TheSportsman.com have obtained an exclusive interview with Boxing Promoter Eddie Hearn ahead of the Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas fight this weekend.
Eddie Hearn… On his gut feeling about where the Joshua vs Ruiz rematch will take place
“I think if I had to choose anywhere, I would say Cardiff. I think the general feeling around the training team is that Cardiff would be the wise thing to do, as you’ve already done one in America.
“However there’s also that argument of going back to America for the fight. I would love to do it in Britain, because I think it would be great for British Boxing, probably the biggest fight of all time in this country.
“AJ’s got to make the call, he asked me where I wanted it and I said no,no,no, you have to tell me where you want to do it. I’m not going to make a decision like this, we can give you our advice and we will do that next week.
“It was always a straight race between Cardiff and New York and we had a couple of approaches which were interesting both financially and historically as well. I’ve been asked to explore them, which we’ve been doing this week and at the weekend we will be making the decision.”
On whether Oscar Rivas can cause an upset against Dillian Whyte
“Massive banana skin, because I see so many similarities between the Joshua and Ruiz fight and the Whyte and Rivas fight.
“Two great amateurs in Oscar Rivas and Andy Ruiz, in fact Oscar Rivas beat Andy Ruiz in the amateurs, and two fighters in Joshua and Whyte who had limited amateur experience and limited professional experience as well.
“Two guys where everyone is talking about their future fights, WBC mandatory, Joshua against Fury and Whyte, are you’re overlooking these guys?
“Rivas and Ruiz are coming in with incredible hunger and Rivas’ team from the first bell have come in and said ‘We’re going to stick it on him and we’re going to go to war for 12 rounds’, and they’ve got it in the tank, so you’re going to get an amazing fight.
The value in Rivas in the price is sensational because I do see it as a 50/50 fight.”
On the betting market for the whole event including undercard fights
“From a betting level, there’s a fascinating card on Saturday night, so much value.
“I think sometimes the criticism is fights at the O2 are one sided, and you’ve seen so many times, guys at 7,8,9 to 1, going in and causing what we think is an upset, but in boxing terms it’s not seen to be so much of an upset.
“I think on saturday night you have so much value with so many 50/50 fights.”
On the winner becoming the mandatory for the WBC World Heavyweight Title
“The winner of this fight will become the mandatory for the WBC World Title and it will take place before May 2020, so basically what you’re seeing in this fight, is that the winner will likely be the mandatory for the winner of Fury vs Wilder.
“As Dillian Whyte said, sometimes these things can go on until June, but once you’re mandatory challenger, you’re mandatory challenger, that’s what we’ve been pushing for for so long, so he’s going to have to win on Saturday as it’s all irrelevant if he doesn’t get the win against Rivas.”
On Dave Allen vs David Price and whether Price is fighting for his career in this fight
“I think everyone is fighting for their career, in three heavyweight fights, because careers can be defined at three different levels.
“Dillian Whyte just wants to win a Heavyweight title, so if he loses this fight, then his career is in tatters in that respect.
“Dave Allen has been up and down and so has David Price, so yeah it depends at what level you want to operate at.
“If you’re David Price and you’re happy to fight six or eight rounders and you lose, then your career is not on the line, but I think both Dave Allen and David Price both have the mentality in this fight that there career is on the line.
“Your head says Price inside four, Allen after, but you also know that both guys have the power to end it at any moment. I can’t wait to see that fight, it’s going to be a fascinating fight to watch.
“Chisora vs Szpilka will be the same, another brilliant 50/50 fight. How much has Chisora got left? We know he doesn’t like southpaws. How much has Szpilka got left? They’re going to war at the O2, and it’s just a brilliant card top to bottom.”
On Tommy Fury in Love Island
“I’ve not watched it, but he’s making a name for himself isn’t he. He’s going to come out and I think he’s going to have an interesting boxing career.
“However he may just bin the boxing off now and become a celeb. The whole Fury family are characters and even though I’ve not watched it, I heard he’s been doing very well.”