Ricky Hatton has expressed his opinion on the ongoing negotiations between Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, characterizing the entire situation as a "circus."
Initially, Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn had set their sights on arranging a rematch with Whyte, scheduled for August 12. The two fighters previously faced off in 2015, resulting in Joshua claiming victory through a knockout.
Dillian Whyte expressed dissatisfaction with the offered monetary terms, leading promoter Eddie Hearn to indicate that the fight between Whyte and Joshua was unlikely to materialize. Consequently, Joshua began considering alternative opponents.
However, the situation took a turn when Whyte informed talkSPORT that he was now willing to accept the proposed offer. In response, Hearn promptly sent over a contract for review.
Unfortunately, another hurdle arose as the contract included a standard rematch clause, commonly included in Anthony Joshua's fights. 'The Bodysnatcher' made it clear that he had no interest in facing Joshua twice if he emerged victorious. Instead, he expressed a strong preference for a highly anticipated showdown against Deontay Wilder towards the end of the year. As a result, negotiations once again hit a standstill.
"The heavyweight scene is a little bit upsetting, isn't it?" Hatton told talkSPORT.
"I'm not pointing any fingers at promoters or TV or even fighters, but it's a little bit like a circus at the minute, you don't know who to believe or what to believe.
"I originally saw that Dillian Whyte vs Anthony Joshua was going to be made in August and then Dillian Whyte said he hasn't even had an offer and then Eddie Hearn said he had made an offer and then they were arguing over how much the offer was and I was thinking to myself 'what do you believe?'."
Hatton then also touched on Tyson Fury's current situation where he is also without an opponent, despite having not fought since December last year, and yet the WBC recently revealed they will not be ordering a mandatory defense of his world title.
"AJ and Tyson [Fury] haven't fought since nearly Christmas and I remember back in the day when you won the title you had a certain number of days to defend it otherwise you got stripped.
"I don't know what's happening these days but it's like the governing bodies are making up their own rules for their financial benefit and it's hurting our sport.
"Negotiating is part of the business. I've been there and you want the best deal, but sometimes they're going to cut the nose off to spite the face.
"You see YouTubers, rappers and Mixed Martial Artists fighting each other and they're the ones pulling in the crowds while our sport is suffering and it's because big fights aren't being made."