hearn would win big because he'd be able to solely promote Joshua vs Whyte 2 and not have to share revenue with another promotional outfit. And more importantly, Hearn would control the champion no matter the outcome.
And should Wilder fight and defeat Whyte in England before facing Joshua, it'll be a big, money-making opportunity for Hearn & Co and the winner's stock will be sky high heading into mega Joshua showdown making that fight even more lucrative.
The worst-case scenario for Hearn would be Wilder defeating Joshua without having fought Whyte first.
A good promoter with leverage will always stack the odds in his/her favor and/or their fighters'.
Don't be surprised if Wilder vs Whyte happens next and the winner fights Joshua.