The Gypsy King’s opponent went silent over a contract dispute that has threatened to derail the Wembley showpiece on April 23 – but with the Body Snatcher now talking to the media and seemingly happy, we finally have a fight on our hands.
Tyson Fury’s father John made headlines at the final press conference for this fight by kicking off a scuffle between the two camps. He is never far from the action despite never stepping through the ropes – unapologetically a ‘fighting man at heart’ after squaring up to Whyte’s brother Dean.
It has been a tense build-up to this fight, which many feared could be scrapped after Whyte’s behaviour over a disagreement around his split of the prize pot. John, however, insists his son was always focused on the task at hand.
John Fury believes Dillian Whyte (L) has been ‘ill-advised’ amid his dispute with son Tyson (R)
Fury Sr says Whyte has been listening ‘cowboys’ after going silent over contract disagreement
John made headlines by causing a ruckas when Tyson and Whyte faced off this week
So why the silence from Whyte? John – always a close advisor of Tyson and watching on during his camps in Morecambe – feels the Brixton star was ‘ill-advised’ by ‘cowboys’ from his team after his lawyer made a series of allegations against Tyson’s promoter Frank Warren. No official invitation to the press conference, no tickets for his family and not being informed of the ring size to name a few.
John says Whyte should be ‘overjoyed’ with his split of the prize pot after receiving 20 per cent of the winnings – amounting to around £8million – because his son is the A-side of the negotiations.
‘Dillian Whyte is not a bad guy, but he’s been ill-advised, he told Sportsmail, courtesy of Freebets.com.
‘He’s had a lot of cowboys leading the show who don’t know what they’re taking about. Frank Warren proved that when he met his lawyer on talkSPORT. Frank put a few questions to him and as a lawyer, he was stumbling on every one. It’s your duty when you’re engaged in something as big as this – you’ve got to fulfil your obligations. There’s no way out.’
He believes Whyte should be ‘overjoyed’ just to face Fury after demanding a bigger share
It’s no surprise that John’s jaw nearly dropped when I asked him if he felt any sympathy for Whyte, who may feel he should rake in more for this huge contest at Wembley considering Tyson stands to make around £23m.
‘Are you joking me?’ he responds. ‘He’s getting £8m. You must be having a giraffe. Who gets £8m having never really fought anyone? Tyson is a superstar, he’s lucky to share a ring with him.
‘It’s just an obligation Tyson has got to fill. There’s a lot of people who would take his position for a hell of a lot less than £8m. It’s a lot of money. There’s a lot of people who don’t get to see £8m or even £1m.
‘I don’t feel sorry for him. He should be overjoyed and privileged to be getting a shot at this title. Good luck to the kid, he deserves his chance, he’s been waiting a long time and Tyson has given him his chance.’
Tyson comes into this fight off the back of two dominant victories over Deontay Wilder – who was once dubbed the hardest hitter in the history of the sport.
Fury will face Whyte in front of a record 94,000 capacity Wembley Stadium on Saturday night
Whyte waited a long time to face Wilder and has long claimed he would have knocked the Bronze Bomber out, before Fury stepped in first and got the job done himself. He was given no chance of upsetting the American and is now the man to beat in heavyweight boxing after returning to the UK as a world champion.
John says Tyson is not underestimating the challenge of Whyte despite many predicting it will be an easier fight than the three he faced in the United States against Wilder – but he doesn’t think Whyte is ‘ironside’ enough to beat him.
‘I expect to see the best Dillian Whyte because I know we’re getting the best Tyson Fury. We’ve not overlooked him, I know a lot of people think we have but we haven’t.
‘We’ve taken this probably more serious than every other bout he’s had. It’s been a great camp, a happy camp. There’s been no mistakes anywhere, I’m more than happy but there’s levels to this game and Tyson will prove that on April 23.
John urged Whyte to bring the best version of himself because fans will see the best Fury
‘Tyson is looking brilliant in the gym. His worked hard on his physical condition, he’s trained with brains – for a smart fight. To beat Tyson you’ve got to be ironside in the ring and I don’t think Dillian is ironside, no disrespect.
‘You’ve got to have so many boxes ticked to come close to beating him. He’s got a will to win like you’ve never seen before. How do you beat that? You can’t.’
So what chance does Whyte have then? Known as ‘The Body Snatcher’ due to his fierce left hook and menacing body shots, Fury’s British rival is not your average mandatory fight and has plenty of steam and frustration to blow off after spending more than 1,000 days as the WBC’s No 1 challenger.
John, however, has dismissed the prospect of Whyte causing an upset – giving him a one per cent chance of victory at Wembley on Saturday night and comparing him to a donkey competing in the Grand National.
‘An 18 stone athlete always has a percentage of a chance, even if it’s only one,’ he adds. ‘In a percentage out of 100, he’s only got a one per cent chance of winning. The only way he could beat Tyson is if he threw the fight. I’d bet millions, trillions on it. He can’t win. It’s impossible.
