By: Sean Crose
Give longtime heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte this – he’s not going to let WBC and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury get inside his head. As the clock winds down to the Fury-Whyte heavyweight title bout, which will go down in front of 94,000 people at Wembley Stadium on April 23’d, Whyte is nowhere to be seen. Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, says Whyte is breaking his contractual obligations by not getting out there before the cameras, but there might be a method to Whyte’s pre-fight strategy. Fury, after all, is an absolute master at mind games. Check out some old face to face footage he did in the leadup to his 2015 battle with Wladimir Klitschko if you want to see how a bully operates (Fury, of course, ended up winning the fight).
Needless to say, Whyte – for whatever reason – is not going down the route of Klitschko. Warren, therefore (presumably with Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum) has decided to play it safe, in case there’s more to Whyte’s silence than mind games or contractual disagreements. In other words, a replacement for Whyte is waiting in the wings to get the call. “The truth of the matter,” Warren told Seconds Out, “is that we cover all bases.” Not that replacing Whyte would be an optimal situation, but better safe than sorry, it seems.
“Would you not think,” Warren said, “for an event of this magnitude, of what we’ve sold, that we would not be covering that scenario (of Whyte backing out)?” With that in mind, it’s unlikely that Whyte won’t show up for the biggest match of his life – which is also going to be one of the biggest fights in English history (quite the big deal considering both Whyte and Fury are Englishmen). Still, Warren is clearly displeased with team Whyte at the moment.
“We’re paying him $7.5million and he’s got an upside of $4million,” Warren said. “Of course I’m upset. What have we got to say then? We pay fighters to do nothing?” The cold, hard truth is that Whyte will have to do a lot to best Fury, who is now considered to be the best heavyweight in the world in some circles. Whyte’s been waiting for an opportunity like this for years now, however, so it’s hard to imagine him not slipping between the ropes at Wembley later this month not being prepared for the fight of his career.
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