A record-breaking 94,000 fans will pack Wembley Stadium to watch two of the top heavyweights in the world – both British – fight on Saturday night, as Tyson Fury defends his WBC world championship against Dillian Whyte.
Tyson Fury (left) will defend his WBC heavyweight title against Dillian Whyte (right) at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. (Image: Julian Finney/Getty)
FanDuel Sportsbook sees the undefeated Fury as a -550 pick over Whyte in the title bout.
Former sparring partners face off for heavyweight title
Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) is coming off two victories over rival Deontay Wilder, the last of which came in October 2021. There were hopes that he might fight Anthony Joshua next, but Oleksandr Usyk scuttled those plans by beating Joshua last September.
Instead, Fury will face off against his former training partner. But the lineal world heavyweight champion says Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) should not be underestimated heading into the bout.
“This is a heavyweight boxing fight, anyone can win with one punch,” Fury told reporters. “If I’m not on my A-game, he’s going to knock my head off my shoulders. I think everybody is underestimating how good of a fight this is going to be.”
Whyte didn’t talk much in the leadup to the fight. Reports emerged that Whyte wasn’t happy with his share of the financial windfall from the bout: he’ll receive just 20 percent of the purse, and won’t get any upside from pay-per-view sales. However, he made it clear this week that he hasn’t been hiding from the media.
“There’s two sides to every story,” Whyte told reporters on Wednesday. “You lot hear one side because they say a lot of things. Because I don’t say anything, they say you’re scared or hiding.”
Fury continues claims of imminent retirement
There’s another undercurrent to this fight. Fury claims that he will retire after the bout, despite the fact that he is just 33 years old and on top of the boxing world. Many assume that a title unification fight with Usyk looms, but Fury continues to say he’s done after Saturday.
“I know nobody believes me because they all think I’m after money or whatever else,” Fury told Top Rank. “I’ve got nothing to prove to nobody, I’ve done what I’ve had to do and that’s it.”
Regardless of his plans, it’s clear that both Fury and Whyte are relishing this fight. For Fury, a win over another top heavyweight is one more addition to his already stellar legacy. For Whyte, it’s an opportunity to finally reach the mountaintop of the heavyweight division after coming close back in 2015, when he lost to Anthony Joshua.
“I’m taking it all in, like every person who came, it means the world to me,” Fury told reporters. “There was once upon a time in this country when fans booed me, believe it or not. Now, they embrace me and they love me and it’s an overwhelming feeling.”
Meanwhile, Whyte says he’s all business heading into the biggest fight of his career.
“I’m ready to go to war tomorrow,” Whyte said. “Everyone’s got their time, and I feel this is my time.”