In what he claims will be the last fight of his 14-year career, Tyson Fury will defend his WBC and lineal heavyweight titles on Saturday against interim champion Dillian Whyte in London.
Of course, few people actually believe that 33-year-old Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) will be gone for good, regardless of the outcome. Still, the event is big enough (ESPN+PPV, 2 p.m. ET) to earn the attention of the entire sporting world as the two heavyweights square off in their home country in front of a record crowd of 94. 000 people at Wembley Stadium.
The fight will mark the first time Fury has fought anyone other than former champion Deontay Wilder since 2019. It will also be the first time Fury has returned to fight in the UK since a 2018 win over Francesco Pianeta in Ireland. North.
“Dillian Whyte is a good fighter,” Fury said at Wednesday’s final press conference. “He’s a good, strong, solid man. He’s big, he’s strong [and] he is hard. He is in, he has good power. He knocked out a lot of men. He also had a good learning career. He has a lot of experience in the fighting game. He’s definitely a man who needs a lot of respect.
“That’s why I gave all this training camp we had. I had everything I could do to train for this. I didn’t leave anything out. I trained as hard for Dillian as I have for Wilder or [Wladimir] Klitschko.”
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Fury was hoping to fight unified champion Oleksandr Usyk to open 2022 in a four-belt undisputed title fight, but Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) and former champion Anthony Joshua, who is set to face Usyk this summer, have both refuse. money aside to clear the way.
Instead, the 34-year-old Whyte is expected to be a tall order at the 6ft 9in Fury with his 6ft 4in frame, durability and punching power. Whyte, who was born in Jamaica before emigrating to England, is 12-1 since a 2015 knockout loss to Joshua and avenged the only loss – a devastating 2020 knockout at the hands of Alexander Povetkin – ending it in their rematch five months later.
Whyte has been a sparring partner to Fury in the past and earned the champion’s respect throughout a tough winning streak on his way to the title fight against Derek Chisora (twice), Robert Helenius, Lucas Browne, Oscar Rivas, Mariusz Wach and former champion Joseph Parker.
“[Whyte] is a good fighter. Fans are in for a treat,” Fury said. “I know Dillian. I know him personally and he knows me. And we’re gonna rock n’ roll on fight night. We’re ready to jump in and give ourselves one hell of a barnstorm.”
Whyte is known for his often cantankerous ways in the past, including storming out of press conferences while protesting his purse. He made a similar stunt on February 28 by not showing up at the launch press conference because he was upset that he was not getting a percentage of PPV sales as part of his deal.
The purses for this superfight are huge as Fury is expected to earn $29.5 million to Whyte’s career-best $7.4 million. The winner of the fight will also earn an additional $4.1 million, as negotiated by the two fighters.
“There was no strategy [in skipping the press conference,]said Whyte. “There are two versions of his story. You only hear one side of the story because one side says a lot. Because I didn’t say anything, everyone was saying ‘you’re scared’ and ‘you’re hiding’. I’m not afraid of shit. I don’t hide shit. Things needed to be done.
“[The fight] Says it all. It’s massive. It’s a moment I’ve been waiting for. It’s a big fight. Like Tyson said, we weren’t expecting to be here. But I’m here, but I’ve taken risks time and time again. I had a few slip-ups along the way, but I’m here and ready to go. You won’t hear any bullshit from me. I’m ready to go.”
Whyte told reporters he needed to be adaptable in order to defeat the sleek Fury, who will hold advantages of five inches in height and seven inches in reach.
“I’m going to make smart decisions, when I have to do what and how I have to do it, and how I have to approach what I’m doing,” Whyte said. “So that’s it. There’s no strategy here. That’s it. I just need to go out there and do my thing.”
Just below the main event is a very British card with plenty of names fans in the US haven’t seen yet. Ekow Essuman takes on Darren Tetley with the ‘Commonwealth, British and IBF European’ welterweight titles on the line. Isaac Lowe is set to face Nick Ball for the vacant ‘WBC silver’ featherweight title. David Adeleye and Chris Healey meet at heavyweight. And the biggest name on the undercard is Tyson Fury’s half-brother Tommy, who returns in a light heavyweight bout against Daniel Bocianski.
Below is the full fight card for Saturday in England along with odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Plus, how you can watch the fight before you come to a prediction and choose the main event.
Fight card, odds
- Tyson Fury (c) -575 vs. Dillian Whyte +425, WBC heavyweight title
- Ekow Essuman -1400 vs. Darren Tetley +800, welterweight
- Isaac Lowe -135 vs. Nick Ball +115, featherweight
- David Adeleye -6000 vs. Chris Healey +1700, heavyweight
- Tommy Fury -3000 vs. Daniel Bocianski +1300, light heavyweights
- Date: April 23 | Start time: 2 p.m. ET (main event around 5 p.m. ET)
- Location: Wembley Stadium – London
- Flow: ESPN+PPV | Price: $69.99
Whether he’s knocked out trying or delivering the boom himself, Whyte has a decorated history against elite competition by getting inside and turning things into a fight. Given Fury’s pre-fight comments, it’s a doom he seems to accept, which is why his predictions have always been a knockout blow.
In many ways, Fury’s third fight against Wilder last fall was the perfect precondition for the challenge Whyte brings to the table. Despite entering after an 18-month layoff due to the pandemic and being forced off the canvas twice in a wild fourth round, Fury dug in and held up well against a bigger puncher en route to a violent 11th round. .
Fury’s performance was part of his multi-year transition from his first fight against Wilder in 2018 when he surprisingly severed ties with trainer Ben Davison in favor of more attacking mind SugarHill Steward, a disciple of his late uncle and Hall of Fame. trainer Emmanuel Steward of Kronk Gym in Detroit. Fury also took his father John’s advice to bulk up to heart as he gained over 20 pounds between Wilder’s first and third fights.
The main difference for Fury in preparing Whyte, as opposed to Wilder, is that Whyte is much less crude in terms of the technique he uses to set up his power shots. For this reason, Fury will have to mix his two styles of boxing and punching well. And if his public training this week was any indication, in which he worked left-handed for the entirety, chances are ‘The Gypsy King’ has a few wrinkles up his sleeve to keep Whyte guessing.
In the end, Whyte pushes the pace pretty steadily until either he or you are stopped. While this kind of challenge brings danger to Fury, it’s not something he hasn’t dealt with and the gap between them in hand speed and technique should be enough for Fury to create a pad so that his power shots can get away clean.
To take: Fury via TKO10
Who wins Whyte vs. Fury? And what accessory is essential? Visit SportsLine now to see Brandon Wise’s best bets for Saturday, all from combat sports pundit CBS who crushed his 2021 boxing picks, and find out.