By Charles Brun: Boxxer promoter Ben Shalom believes that fans have underestimated Dillian Whyte, and he thinks he’ll “do well” against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on April 23rd.
Shalom isn’t saying what he means by his prediction that Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) will do well against Fury. Whyte wants to win, and it’s not going to help him if he does well and still ends up losing the fight.
This is a do-or-die type of fight for Whyte and a must-win situation for him. If Dillian is under any illusions that he will be given another shot at Fury should he lose, he’s mistaken.
Fury will move on to bigger and better things against either Anthony Joshua or IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk if he returns from Ukraine before the end of the year.
This is Whyte’s big chance that he’s been waiting for his entire 11-year professional career, and suffice to say, it’ll be the last opportunity he’s given to fight for a world title.
Whyte has been grumbling for ages about being ignored by the champions, and now he’s finally getting his chance. Dillian has got to find a way to win against Fury because he can’t afford to get knocked out again, like in his first fight against 40-year-old Alexander Povetkin in 2020.
Typically when contenders get knocked out, they need to go to the back of the line, but in Whyte’s case, he’s still getting a title shot after just one fight. He should consider himself lucky to be still getting a title shot.
Whyte is still upset
“I don’t think it’s mind games. I think he’s still generally upset that he’s on 20% [split for the Tyson Fury fight],” said promoter Ben Shalom to SecondsOut on why Dillian Whyte failed to take part in the initial press conference for his April 23rd fight against Tyson Fury.
“Regardless of whether it’s 8 million, 12 million, or 15 million, he’s still only 20%, and I don’t think he ever thought that was fair, or that was ever right, but that was the WBC’s position,” said Shalom.
What’s done is done about the Fury-Whyte purse split. It’s not helping Whyte if he chooses to stay silent due to not getting the split he wanted.
Boxing is the entertainment business, and a large part of that involves giving interviews and selling yourself to the fans outside of the ring. It’s not just what you do inside the ring, and Whyte might be missing that point.
Whyte could be creating a huge fan base by selling himself to the fans in the lead-up to the Fury fight, but instead, he’s choosing to stay silent. I think it’s a collosol mistake.
“I do feel a little bit for Frank [Warren] and Bob [Arum] because they’ve made a bid, they’ve won. They’ve outbid [Matchroom Boxing]. It’s not their decision, is it?” said Shalom when told that Fury’s promoters pushed for the 80/20 split for the Whyte fight.
“Just as Eddie [Hearn] and myself say that it should be more, they’re representing Tyson, and their job is to get him as much money. The WBC are the arbitrators. It’s been called 80/20.
“I can see why Dillian is not going [to the press conferences]. He doesn’t have any incentive to. Regardless of what people might say, he’s focused on this fight; he wants to win this fight.
“Why is he going to put any undue stress and pressure on his promotion? I don’t know. They’ve got some issues, I’m sure. Dillian and Frank have never seen eye-to-eye and got on. So genuinely, he probably just sees, ‘Why should I do any favors?’
“Obviously, we’d love to be seeing part of the promotion, but whether it makes a difference or whether it doesn’t, I don’t know. The tickets sold pretty well. I don’t know, but I can see both sides,” said Shalom.
Assuming Whyte, 34, doesn’t win against Fury, he’ll be dropped low in the rankings, and he’ll have a much tougher time trying to scratch & claw his way back for a second title shot.
This time, Whyte had it easy to earn a title shot by defeating Oscar Rivas, who was nothing special. To get a second title shot, Whyte will probably need to go through the likes of Flip Hrgovic, Frank Sanchez, Daniel Dubois, or Joe Joyce, and it’s doubtful that he’ll beat any of those fighters.
Shalom: Dillian will “do well” against Fury
“Yeah, I hope so. He’s always been on Sky,” said Shalom when asked if Whyte will return to Sky Sports after his April 23rd fight against Fury, which will be shown on BT Sports and ESPN.
“He actually never had a fight in the end because of what happened with [Otto] Wallin; he never actually fought not on Sky.
“Again, the same with Anthony Joshua, I think the biggest fighters do want Sky Box Office, especially the British guys on Sky. I think it’s the strongest platform, and that’s just how it’s been. They have a huge promotional vehicle.
“Dillian has a great relationship with Sky and now ourselves. He obviously has the biggest fight of his life coming up, so I think he’ll be focused on that, and we’ll have to see how he comes through.
“I think he’s going to do well, Dillian. I think people are underestimating him. He’s so focused on this fight, and he’s been focused on this fight for a long time, and I wouldn’t underestimate what he can potentially do against Tyson Fury,” said Shalom.
Again, the only way it will mean anything for Whyte to “do well” against Fury is if he wins the fight. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time because he will probably not be given a rematch if he loses.
With Fury talking about retiring soon, he’s going to be looking to make the most of the time he has remaining with his career, which means he’ll move forward to fight Joshua, Usyk, or possibly Joe Joyce or Daniel Dubois.
Whyte will need to tuck up and defend his chin because he’s going to be getting bombarded heavily by Fury in this fight, and if one of those shots lands on the sweet spot, we could see ‘The Body Snatcher’ going to sleep.