Over 90,000 fans are expected to fill up Wembley Stadium in London, England for an all-British heavyweight title fight between WBC champion Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte, who’s finally getting the first shot of his career.
‘The Gypsy King’ says this will be his retirement fight, but Fury also says a lot of things so you shouldn’t take everything he says at face value. Whyte has been bizarrely quiet for almost the entirety of the lead-up to this fight, but in the ring he’s normally one of the more entertaining fighters in the division.
No doubt that this will be a terrific atmosphere in the red-hot boxing market that is the United Kingdom.
Here’s the rundown on the headliner.
Main Event Preview
Fury went up the ranks at heavyweight with a couple of wins over Dereck Chisora, a stoppage of Christian Hammer, as well as victories over veterans Kevin Johnson and Vinny Maddalone. He ascended to the heavyweight throne way back in 2015, when he went into enemy territory and ended Wladimir Klitschko’s reign as WBA, IBF, and WBO champion. Was the fight awful? Yes. Did Fury clearly win? Yes. Things unraveled for Fury after that monumental victory — testing positive for steroids and cocaine, struggles with depression, excessive weight gain all ensued for Fury. He was stripped of all of his titles and was out of the ring for almost three years.
Then 2018 happened and Fury’s career truly turned around. He worked his way back into fighting shape and won a couple of tune-ups over Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta to set up a showdown with Deontay Wilder. I contend that Fury should’ve gotten the nod even with the two knockdowns suffered against Wilder, but the fact that he got up from Deontay’s vaunted right hand in that final round was nothing short of legendary. Instead of an immediate rematch, Fury signed with Top Rank and won some glorified tune-ups over Tom Schwarz and (in a much tougher outing than expected) Otto Wallin, then we got the Wilder rematch. It was a blowout from start to finish and Mark Breland threw in the towel to save Wilder from more punishment. The trilogy happened last year (sans Breland), and Fury scored an early knockdown, got dropped twice himself, then dispatched ‘The Bronze Bomber’ en route to an emphatic 11th round KO.
Whyte started his career 16-0, setting up a big domestic clash between him and Anthony Joshua, whom Whyte defeated in the amateurs. Dillian shook Joshua early but was slowly broken down and just about knocked through the ropes for his first career loss. He had a thrilling split decision over Dereck Chisora in late 2016, but perhaps his biggest win to date was a somewhat controversial but dramatic decision over Joseph Parker, who knocked Whyte down in the final round after being dropped twice himself (although one shouldn’t have been scored a KD).
He followed up the Parker win with a brutal KO of Chisora in their rematch, as well as a decision over Oscar Rivas (overcoming a knockdown in the process), and a decision against Mariusz Wach. Whyte was on his way to victory after two knockdowns of Alexander Povetkin in their summer 2020 matchup, but the Russian responded with a stunning uppercut that put Whyte out cold in the very next round. They had an immediate rematch in Gibraltar in March of last year, with Whyte thrashing a very shopworn looking Povetkin in four rounds.
Breakdown and Prediction
Fury is rightfully the heavy favorite against the mandatory challenger. He has a terrific jab (ask Deontay Wilder), speed and fluidity that doesn’t look like it would match his physique. We’ve seen his power showcased more in the last two Wilder bouts, but he’s also got very good footwork and he has a way of leaning and pushing down on his foes as a means of making them bear his weight. We’ve also seen that he has cardio for days and isn’t easy to fatigue.
Whyte’s comparatively basic compared to Fury but he’s no joke. He’s got power worth respecting and he has a penchant for attacking the body. Making this an absolute dog fight is his best chance to win. I reckon he may be more willing than most to test Fury’s body, but he’s likely going to be too easy to counter and I don’t trust his cardio to hold up if this fight has any decent pace to it. Fury has the odd nervy moment here and there but otherwise puts on a masterclass and stops Whyte late. The only X-factor here would be Fury’s mindset entering what he’s claimed is his retirement bout, and whether or not he’ll be focused especially given his ties to former adviser Daniel Kinahan. Fury certainly didn’t open up on that occasion!
Prediction: Tyson Fury by TKO, Round 10
What’s on the undercard?
- Absolutely nothing relevant to the very top of world boxing. This is a regional level show propped up as a PPV undercard. American heavyweight prospect Jared Anderson was supposed to fight Christian Hammer on this event, but Anderson withdrew and that really damaged the undercard. The co-feature is Ekow Essuman and Darren Tetley for the British welterweight title, and at least that fight should be entertaining.
- Featherweight and Fury training partner Isaac Lowe, coming off a loss to Luis Alberto Lopez, gets undefeated prospect Nick Ball in what is the latter’s first 12-round fight. It’s for the WBC “silver” featherweight title, which... whatever.
- Undefeated heavyweight prospect David Adeleye takes on Chris Healey, who’s 9-8 and just screams “professional opponent.”
- Tommy Fury opens the PPV against Daniel Bocianski in what can only be described as a battle of the can crushers.
Fury vs. Whyte airs live on ESPN+ pay-per-view at a cost of $69.99. BT Sport Box Office has the pay-per-view in the UK at a cost of £24.95. PPV action starts at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT, and the main event start time is approximately 5 PM ET/2 PM PT. Fury is a -550 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.