He has claimed Whyte only has a one per cent chance of causing an upset at Wembley Stadium
John said Whyte beating his son Tyson was like a donkey winning the Grand National
‘It’s like asking a donkey to win the Grand National. It ain’t happening. People believe in him but they’ve backed the wrong horse. If they think Dillian can overthrow the Gypsy King they’re deluded.’
One story Whyte seems intent on telling is the claim he once dropped Fury during a sparring session years ago. At one point, the pair were friends and Whyte was recruited by the Gypsy King as a sparring partner. He recently recounted a tale of how he left Fury ‘sobbing’ after flooring him in the camp for his fight against David Haye in in 2012.
Without any footage or many witnesses to back it up, the allegation is tricky to decifer, and John insists it is simply not true – claiming his son has never been rocked in sparring.
‘Rubbish. Absolute rubbish,’ he said. ‘[Dillian] knows that, Tyson knows that. They’re going to say something to make themselves relevant.
‘Tyson has never been put down in sparring in his life. He’s never even been shook in sparring. If it did happen, I’d say it happened.
He also hit out at Whyte’s claims that he once dropped Fury when the two sparred in the past
‘Lots of people get dropped in sparring but he never dropped Tyson. There’s not a man out there who can say he’s dropped Tyson in sparring let alone him. He’s trying to justify his position. He’s coming into this fight with absolutely nothing at all.
‘In my book he’s just not at this level at all. Anyone who thinks he is – they’re dafter than him.’
One of the rumours that has circulated around this camp is that this is Fury’s last fight. Having gone his entire career unbeaten and won everything there is to win – claiming all of Wladimir Klitschko’s belts in 2015 before taking Wilder’s WBC belt off him too – many feel he could sail into the sunset.
Fury’s nutrionist even told Sportsmail last week that the heavyweight will ‘100 per cent’ retire after this fight at Wembley, but John believes his son cannot live without boxing and is ‘addicted to it’ like a drug – tipping him to carry on until he’s 50.
Tyson is ‘addicted’ to boxing and will keep fighting until he’s 50, insists his father John
‘He’s got nothing else to do in his life,’ John adds. ‘What’s he going to do after boxing? Pick the kids up from school, have a coffee, read the paper, empty the bins, talk s*** on the beach. Come on, this boxing is a bigger drug than cocaine and heroine put together. He’ll keep going until he’s 50.
‘I was only a hobby professional and I’m still hitting the bag and training now years later, it’s an addiction you can’t get out of. He’ll spend a month at home, get bored stiff of what he does and back in the gym, that’s my take.
‘But if I had it my way he would have retired. I told him to make the Wilder fight his last fight. But Tyson is too involved in this job and he can’t live without it.
‘He loves the game and he likes tormenting people and likes people thinking he’s not as good as he is. He likes playing with the minds of people, that’s what makes him go.’
John will have a proud moment as his sons Tommy and Fury both appear at the Wembley event
John has teased a future exhibition fight but said he’d only step into the ring for good money
There was another rumour in the build up to this fight – but it was related to John himself. Talk of the former bare-knuckle fighter appearing on the undercard of his son’s fight was rife, and he says he would have happily stepped up – if Frank Warren had paid him the right money.
‘They won’t pay me will they? They won’t ring my phone. They need to hurry up because I’m getting on in years. It’s now or never. I will fight any man in the world for the right amount of money. Bums and dossers need not apply, I get them every day.
‘If you want to do an exhibition you better batter me because I’ll try to batter you. I’m still waiting – Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, I’ll fight anyone but it’s going to cost them. I’ll do it tomorrow! I’m training every day I want to put it to some use. I haven’t been in the ring since 1995 but I’m sure I can hold my own. I’ll fight someone my own age or a young man. You only need to pay me right. And I’d like to start with Jake Paul! I could make him look stupid.’
John and Paul have had previous after exchanging tense words during a promotion for his son Tommy’s fight against him – which was scrapped after the former Love Island star pulled out with a broken rib. John and BT Sport were forced to apologise after a crude insult to Paul – where he claimed Tommy would ‘bend your girlfriend over and do her like a dog’.
John exchanged tense words with Jake Paul before Tommy’s fight against him collapsed
John said he would like to fight Jake Paul and is confident of ‘making him look stupid’
John said Paul – who has stressed he will not be giving Tommy a chance to set up another fight – has had a ‘stroke of luck’ to avoid his son and that his camp will not be going back to his team to arrange a showdown.
‘I’m not bothered if he doesn’t give him another chance. We can do this without Jake Paul because we’re doing the biggest crowd England has ever seen at Wembley. Jake needs Tommy more than Tommy needs Jake. He had a stroke of luck last time Jake Paul, when Tommy had to pull out. The cards couldn’t have fallen any better for him.
‘No one is bothered about Jake Paul or his family. We’re looking to do big things and win world titles against proper professionals, not fight some YouTubers. The hard slog against true pros, which Jake Paul is terrified to dip his toes into.
‘We won’t go back to Jake. If Jake wants it he knows how to contact our people. We’re not interested in him. If you’re a phoney in the fight game you get found out.’