Eddie Hearn isn’t certain whether Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua will fight next.
Their promoter hopes, of course, that the worst-case scenario is that Joshua and Whyte will partake in one bout apiece prior to their rematch taking place sometime next summer at Wembley Stadium in London. Hearn even suggested that Joshua, the former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion, could face American Jermaine Franklin next, now that Franklin legitimized himself as a contender against Whyte on Saturday night.
Either way, Hearn’s promotional plan is for Joshua and Whyte to meet again in a rematch of their December 2015 fight, which was Joshua’s last bout before he became a champion. Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) stopped Whyte in the seventh round of that fight at O2 Arena in London.
“I mean, I think it’s always a big fight,” Hearn said of the Joshua-Whyte rematch during Whyte’s post-fight press conference following his victory over Franklin. “You know, genuinely I think they’ve always wanted to fight each other again. It’s 1-1, you know, one from the amateurs [for Whyte in 2009], one from the pros. The second fight, which seems a lifetime away now, was just an epic night.
“And the third would be as well. This time, it wouldn’t be at the O2, it would be at Wembley. So, you know, I think we’ll see what’s next for Dillian. Maybe Dillian has one in February, March, and AJ has one in March or whatever, and then they meet in the summer at Wembley. Or maybe they go straight into it. We’ll talk to everybody and see what’s next.”
Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs), of Saginaw, Michigan, pushed Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) throughout a 12-round fight Whyte was heavily favored to win at OVO Arena Wembley in London. Whyte won by scores of 116-112, 116-112 and 115-115, but Franklin fought well enough to secure another high-profile fight.
“Maybe AJ fights Jermaine Franklin in February or March,” Hearn said. “I don’t know. Like he gave a very good account of himself, gave Dillian Whyte a good fight. You know, but I think [Joshua has] got a number of names that he’s looking at as well. But, you know, I don’t really think that Dillian is looking at a rematch with Jermaine Franklin.
“But at the same time, you know, I think he wants big fights and as you approach the back end of your career that Dillian’s in and AJ’s in as well – you know, they’ve probably got five, six fights, whatever it’s gonna be, you want big fights because every training camp is hard. You know, and there’s no point in having small fights at this stage because every training camp’s a tough training camp.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.