By Karl Freitag
Promoter Eddie Hearn spoke in detail about reports of WBC interim heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte and allegations of a failed drug test during Saturday night’s DAZN stream. He also talked about why the Rivas camp wasn’t informed and the reluctance of WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz to fight in the UK.
Eddie Hearn: “Those reports are actually largely untrue. What I can tell you, is that both fighters, as in the majority of our fights, underwent full VADA testing, which Dillian Whyte paid for. $30,000, $40,000, and UKAD testing as well, which is a testing government agency employed by the British Boxing Board of Control. Dillian Whyte was asked to provide information at a hearing prior to the fight regarding the UKAD anti-doping test that he took. He presented all his results, mainly from his VADA testing. He was 100% cleared to fight and take part in the contest, therefore he’s licensed by the BBBofC, therefore myself who has a contract with both fighters, he’s appoved to fight.
“There is an ongoing issue which is confidential between Whyte and the (UKAD) Board, which you will hear about very soon. A lot of facts that have been reported aren’t true, but there was a hearing before that fight where they heard all the evidence and cleared Dillian Whyte to box in that event.”
On whether the Rivas camp should have been informed of the situation…
“Catch 22. After the event, very easy to say yes, but what are you going to do when a fighter’s cleared? Tell the opponent there was a hearing, the fighter’s cleared and it’s OK? One, that’s messing with his head. Two, it gives him grounds after the event to start talking about this guy who had a hearing and was cleared from the hearing. So I get the comments in that respect, but as far as I’m concerned, legally in terms of the route that was taken, he had a hearing, he was cleared, he was licensed by the commission and the event took place.
“What happens from here, I guess there is some uncertainty, but with Dillian Whyte, he’s guilty until proven innocent in this case, especially with social media these days, so we’ll see how it plays out. He’s now working very hard with his lawyers to clear his name. Pre-bout hearing, evidence given, cleared by the UKAD, by the commission, no reason he shouldn’t fight in that respect. You’ll make your own mind up as the evidence unfolds.”
On if he would have wanted to be informed if it was Oscar Rivas in the same situation…
“I don’t know. I mean when a fighter’s cleared, I mean I’m not a scientist. I’m not a governing body, I’m not a commission. When a fighter is cleared by a commission, you don’t know the evidence that was presented. Why did they clear Dillian Whyte? Well, clearly the evidence they presented gave them the grounds to do that, so I think it’s easy to say after the event, but at the time it unfolded very quickly. It was an incident that was dealt with in about 24/48 hours, you have a full hearing in front of the national anti-doping panel.
“I don’t know what more to tell you. I know it’s been a rough couple of weeks for boxing and these events last week certainly weren’t ideal. But the proper protocol was undertaken from start to finish.”
On Andy Ruiz indicating he will not go to the UK for his rematch with Anthony Joshua…
“There’s a lot of people on their high horse this week and I heard our friend Bob Arum talking about the BBBofC regarding Lomachenko coming there on August 31. We’ve all got a lot of work to do in boxing. Promoters, broadcasters, commissions especially. I see here week-in and week-out promoting shows in America that medically you guys are way behind things. There are fighters taking part week-in and week-out that have NO drug testing, so everybody’s quick to criticize, everybody’s quick to get on their high horse. Let the people in boxing act to make this sport safer. And particularly the commissions as well, to make sure there are proper paramedics at ringside, there’s proper oxygen supplies at ringside for fighters. We’ve got a duty to do that.
“Going back to Andy Ruiz, we will let him know where the venue is and he will accept. He knows what he signed up to do. He got the opportunity to fight Anthony Joshua. He will return the favor. It might not be in the UK. We might have some interesting news for you next week.”