Eddie Hearn: Wilder Will Change Stance on Franchise Tag!
The hottest topic in boxing right now is the one thing that literally nobody understands nor can explain. It’s the WBC franchise tag which essentially holds absolutely no value.
The WBC has awarded the tag to two recipients so far; boxing’s highest earner four-divisional champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and unified lightweight champion Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko. Both moves have warranted scrutiny and confusion to many inside the boxing community. This has sparked a chain reaction among other fighters, saying they wouldn’t welcome the newly created franchise status.
One such fighter is WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder.
During a media workout, the WBC champion expressed that it wouldn’t be a welcomed move. In fact, he would have no problem with rejecting the offer. DAZN/Matchroom Promoter Eddie Hearn feels that it’s easy for the WBC to say that now. However, he feels a change of heart would take place depending on the circumstance.
In a recent interview with Sky Sports, Hearn explains why he carries these sentiments about the WBC champion.
“You can’t take anything Wilder says seriously.
“First of all he says one face, one name, one champion, and then we chase the undisputed fight for over a year, and he don’t want to know and Joshua loses and it’s one face, one name, one champion again.
“Now he says he’ll turn down a Franchise belt. If he gets the opportunity to duck Dillian Whyte or Anthony Joshua or anybody by being elevated to Franchise champion, he would do it in a heartbeat.”
Those are some extremely strong words from the flamboyant British promoter and, to be fair, he makes a compelling argument.
THE OVERLOOKED ISSUE IN THE CLAIM
There are some very key elements that make the always-vocal promoter’s statements problematic. Prior to Whyte’s July 20, 2019 fight with Oscar Rivas, he was told he would be made the WBC mandatory. Yet, as it stands right now, the reason for the current debacle concerning the loss of the mandatory position is because of a failed drug test investigation that still hasn’t been resolved.
Furthermore, in the case of fighting Joshua, it wouldn’t be a good business move to accept the franchise status. If the former unified heavyweight champion regains the thrown in the upcoming rematch taking place on December 7 in Dubai, becoming the franchise champion would mean the Alabama knockout artist would have no leverage at the negotiation table.
In addition, upon Joshua regaining the titles, becoming a mandatory wouldn’t be part of the equation.
The two named franchise tag holders were previous holders of multiple belts. Therefore, it didn’t hurt them in any type of marketable fashion. It wouldn’t be the same case when it comes to the WBC champion. Without an actual title, his ability to be relevant would be non-existent.
Hearn is spot-on at how the franchise designation, simply put, is a way to avoid facing a mandatory while still being listed as a belt holder for the WBC organization.
By: Garrisson Bland