Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte are just about set for their huge, WBC heavyweight title showdown on Saturday, April 23, which is supposedly going to be Fury’s farewell fight as he returns to the UK for the first time since 2018 to fight in front of 90,000 or so fans at Wembley Stadium.
Will Fury retire (“retire, again”?) undefeated as a professional, or can Dillian Whyte send shockwaves through the sport with a huge upset in front of a massive crowd.
Scott Christ (15-9)
You know your boy’s got that itch to make the big upset pick here. Dillian Whyte is no joke and can punch, Tyson Fury is maybe in a weird state of mind right now with him insisting he’s retiring after this fight and not responding great when asked about the Daniel Kinahan fallout, which has already seen MTK Global shut down, and as Fury himself said, this is heavyweight boxing, and any one punch can change or end a fight.
But I don’t see it. Even if Fury isn’t quite 100 percent there mentally, I just don’t think he’s a guy Whyte will be able to find with enough thunder to secure a knockout, and I can’t imagine him out-pointing Fury. If Fury gets in trouble, maybe he fires back, he’s gained major confidence in his aggression and power since hooking up with SugarHill Steward. But maybe he boxes, too, and if he does that, Whyte’s not going to get much done with him at all.
Either way this turns out, I just think Fury’s the better fighter, and will ride off into whatever portion of the sunset he sees for his third or fourth retirement, or however many it will be at this point. And I think he gets the stoppage, too. But I do think Whyte is live-ish for a number of reasons, and a small bet on him at those underdog odds seems really tempting for my idiot gambler’s brain. Fury TKO-9
Wil Esco (18-6)
This fight has been a long time coming for Dillian Whyte, who’s told any and everyone stories of how he used to have his way against Tyson Fury in past sparring sessions, which he largely credits for his difficulty in landing this fight. However long it’s been, the time has finally come, and Whyte is going to have to prove his confidence and ability in the ring against a man who’s proven his ability to overcome adversity.
Perhaps Dillian Whyte is a bigger singular puncher than Tyson Fury, but that’s about where his advantages end as far as I see it. Fury has proven plenty capable of navigating bigger punchers than Whyte after going through three fights with Deontay Wilder, and I think Fury ends up putting on a similar type performance here against Whyte. I’m going to take Fury to win a second-half stoppage after he wears down Whyte with both his boxing and mauling. Fury TKO-10
John Hansen (20-4)
Last week, the spotlight pick was Spence vs Ugas. We all had to figure out whether a fighter with real capacity for greatness might be vulnerable, or compromised enough by outside-the-ring issues, to potentially get upset by a very good opponent that would otherwise clearly be at least half a level below. Now, here we are again a week later, this time at heavyweight, once again between Is He Really Himself? and He’s Good, Maybe Good Enough To Get This Done!
Fury seems well past his suicidal depression and the mental health issues that forced him out of the sport for over two and a half years, and good for that. But, there are signs that he’s distracted, or at least less driven than the Fury we’ve seen in recent years.
Fury is notably and sometimes aggressively averse to discussing his relationship with Daniel Kinahan, a lingering and problematic situation that’s reared up at a very inconvenient time. Fury has gone from calling Dillian Whyte a “bum dosser” and a “wet lettuce” earlier this year to urging calm and praising Whyte in the final buildup to Saturday. Fury insists he already has one foot through the door to retirement from boxing, and that he has no real motivation to continue past this weekend.
I still expect Fury to win, and win handily. He’s never failed when he’s actually made it in the ring. My guess, though, is that we’ll see Fury win through the approach he used in the Klitschko fight, the first Chisora fight, and his 2018 return against Francesco Pianeta. I don’t think we’ll see the Fury that stifled and knocked out Deontay Wilder. We’ll see the one that controls fights with movement, footwork, and the reach advantage that allows him to pile up rounds with a persistent keepaway jab. Give me Fury on wide cards, and give me “Happy Trails” in the pool for what song he’ll sing after the fight. Fury UD-12
Patrick Stumberg (18-6)
Broadly speaking, Whyte has the right sort of toolset to give Fury Issues. While he fought like an absolute goon in his rematch with Alexander Povetkin, he generally boasts solid fundamentals, a 12-round motor, and a solid body attack. I’m just not convinced he can stop Tyson Fury from doing Tyson Fury things. He’s not quite technically adept enough to shut down Fury’s footwork and long-range offense, and even if he does manage to work his way into the pocket, I don’t see him doing enough damage in his brief windows of opportunity before Fury smothers him.
Whyte’s definitely a greater threat to Fury than the vast, vast majority of heavyweights, but he’s still a level or two too low. Fury turns in a grinding performance that reminds fans spoiled by two years of Tyson Fury, Action Fighter of “The Gypsy King’s” true bread and butter; the stoppage may be there if Whyte fights as sloppily as he did last time out, but odds are this one goes the distance. Fury UD-12
Bad Left Hook will have full live coverage including round-by-round for Fury vs Whyte on Saturday, April 23, starting at 2 pm ET (7 pm BST), with the Fury-Whyte main event expected around 5 pm ET.