Talks broke off with Wilder for a clash with Anthony Joshua in June, mainly down to the heavyweight king’s two-fight deal with Wembley and inability to offer an immediate rematch in the United States, and Hearn has the perfect warm-up for the WBC champion in the pipeline.
Hearn needed Whyte to take care of Joseph Parker at The O2 in order for the checkbook to be unleashed on Wilder for what could be a mouth-watering home defense for the American due to ‘The Bodysnatcher’ raising his stock.
Initially offering the deal during Joshua negotiations, Hearn’s plan has seemingly always been to push Whyte to be the Wilder stop-gap challenger with his main man tied to Alexander Povetkin.
A $20m ($5m in October / $15m for Joshua in April) two-fight deal was put on the table for Wilder to compete on Hearn’s new DAZN platform this year, with the Matchroom boss revealing his intentions to now up the ante to almost double for a battle against Whyte.
“I’d probably go up to $7m or $8m for Deontay Wilder to fight Dillian Whyte now. I’ll be making Wilder an offer this week for Dillian Whyte again,” said Hearn.
“We could do it in America, we could do it in Brooklyn. Wilder seems to be worried about coming to the UK so we will do it in Brooklyn. It will make fortunes for the pair of them.
“Whyte is (also) a big fight for AJ. It’s massive but I would like Dillian Whyte to fight Wilder.
“Wilder hasn’t got an opponent for November. We could do that on DAZN, on Sky Box Office,” he added,
Wilder has always been adverse to giving Whyte the time of day, although his weekend victory over a former world champion in Joseph Parker could spark some interest.
Should Hearn be able to guarantee the Joshua blockbuster (with a US rematch clause) into the contract for an encounter with Whyte, there’s no reason why Wilder wouldn’t be interested in taking on ‘The Lone Wolf’ beforehand.
Despite Whyte sitting at number one in the WBC ratings, special dispensation would be required due to mandatory requirements laid down to Wilder, which may well mean asking to delay a stipulated fight with Dominic Breazeale for over a year.
The ultimate goal for Wilder is to be undisputed, and if he has to go through Whyte to get the chance to fulfill his dream, the green belt holder may indeed sign on the dotted line with ‘AJ’ firmly in mind.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay