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Tyson Fury shows respect for Dillian Whyte as pair calm press conference tension
The fighters are due to clash at Wembley Stadium in front of what would be a post-war British record crowd of 94,000.
Tyson Fury insisted Dillian Whyte has been widely underestimated before the heavyweight duo played peacemakers as tensions threatened to boil over between the fighters’ entourages.
As the pair posed for pictures after a cordial final pre-fight press conference at Wembley Stadium, Fury’s father John and a member of Whyte’s camp became involved in a heated exchange on stage.
But Fury and Whyte interjected to make sure there would be no unsightly scenes before their eagerly-anticipated showdown at England’s national football stadium in front of around 94,000 spectators.
Such an attendance would set a new post-war British record, with the unbeaten Fury widely regarded as favourite to retain his WBC title, even if he claimed he left no stone unturned in his preparations.
“I think everybody is underestimating how good this fight is going to be,” said Fury (31-0-1, 22KOs). “I see the odds and laugh at them because they’re obviously coming from people who don’t know boxing.
“This is a heavyweight boxing fight, anybody can win with one punch. If I’m not on my A-game then that man’s going to knock my head right off my shoulders.
“I’m going to have to be on form to beat him and he will have to perform at his best to beat me. He’s definitely a man that needs a lot of respect and that’s what I’ve given him.
“I’ve done everything I can possibly do to train for this. I’ve trained as hard for Dillian as I have for (Deontay) Wilder or (Wladimir) Klitschko. He’ll be fighting the best Tyson Fury.”
The build-up to this week’s fight has been overshadowed by the spectre of Daniel Kinahan, who was last week hit with sanctions by the US Government amid his alleged leadership of an organised crime group.
Kinahan, who has always denied any wrongdoing, has advised several high-profile boxers in the past, including Fury, who revealed on Tuesday he has “absolutely zero” business with the alleged crime boss.
There were no questions allowed from the room full of journalists on Wednesday – even as Fury’s former management company, MTK Global, co-founded in 2012 by Kinahan, who said he had severed ties with the organisation in 2017, announced while the media event was ongoing it was set to cease operations.
Focus was therefore fixed firmly on the fight, Fury’s first on British soil since August 2018. Ahead of facing his former sparring partner the mutual respect between the fighters was evident and they shared a handshake after their staredown.
I'm willing to do whatever it takes
- Dillian Whyte
Whyte (28-2, 19KOs) has waited years for a world title shot and the mandatory challenger is no stranger to adversity, having been shot and stabbed as he was drawn into London’s gang culture in his youth.
The Jamaica-born Whyte, who fathered the first of his three children aged 13, has turned his life around through boxing and is adamant he will do everything in his power to have his hand raised.
“I’m willing to do whatever it takes. I’m that kind of fighter where whatever I’ve got to do I will do: it’s victory by any means necessary,” said Whyte, who moved to the UK with his family aged 12.
“It means everything to fight in my home country for the world title. It’s massive. I’m not scared to take risks, I’ve taken risks my whole life so it’s nothing new. I’m ready to rock and roll.”