LONDON. — Promoter Eddie Hearn says Dereck Chisora is “still the front-runner” to face Dillian Whyte in a heavyweight boxing fight on December 22, despite Luis Ortiz putting his name forward.
The British rivals are currently in negotiations for a fight and Zimbabwe-born Chisora revealed earlier last week that he is confident a heavyweight rematch can soon be agreed.
Ortiz has also put himself forward as an alternative opponent, with the WBC welcoming the bout, but Hearn insists that a fight with “Del Boy” is the one they are trying to finalise.
“Chisora is still definitely the front-runner,” Hearn exclusively told Sky Sports.
“Ortiz is scheduled to fight on the Wilder-Fury card on December 1 and wanted to make some noise by saying, ‘I want to fight Dillian Whyte.’ Maybe he will.
“Chisora is a big fight and one we’ve been working on for a while.
“Dillian Whyte will be boxing December 22, whatever happens, and I think it will be against Chisora.”
Chisora last week branded himself as the “Money Man” and is confident he can agree a heavyweight rematch with Whyte.
Chisora made an audacious £5 million offer to Whyte last month, and insists there is more public demand for a showdown with him, rather than Ortiz.
“Yeah, we’re going to try to do the fight this week,” Chisora exclusively told Sky Sports last week.
“We’ll see what happens anyway, but we definitely want to make the fight for December 22. By the weekend, and then everything announced.
“We haven’t started [talks], but I believe by the end of this weekend, or we’ll have done it by Friday.
“I’m going to smash him. No one wants to see that (Whyte-Ortiz), so I don’t know why he’s talking about Luis Ortiz. I’m the Money Man.”
Hearn then confirmed that Ortiz and Dominic Breazeale remain on the shortlist for Whyte, but hopes to reach an agreement for the Chisora fight.
“We want to make sure the December 22 card is confirmed early (this) week,” said Hearn. “Dillian Whyte will fight on that night at the O2, and we want to make the Chisora fight.
“Widely that is the fight everyone wants to see. We do have the options of Breazeale or Ortiz as well, but we’ll see if a deal can be done in the next few days with Chisora and if not, we’ll move on.
“Whenever you get two guys who don’t particularly like each other and [they] don’t want to give an inch in their negotiations. Hopefully both of them are long enough in the tooth to not let the fight slip.
“The first one was one of the best heavyweight fights I’ve seen, and the second one will be as well. There’s a lot of money to be made for each other in this fight, it’s a huge event but no-one really wants to give.
“But as we draw near the time, I am hoping both of them just need to give themselves a little kick to get it over the line.” — Sky Sports.