One of the biggest UK sporting events of the year will see champion Tyson Fury defend his heavyweight crown against mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte on Saturday night.
Fury’s WBC and The Ring heavyweight titles will be on the line at London’s Wembley Stadium, in a clash described by The Telegraph as an “all-British blockbuster”.
“The Gypsy King” Fury has not fought in the UK since his August 2018 bout against Francesco Pianeta in Belfast and the Whyte showdown is his first in London since February 2015. The unbeaten champion makes his homecoming after five fights in the US, including three epic battles against heavyweight rival Deontay Wilder.
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Up to 94,000 fans are expected to be at England’s national football stadium, for what is set to be “a record for a British boxing crowd”, said Katherine Lucas on the i news site.
Promoter Frank Warren is predicting an “incredible night” and a “huge occasion” for British sport. “Tyson Fury coming home to fight under the arch at Wembley Stadium is a fitting reward for the No.1 heavyweight in the world following his exploits across the Atlantic in his epic trilogy against Deontay Wilder,” Warren said. “The fact that this mandatory defence of his WBC title comes against another Brit only adds to the occasion. They are two of the biggest characters in British sport and both normally have plenty to say for themselves.”
1. Start time and UK TV and radio coverage
The battle of the British boxers will be shown exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office. The pay-per-view bout costs £24.95 in the UK and €29.99 in the Republic of Ireland.
Undercard action from Wembley begins at 6pm (BST) and the ring walks for the main event is expected to be at around 10pm (BST).
TalkSPORT has the radio rights, with coverage starting from 7pm.
Tyson Fury vs. Dillian White
- What: WBC and The Ring heavyweight world title fight
- When: Saturday 23 April 2022
- Where: Wembley Stadium, London
- Main event ring walks: 10pm BST (approximately)
- TV coverage: live on BT Sport Box Office
- Radio coverage: live on talkSPORT
- Tickets: Ticketmaster.co.uk
2. What the fighters say
Final press conference
Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte finally came face-to-face for the first time at the pre-fight press conference on Wednesday. The world’s boxing media “packed out” a room at Wembley Stadium, with many expecting a “hostile, intense and unpredictable meeting” between the two Britons, said Kal Sajad on BBC Sport. “Instead, there was a great deal of mutual respect, and even light-hearted exchanges.”
Both fighters are known for their “fiery pressers”, said Matt Davies on MailOnline. But it was Fury’s father, John, who “nearly came to blows” with Whyte’s team. The Gypsy King was “forced to step in and calm the situation down on stage” while Whyte branded John Fury “an idiot” in the immediate aftermath.
What Fury said
“We’re going to treat you all to a hell of a barnstormer. He’s a good fighter. A good, strong, solid man. He has a good punch with good power – he's knocked out a lot of men. He’s definitely a man who needs a lot of respect and that’s what I’ve given him by my training camp. I’ve trained as hard for Dillian as I have for [Deontay] Wilder, [Wladimir] Klitschko or anybody. I see the odds and laugh a bit because they’re coming from people who don’t know anything about boxing. This is heavyweight boxing. Anyone can win with one punch. If I’m not on my A Game, this guy will knock my head right off my shoulders.”
What Whyte said
“It’s a big fight and I’m excited to be here. Sorry I couldn’t be here earlier but I’m here now. We’ve worked hard in the gym, I believe in myself and I’m willing to do whatever it takes. Victory by any means necessary I’ll do that. I’m not scared to take risks, it’s nothing new. It means everything to fight in my home country for the world title. It’s massive. Me and him didn’t expect to be here, especially me. I’ve taken risks time and time and time again. I’m ready to rock and roll.”
3. The champion: Tyson Fury
Tale of the tape: profile and professional boxing record
- Nationality: British
- Nickname: The Gypsy King
- Age: 33
- Total fights: 32
- Record: 31 wins, 22 KOs, 1 draw, zero losses
- Stance: Orthodox
- Height: 6ft 9in
- Reach: 85in
4. The challenger: Dillian Whyte
Tale of the tape: profile and professional boxing record
- Nationality: British
- Nickname: The Body Snatcher
- Age: 34
- Total fights: 30
- Record: 28 wins, 19 KOs, 2 losses
- Stance: Orthodox
- Height: 6ft 4ins
- Reach: 78ins
5. Fury vs. Whyte predictions: who will win the fight?
What the pundits say
Pundits, fans, fighters and trainers are having their say ahead of the big event at Wembley – and Fury is an overwhelming favourite to defeat underdog Whyte.
Fury is the ‘knockout king’
In his early prediction, Jeremy Herriges on Fansided said Whyte “can damage” Fury if he “lands the right punch”, but he will “never get the opportunity”. He added: “Fury should stop Whyte by round 7 TKO. He has one-punch power, but there’s a good chance that the referee will have to save Whyte from himself. Regardless, Wembley Stadium will be rocking.”
The Racing Post’s “best bet” is for Fury to win by stoppage. “Fury is a far better operator than those two boxers and it’s hard to see how the Bodysnatcher can win this fight.”
