Friday, June 02, 2023  |


Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte shake hands ahead of heavyweight title fight at Wembley

Tyson Fury remained Ring/WBC heavyweight champ, while top contender Dillian Whyte dropped spot in the rankings. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
Fighters Network

Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte shook hands ahead of their Saturday fight at a sold-out Wembley Stadium but both promised war.

The tone was respectful and professional at the pre-fight press conference in the first head-to-head the fighters have done in the build-up.

Around 94,000 fans will fill Wembley on Saturday.

“This is more than boxing,” said Top Rank’s Todd duBoef. “It’s an honour to be a part of. It’s going to be a wonderful night and we will all remember it.”

Fury said that his seven-week camp with Sugar Hill had gone well and that he expects Whyte to give him a good fight. He was also surprised that the bookmakers have him (Fury) a convincing favourite.

“Great preparation…” said Fury. “He’s a good fighting man and the fans are in for a good night. It’s been absolutely fantastic. It’s been an amazing journey from where I started all those years ago, all the ups and downs, drugs, alcohol, fighting Deontay Wilder in America… It’s been a great journey and we’re looking for a memorable night.”

Whyte spoke about finally getting his shot and admitted “there were other things” that prevented his participation in the build-up. “If things are done and happy and it’s worth it [he’ll do it], but if it’s not I won’t,” said Whyte.

But, focusing on his journey, Whyte explained: “It means everything to me to fight in my own country for the world title. It’s a big fight. We weren’t expected to be here [when they sparred together 10 years ago], especially me, but I’m here and ready to go. I’m ready to rock and roll.”

Whyte wouldn’t give away his strategy but said he had been training to be adaptable.

“Win, lose or draw I always come to fight,” he said.

“He’s definitely a man who deserves a lot of respect and everything I’ve been able to do this camp I’ve done,” Fury added. “He’ll be fighting the best Tyson Fury. I’m injury free and he’s fighting the best version of me.”

Fury spoke about the sparring sessions from a decade ago but said not much could be taken from them. “Sparring is sparring,” he said, adding that they went out for food and drink together but making it known they are different men and fighters today, 10 years on. “Dillian came in and did his job [in sparring] like the rest of the guys helping me prepare for the fight.”

Talking about the odds in his favour, Fury added: “f I’m not on my A game, he’s going to knock my head off.”

Whyte added: “I believe in myself and victory by any means necessary, I’ll do that.”

Promoter Frank Warren was left to say: “It’s going to be a war. Do not miss it, it’s going to be a classic.”

There was a minor altercation on the stage between John Fury and members of Whyte’s camp but it didn’t amount to anything.