Just over one week away from the big WBC heavyweight showdown between champion Tyson ‘The Gypsy King’ Fury and #1 contender Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte at a 94,000 sell out Wembley Stadium, the two combatants shared their thoughts with the media today via video linkup.
Both fighters were confident, relaxed and generous in their appreciation of each other, although come fight week things may get a bit more heated.
The champion was first up saying “I believe we’re going to see something epic, and a classic from Tyson Fury ! .. everyone wants to see it in the UK – the homecoming – both camps are looking forward to the night”. Noting that it would be held on St.George’s Day (the patron saint of England) he said in his usual humour “After this fight the patron saint is gonna be St.Tyson instead of St.George”.
In what will be the biggest live boxing attendance in the UK, the event’s co-promoter and international boxing hall of famer Bob Arum added it would be the biggest attendance he’d promoted since John Tate v Gerrie Coetzee in Pretoria, South Africa. A fight that took place back in October 1979 and had a live gate of 82,000. Next Saturday’s promotion will be of epic proportions.
Fury said that it was “Absolutely fantastic to be shown the love” (by the fans) and that he was “overwhelmed” and “without the fans there wouldn’t be an event”. He added a “massive thank you”.
On his opponent he said “I’m not underestimating him, I’ve given him all my time … Whyte is a top five heavyweight”. In terms of his strategy and approach on fight night he added “Whatever Dillian wants to do, we’ll accommodate him”. Finally, he promised a special ring walk entrance befitting of the occasion and venue.
Dillian Whyte dialled in separately and look relaxed and confident. Asked about his opportunity and the prospect ahead he responded “It feels great” but noted “I’m under no illusion what I’m up against”.
He made the point that it’s not just the Tyson Fury show, perhaps indirectly explaining his delay in finally accepting terms for the fight. He emphasized the fanbase that he would bring to the event.
On his physical condition the challenger explained “I’m in good shape, ready to go”. When asked for his approach and a prediction on the night, he responded “I can only control what I can control…I don’t know what’s going to happen”. He gave some background to the comparison between the two in experience, but noted “I’ve improved a lot” pointing out “I only had seven amateur fights”.
However, the challenger brings a solid 28-2 (19 KO) record to the contest, in comparison to the champion’s 31-0-1 (22 KO) log. On the line will be the WBC title and the ‘lineal’ heavyweight championship of the world. The man who beat the man, who beat the man – tracing back to John L Sullivan in the 1890’s, through to Louis, Marciano, Ali, Tyson and Lewis.
The event promises to be ‘one for the ages’ and look for the hype to build over the next nine days. It will be shown live in the UK on BT Sport Box Office and on ESPN+ pay per view in the USA.
It’s co-promoted by Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc.