By Scott Gilfoid: Dillian Whyte (22-1, 16 KOs) says he’s ready to step in for WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) as the opponent for IBF/WBA champion Anthony Joshua’s next fight in early 2018.
The negotiations between Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) and Parker have reached an impasse over the purse split. Parker wants a 35/85 split of the revenue, whereas Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn want a 70-30 split to face him in a unification fight. Whyte, 29, is one of Hearn’s fighters in his Matchroom Sport stable, and that makes him the ideal opponent to plug in as Joshua’s next opponent if Parker isn’t willing to agree to the smaller 30 percent cut that has been offered to him.
It doesn’t look like Hearn and Joshua are truly interested in negotiating with Parker and his promoter David Higgins in the true sense of the word. Negotiation is supposed to involve give and take. In Hearn’s case, it appears he came to the negotiating table with one figure in mind and he’s stuck with it in offering Parker 30 percent. If Hearn and Higgins fail to give in, then the negotiations will soon fizzle. Joshua will then need a Plan-B option. That’s where Whyte comes in.
“It’s either Parker or me,” said Whyte to skysports.com in talking about him being option No.2 for Joshua’s next fight. “I’m happy to take the fight, but I’ve got to compensated the right way. That’s all it is. I’ll take the fight to him more this time. Last time I tried to outbox him…I wasn’t in the best condition for that level of fight. I’ve been working on that every day. Every fight my condition is better than the last. With Joshua, the main thing is to push him back, try and make him start missing punches as soon as he can,” said Whyte.
If Whyte gets the fight with Joshua, then you must see it as a case of Hearn viewing him as an easy mark that doesn’t possess the talent to beat AJ. If Whyte was viewed as a true threat to beat Joshua, there’s little chance that Hearn would offer him the fight. Hearn isn’t going to let his main gravy train fighter Joshua get beaten by putting him in with someone that he’s not confident he can beat. Whyte has obviously been deemed harmless by Hearn by his recent awful performance against Robert Helenius last October. Whyte was luck he didn’t get knocked out in that fight, because he was hurt in the 2nd round.