By Barry Holbrook: Tony Bellew insists that Dillian Whyte will show up for his fight next month against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on April 23 at Wembley Stadium in London, UK.
Bellew thinks that Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) despite his no-show for the launch of the promotion with Fury.
At this point, there are many boxing fans that don’t know if the 34-year-old Whyte will appear on the night, as it would be the ultimate passive-aggressive move on his part if he chose not to show.
Unfortunately for Whyte, if he doesn’t show, he won’t get paid, and he’ll have wasted all that time he’s waited to get a title shot.
Whyte’s knockout loss to Alexander Povetkin in 2020 slowed things up as well, which is something boxing fans forget.
That knockout loss for Whyte arguably set him back a year. Had Dillian not suffered the defeat against Povetkin, he would have likely fought Fury in early 2021 instead of the fight dragging out until 2022.
Bellew says Dillian will be there for the fight
“Whyte will be there on fight week and that’s all that matters to him,” said Tony Bellew to DAZN Boxing Show. “In Whyte’s head, all he’s thinking about is the fight and getting in the ring on April 23rd.
“He’s not the promoter’s fighter, he’s not BT Sport’s fighter, and he’s made it clear he’s not happy with the split,” said Bellew.
“If that’s how he wants to approach the fight to give him the best chance of winning, then people should respect it. It might be his only shot,” said Bellew.
We’ll have to take Bellew on word that Whyte will be there for the fight on April 23rd. Hopefully, Whyte doesn’t choose to pull a no-show on the night, as that would be a real disaster. Would Dillian ever be given another shot at a world title after something like that?
Fury stops Whyte predicts Warren
“Fights like this anything can happen. Guys get themselves up for it and its a great opportunity for Dillian Whyte,” said Frank Warren to iFL TV. “He’s been waiting over one thousand twelve hundred days for this opportunity and now he’s got it.
“He’s got his platform and he’s in with the best heavyweight of the generation by far. How do I see the fight going? I only look at the skillsets. I look at the skillsets of Tyson. Tyson is a fighter who can box.
“He’s shown in recent fights that he can stand and punch, he can take a punch and has good recovery powers, he’s got fast hands and great footwork, and switch hits. So, he’s a nightmare for anybody, there’s no doubt about that.
“If you look at comparable fights that they’ve both had which opponents. Probably Derek Chisora is the one that comes to mind. Tyson fought him twice and beat Derek twice. In the last fight, he beat him quite convincingly [in 2014] and stopped him [in the 10th round].
“I look at the fights with Derek and Dillian, and I felt Derek won the first fight [in 2016]. In the second one, he [Whyte] was behind and pulled it out of the bag and stopped him [in the 11th round in 2018].
“He can punch and has a good left hook, there’s no doubt about that,” said Warren about the positives that Whyte brings to the table offensively for the fight with Fury on April 23rd.
“I just feel that I don’t think anybody can live with Tyson Fury at the moment. I really mean that. I think Tyson Fury is a very, very special heavyweight. I think he’ll get to him and will stop him,” said Warren.
“It’s a record gate for Wembley, not just boxing but for any event,” said Warren about the ticket sales for the Fury vs. Whyte fight for Wembley Stadium. ”
“He’s done brilliantly, he’s done really well, and we’ve done well working with him,” said Warren about the success Fury has had in recent years.
“He’s the most recognizable sportsman in this country, there’s no doubt about it, and really well known around the world and in the States,” Warren said.
Dillian getting a record purse
“He had s chance to sign Tyson. We were both talking to him, what was it four years ago, and Tyson came back with us,” Warren continued. “He wanted to bring him back and put him straight on pay-per-view. We brought him back and we built him again, we rebuilt his profile.
“We put him on BT and they had the highest ever numbers of watching any sport outside of the premiership on BT, huge record numbers. And then within a couple of fights, we got him a world title fight against Wilder.
“Again, it was big, big viewing figures. We built his name in the States and got the record deal with ESPN and Top Rank for his fights in the States. Had a couple of warmups, two great fights with Wilder, rematches. I mean, brilliant fights, fights you’ll never forget.
“We brought him back to the UK now, record sellout, the highest-grossing event in Wembley history in any event.
“That tells you all you need to know, and that’s good promotion. That’s what we did. Could anybody have done it better? I don’t know? Simultaneously, Dillian Whyte has been sitting around for 1200 days, waiting for the promoter that he is with to get him a shot. What has he done with it? We’ve done it really quickly with Tyson.
“Dillian now, thanks to us, is now getting a shot at the title and he’s getting a record purse, thanks to us. That’s called promotion,” said Warren.
Whyte had to wait 1200 days as the #1 ranked challenger with the WBC before he finally got his chance to battle for the WBC belt against Fury.
However, Dillian wasn’t the mandatory challenger for many of those days due to him not taking part in an official WBC title eliminator until 2019.
Had Whyte fought in a title eliminator in 2018, he would have surely fought for a world title well before this.