Preview: Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte

If you’ve done a bit of time kicking around the working men’s clubs of south London, you’ll be familiar with a prefix commonly used to announce an approaching dispensation of wisdom. That prefix is ‘Let’s have it right.’ And, well, let’s…

Let us hereby dispense with convention, with objectivity, with the expected impartial analysis of each fighter’s form and a consideration of their prior records, and let us yield to the only literary ‘mode of representation’ that covers this contest justly, that of rank subjectivity (…but by no means one which can be considered in anyway a ‘personal’, ‘isolated’ or ‘individual’ opinion...)

This isn’t a close fight. Barring the symmetrical amputation of Fury’s upper limbs, this is quite simply the easiest contest to call since that unsuspecting tethered white goat was raised into the T-Rex enclosure in Jurassic Park I. In fact, the only attendant intrigue present is whether the same Fury will arrive as that which conclusively and concussively dismantled Deontay Wilder in both 2020 and 2021, or whether the demotivated/relatively mediocre version who beat Otto Wallin, in 2019, surfaces instead. It is important to mention that neither variant will prove defective to the point of losing over 12 rounds to Dillian Whyte, and I further suspect that any configuration of Fury – including the models marked ‘Peter’, ‘John’ and ‘Hughie’ – would prove sufficient in achieving a stoppage victory. (As mentioned, the only curiosity is whether Tyson ‘actualises’ this outcome ‘early’ or ‘late’.)

Ok, alright, alright, that may have been a bit singular. A bit too warped, too unconstrained. How about a compromise, an unconventional breakdown, perhaps? Right.

Tyson Fury, arguably, has the best three wins of this heavyweight generation: the unanimous decision victory in Germany against the imperious and 10-year-unbeaten Wladimir Klitschko, and the two consecutive aforementioned KO victories against Deontay Wilder. Outside of those, you’re heading back to 2014 and 2011 for his victories against Derek Chisora, before you see anything or anyone truly credible. Undeniably, Fury needs a few more marquee names on his record if he wishes to establish an enduring legacy as one of the finest boxers to ‘throw hands’ at the 200lbs+ weight limit.

In reality, he won’t be defeating a preeminent opponent in Whyte, but he’ll add a renowned name to his list of vanquished opponents, one that will satisfy the requirements of the contemporary casual audience, at least.

No, Dillian Whyte is a fighter who holds the underserving reputation as an avoided, ‘game for any opponent anywhere’, ‘dangerous’, ‘heavy handed’ puncher. (You can probably hear Hearn’s voice as you wondered how you ever allowed such obvious nonsense to infect and kick about in your consciousness.) He’s also a fighter who has gone 12 rounds with Robert Helenius, Joseph Parker, and the smaller Oscar Rivas. He’s the fighter who went the full 10 with Mariusz Wach and the darling-of-Doncaster, Dave Allen. And he’s a man with a porous defence, who finds himself regularly hurt against pretty much any opponent beyond one of European level. (I suppose we shouldn’t also forget, though one feels almost dirty saying it, given the current geopolitical situation, that Dillian is also responsible for one of the very few highlights of 2020, and no doubt the finest thing to ever occur in Eddie Hearn’s garden, when he caught the left of Russia’s Alexander Povetkin undiluted and squarely upon his jaw.)

For balance, and in conclusion, it has to be said that both men have had issues, seemingly, in adhering to established athlete anti-doping protocols, but let’s just hope, for the sake of the spectacle, and to rescue the supplementary awfulness of the undercard, that - rather than fulfilling any of his prefight media obligations - Dillian has in fact spent the last few months hunkered down in Portugal, eating nothing but Mexican beef and injecting a round-the-clock cocktail of synthetic performance enhancing substances directly into his gluteus maximus. If so, I might even be pushed to consider the possibility that he may endure passably enough to ‘go out on his shield’ somewhere around round 7.


As is customary for the larger fights, esteemed members of the team have been moved to share their predictions of the outcome, and these are thus: