This weekend see’s the first all British world heavyweight title fight since David Haye knocked out Audley Harrison 12 years ago. The champion Tyson Fury fights in the UK for the first time since 2018 as he defends his world title against Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in front of 94,000 fans.
Both men battled hard to get to this fight, but their battles have been very different, as I document the road to the biggest fight of the year thus far.
Tyson Fury is a name synonymous with UK fans. He’s documented his high’s and low’s in recent years. In 2015, Fury travelled to Germany, upset the odds became the first man in 11 years to defeat Wladimir Klitschko to win the IBF, WBA and WBO world titles.
Fury was scheduled to rematch in Klitschko in Manchester, however, the bout fell through on more than one occasion.
It was soon revealed that Fury was battling severe mental health problems, and Fury vacated his belts. Many thought Fury was finished in boxing, he gained a lot of weight and stated he reached 27 stone.
Fury’s mental health was well documented, as in years that followed Fury openly told the world about his struggles, whilst offering advice to those out their also struggling, inspiring them to keep fighting.
However, in late 2017, training videos began to surface from Fury with Ben Davison, and he had visibly trimmed down. Then in 2018, it was announced that Fury would be making his heroic return to the ring in Manchester against Sefer Seferi.
Fans packed out Manchester Arena to see Fury make Seferi retire after four rounds, it wasn’t the easiest fight on the eye, but everyone was delighted to see the ‘Gypsy King’ return.
Fury then picked up a shutout victory over Francesco Pianeta at Windsor Park. WBC champion Deontay Wilder was in attendance, a man Fury had history with in the past. Immediately after Fury’s victory over Pianeta, the Deontay Wilder fight was confirmed or December as the pair traded verbals.
Fury rolled back the years in his fight with Wilder, leaving Wilder bewildered by his speed and movement, however in the 12th round, Wilder landed a perfect right hand, flooring Fury, leaving people to believe it was all over. However, Fury infamously rose to his feet to finish the bout which controversially ended as a draw.
Fury would get his rematch with Wilder in 2020, as he defeated both Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin in 2019. Fury was now trained by Sugarhill Steward and produced a stunning performance, knocking out Wilder in 7th to finally become champion of the world again.
WBC ordered the trilogy and that came in 2021. Wilder had changed his team and in a fight of the year contender which seen both men crashing to the canvas, however it was Fury who came out o top, with a big knockout in the 11th round.
Fury’s next opponent, Dillian Whyte has waited patiently for his time. Whyte announced his name in a losing effort to Anthony Joshua in 2015, being the first man to hurt Joshua, Whyte was seen as a threat to anyone in the division.
Whyte returned to win the British title from Ian Lewison before facing Dereck Chisora in WBC title eliminator. Whyte and Chisora put on a classic with Whyte coming out the victor.
Whyte climbed to the top of the WBC rankings, as he defeated Robert Helenius for the WBC Silver title, before brutally knocking out Lucas Browne in defence of the title, leading to him calling out Deontay Wilder as he was now mandatory challenger.
Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn gave him a Box Office fight with Joseph Parker next, and delivered as he defeated fight Parker in a sensational battle. The unfinished business with Chisora was then settled as Whyte knocked out Chisora in December 2018.
Whyte’s next fight was Oscar Rivas, and the WBC put the WBC ‘interim’ title on the line as Whyte had been mandatory for a long while but hadn’t got his shot. Whyte defeated Rivas, although being floored to hold the title. However, it was reported that Dillian Whyte had failed a drugs test and an investigation was opened.
Fortunately, Whyte was cleared after a lenghthy investigation and returned with a win over Mariusz Wach in December 2019.
Whyte was the pencilled in to fight Alexander Povetkin, but the pandemic delayed that bout, however when it did come around, disaster struck for Whyte.
Whyte was dominating the fight, flooring Povetkin twice in the fourth round, then completely out of nowhere, Povetkin detonated a lethal uppercut, knocking Whyte out.
Whyte made no excuses and got the rematch next. The rematch saw Whyte dominate Povetkin and stop him in four rounds to regain his ranking position.
On February 1st 2022, it was announced that Frank Warren won the purse bids for the bout between Fury vs Whyte with a monster bid of £41million fending off all other promoters. After venue speculation, it was announced that the fight will rightfully take place at Wembley Stadium.
The build up to the fight has been interesting to say the least. Whyte has been silent on social media, all the way up until the week before the bout. Whyte also didn’t show up to the announcement press conference, as Whyte’s silence caused speculation on whether the bout would go ahead.
However, the bout is on, and if you aren’t fortunate enough to be one of the 94,000 in Wembley Stadium, the fight can be watched live on BT Sport Box Office on April 23rd.
Nothing is more Box Office than @Tyson_Fury ????
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) April 17, 2022