With Fury fighting someone other than Wilder for the first time in more than two and a half years, “it’s difficult to know what to expect”, said Matt Verri in the London Evening Standard. “Both fighters have shown they are capable of getting up off the canvas and have impressive chins, so there’s every chance that both will have to come through difficult periods in the bout. However, Fury has proved impossible to stop so far in his career and even if Whyte gets his opponent in trouble, it’s difficult to see him being able to do enough to finish the job. A stoppage victory for the WBC champion late in a thrilling fight looks to be on the cards.”
Heavyweight boxing legend Evander Holyfield is predicting a “great fight” at Wembley. “I think Dillian’s got the energy to give him problems, but I think Tyson Fury is clever,” he told The Sun. “He is just a clever fighter and I don’t think Whyte can beat him.”
Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker tips Fury to win within six rounds. “I feel [Fury] has too much for Whyte – size-wise, power-wise, strength,” he told Frank Warren TV. “He can move, he can fight, and so I think he’s gonna get Whyte out of there in the first six rounds.”
Fury’s trainer SugarHill Steward admits that Whyte has a puncher’s chance – but warns he will be up against the “knockout king”. Speaking to BoyleSports Boxing, Steward said: “We’re going for the knockout, get that knockout every time. First round, second, third, fourth, fifth, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11 and 12. Every round, every moment we’ll be looking for the knockout, looking for that knockout punch, looking to make the guy make the mistake and when he makes the mistake we’re going to catch him.”
Isaac Lowe, Fury’s long-time friend and training partner, said even if the champion couldn’t walk he would still defeat Whyte, talkSPORT reported. “He’s looking absolutely terrible, he’s broken his two legs, he’s broken his two arms and he’s just getting by,” Lowe joked. “So, we’re going to put him on a stretcher and take him to the ring and he’ll still be good enough to beat Whyte.”
Can underdog Whyte cause a huge upset?
Former heavyweight and cruiserweight champion David Haye has “sensationally claimed” that Whyte will shock the world and end Fury’s reign as WBC heavyweight champ, The Sun reported. “If I had a pound, I’d put it on Dillian Whyte for the upset,” Haye told Boxing Social. “Yeah, I’m going with Dillian with the massive, massive upset. We had an upset with Anthony Joshua [against Oleksandr Usyk]. It happens, crazy stuff happens.”
Whyte’s trainer Xavier Miller believes his fighter will be “too much” for Fury. “I’ve been with Dillian for about two years now and I want him to be a more complete fighter, so that’s what I have been working on with him,” he told BoxingScene. “He’s an even more dangerous fighter so, to me, yes [Deontay] Wilder has a right hand and it is real and I respect it, but Dillian has a lot more tools in the box. It’s a different puzzle for Tyson, there’s going to be a lot for him to deal with.”
If Whyte is to cause a huge upset on 23 April, then there’s only one way he can beat Fury, according to former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton. “I think he has to go for the knockout,” Hatton told talkSPORT. “Let’s have it right, he’s not going to outbox Tyson Fury, he’s not going to outspeed Tyson Fury.”
6. Betting odds
What the bookies say
Prices according to Oddschecker.com, as of 21 April
- Tyson Fury: 4/17
- Dillian Whyte: 23/5
Method of victory
- Fury by KO, TKO or disqualification: 14/19
- Fury by decision or technical decision: 5/2
- Whyte by KO, TKO or disqualification: 6/1
- Whyte by decision or technical decision: 25/1
- Draw or technical draw: 33/1
- Fury round 9: 12/1
- Fury round 7: 12/1
- Fury round 8: 12/1
- Fury round 10: 13/1
- Fury round 6: 14/1
- Fury round 5: 16/1
- Fury round 11: 16/1
- Fury round 12: 20/1
- Fury round 4: 20/1
- Fury round 3: 25/1
- Draw: 33/1
- Fury round 2: 40/1
- Fury round 1: 50/1
- Whyte round 8: 50/1
- Whyte round 6: 50/1
- Whyte round 7: 50/1
- Whyte round 5: 66/1
- Whyte round 10: 66/1
- Whyte round 9: 66/1
- Whyte round 4: 70/1
- Whyte round 11: 80/1
- Whyte round 2: 100/1
- Whyte round 12: 100/1
- Whyte round 3: 100/1
- Whyte round 1: 150/1
7. Which fights are on the undercard?
Tyson Fury’s half-brother Tommy will feature on the Wembley undercard in a light-heavyweight clash against Polish veteran Daniel Bocianski.
- Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte (WBC heavyweight title)
- Anthony Cacace vs. Jonathan Romero (vacant WBO International super-featherweight title)
- Isaac Lowe vs. Nick Ball (vacant WBC Silver featherweight title)
- David Adeleye vs. Chris Healey (heavyweight)
- Tommy Fury vs. Daniel Bocianski (light heavyweight)
- Karol Itauma vs. Michael Ciach (light-heavyweight)
- Kurt Walker vs. Stefan Nicolae (super-featherweight)
- Royston Barney-Smith vs. Constantin Radoi (super-featherweight)
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