Fury vs. Whyte

It’s fair to say that most of the boxing community were rubbing their hands in anticipation at the prospect of Tyson Fury taking on Anthony Joshua.

The British Heavyweights seemed destined to finally enter the ring together, with an opportunity for Fury to cement his status as the world’s top fighter in the division, or for Joshua to re-assert his credentials at the summit of the sport.

Alas, it looks like we are going to have to live without seeing the ‘Gypsy King’ and the Watford native go head-to-head, as Fury is instead lined up to take on mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte. Fury has long expressed an interest in fighting Whyte, but it’s fair to say that this is not quite the blockbuster showdown many were expecting, and that’s for the simple reason that Whyte is such a distant second-favourite to actually win the bout on April 23 at Wembley Stadium. 

The underdog failed to make an appearance at the pair’s press conference back at the beginning of March, and Fury has taken that as a sign that Whyte is running scared.

“He’s definitely shown the white flag in my estimation,” Fury said. “He’s given me that much more confidence it’s unbelievable. He’s terrified. The way he’s going on about it, saying he doesn’t want to go face-to-face, of course he doesn’t, because he’ll see that fire in my eyes and he’ll think, ‘I’m getting smashed to bits’. That’s what it is – it’s fear, it’s terror. It’s all of the above and I don’t blame him for not being here today.”

However, perhaps it is wise for Whyte to keep a low profile at this stage given that the betting odds are so heavily in Fury’s favour. ‘The Villian’ will need something of a miracle if he is to pull off the unthinkable and issue Fury with the first defeat of his career.

In March last year, he produced a fine performance to beat Alexander Povetkin in Gibraltar, having lost to the Russian in the pair’s first encounter. That will have given him confidence that he can get the better of Fury, although it must be said that the Gypsy King is a different kettle of fish altogether.

There is special motivation for both fighters in the fact that Fury is planning to retire after the Wembley showdown. Whether that actually proves to be the case or not, Fury will be using it as motivation to go out on a real high, delivering a true exhibition of his talents and dominance.

That said, it also provides a dangling carrot for Whyte, who would love nothing more than to deliver a devastating blow on the Manchester native’s swansong. That would catapult Whyte into infamy and set up a number of exciting opportunities down the road, with the likes of Oleksandr Usyk potentially lying in wait. 

Whyte can take some hope from the fact that all the uncertainty surrounding his next opponent cannot have done Fury any favours in terms of focusing on the task at hand. He’ll need the unbeaten boxer to have an off day when April 23 rolls around, and if he can produce his best on the night, you just never know what could happen.

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