Dillian Whyte was ‘too respectful’ in the build-up to his defeat against Tyson Fury and will ‘kick himself’ for not being aggressive enough, says Eddie Hearn… as he admits being ‘disappointed’ by his man’s performance at Wembley

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Eddie Hearn believes Dillian Whyte was ‘too respectful’ in the build-up to his defeat against Tyson Fury and will ‘kick himself’ for not being more aggressive on the night.

Tyson Fury

Whyte was knocked out in brutal fashion by Fury last weekend, succumbing to defeat at Wembley when a ferocious uppercut sent him tumbling to the canvas in round six.

Despite returning to his feet, the Brixton heavyweight was shaky on his legs when doing so and the bout was therefore called to a halt, ensuring Fury retained his WBC title.

It was a miserable outing for Whyte and his team, who saw their long-awaited crack at a world title end in disastrous fashion.

And Hearn, Whyte’s long-time promoter, admits his performance against Fury was ‘a bit disappointing’, while insisting he paid too much respect to the champion beforehand.

‘I thought it was a bit disappointing. Obviously I was disappointed on Dillian’s behalf,’ he told iFL TV.

‘I think he’ll kick himself a little bit that he didn’t do more in the fight. But it’s very easy sometimes against a very good heavyweight like [Oleksandr] Usyk and like Fury to say, “you should have done this and you should have been more aggressive, you should have cut the ring off and you should have done this”.

Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury

‘Fury’s very, very good. He’s very awkward and he boxed a very smart fight; he didn’t want to engage, he held a lot, he was very clever, he made it scrappy and boring and everything he needed to do, and then he produced a fantastic uppercut and a show-reel knockout.

‘So I have to give him a lot of credit and respect, as I did when he FaceTimed me on Sunday several times.

‘Gutted for Dillian, he’ll come again. I think he was a little bit too respectful in the build-up, especially fight week. Well only fight week, because that was the build-up!

‘I think he let Tyson just friend him a little bit before the fight and I think he’ll kick himself that he wasn’t more aggressive in the fight. But he lost to an excellent heavyweight and congratulations to Tyson Fury.’

Hearn had claimed before the contest that Fury is not a one-punch knockout artist, a statement which the Gypsy King defied by finishing Whyte with an explosive uppercut.

Despite his appreciation for Fury, the Matchroom boss stands by his pre-fight opinion, adding: ‘I did say that Tyson can punch, [but] I don’t feel that he’s a huge puncher in the division.

‘It was a weird shot, to be honest with you. But I have to give him credit because time and time again I’ve wrote him off, and time and time again he’s proved me wrong.

‘When I met him in Monaco and we talked about working together, I thought there was no chance in the world that I’d see Tyson Fury back in the ring – certainly at elite level.

‘What we saw was: he proved me wrong. Then when he boxed Wladimir Klitschko, I felt he had absolutely no chance in that fight whatsoever – he proved me wrong, he won the fight.

Tyson Fury

‘I didn’t think he’d beat Deontay Wilder and I didn’t think that he’d knock out Dillian Whyte in that way. But he’s done all of it. So I give him the credit, I stand by that I don’t feel like he’s a huge puncher in the division – of course he can punch – but again, won by knockout on Saturday and you have to give him props.’

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