|Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte||Preview|
|Where||Wembley Stadium, London, England|
|When||Saturday, April 23, 5pm ET|
|TV||ESPN+, BT Sport Box Office|
Over 94,000 fans will pack into London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday to watch Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte lock horns in one of the biggest British fights of all time.
In terms of attendance alone, it is already an event that has shattered records, easily surpassing the 90,000 that crammed into the national stadium for Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017. Almost five years on, the stage is once again set for a heavyweight collision of enormous significance, both in terms of its scale and its ramifications for boxing’s marquee division.
While he holds fewer belts than his counterpart Oleksandr Usyk - a unified titleholder in possession of three of the four major honors - it is Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) who is the de facto heavyweight champion of the world. However, despite turning professional in 2008, only in the past few years has the self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ truly endeared himself to an American television audience. A controversial draw with the hard-hitting Deontay Wilder in December 2018 was the starting point for one of the most entertaining trilogies this century, and the 6’9” Brit underlined his superiority with two crushing knockouts to wrap up the rivalry.
In a contest that Fury says will be his last before retirement, it’s a Londoner that stands in his way of bowing out at the very pinnacle of the sport. Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) will be a name less recognizable to many in the US, but has for some years been an established pay-per-view attraction on the other side of the Atlantic. A back-and-forth battle with Joshua - the other British heavyweight capable of filling a soccer stadium - in 2015 ended brutally for Whyte (Joshua TKO7), but provided a launchpad for a career that has since been spent as a headline attraction in his own right. Wins over the likes of Joseph Parker, Oscar Rivas, and Alexander Povetkin - the latter requiring a rematch to avenge a stoppage defeat the first time around - underlined Whyte’s credentials as a top-tier operator and a contender for Fury’s WBC crown.
Fury a massive favorite
Inevitably, Fury is heavily favored to retain his silverware here - and deservedly so - but in terms of the odds, the Fury outright is a bet with little very breathing room and is, arguably, a quote that has already well overshot the mark. At time of writing, the industry-best offer of -500 is greatly outnumbered by the -600 that is available with a wider range of firms. Those two prices pin an implied 83% to 86% win probability to Fury, and there is reason enough to believe that might just be a little high.
Fury, of course, is generally always handed favoritism. Although a slight +115 underdog in his first fight with Derek Chisora in 2011, it wasn’t until November 2015 that the Manchester-born man saw north of even-money again, which came on a famous evening in Germany when he toppled the long-reigning Klitschko on the scorecards as a +300 outsider. Only once since have traders considered Fury anything other than an odds-on shot, with his price ranging between +110 and +150 ahead of the first Wilder fight.
While a win for the A-side is still by far the likeliest outcome, at anywhere between -500 and -600 there should be little in such a lopsided quote to appeal to seasoned bettors. Indeed, those weighing up a play on the underdog might feel buoyed by recent evidence, particularly when Whyte’s chances have been largely dismissed at +400, or just a 20% implied win chance, and potential angles for a contrarian can be found in abundance.
Of the two men, it is Whyte who is considered the bigger puncher of the two. Fury - as Wilder can attest - has thudding, concussive power in both hands, but has never been renowned for his one-shot finishes, instead often wearing down his opponent with volume and over 270lb in weight, as observed in both the second and third Wilder bouts. Conversely, despite a somewhat misleading moniker of ‘The Body Snatcher’, Whyte’s true threat is not his bodywork, but a signature left hook that - in terms of a standalone punch - is arguably one of the most potent weapons in the entire sport. Though it is undoubtedly true that Fury repeatedly proved his mettle and unshakable self-belief against Wilder - one of the heaviest-handed boxers in history - those looking to side with the upset will be encouraged both by the fact that Fury hit the canvas four times across those three meetings with the Alabamian.
Will distractions outside the ring matter?
Outside of the ring, there are reasons to like Whyte’s chances here, particularly when pondering the intangibles. Fury’s declaration that he will retire after Saturday is far from the first time he has announced retirement, and could be nothing more than mind games, but the track record of boxers going into a fight knowing - either privately or publicly - that it will be their last is patchy at best. A further distraction to Fury will be that his long–held management company, MTK Global, announced on Wednesday that it will cease operating from the end of April. How bettors choose to absorb such factors into their decision-making - if at all - could be crucial to their success in a sport that is rarely played out entirely between the ropes.
A cursory glance at the Method of Victory market tells you all you need to know about Whyte’s most likely path to glory. With no man ever having beaten Fury, the form book gives little indication of how he might prevail, but the consensus is that, of the two men, it is Whyte that is the technically inferior. +2500 for the Whyte decision after 12 rounds suggests just a 4% likelihood, and considering his past struggles in wars of attrition - the Parker fight just one example - it feels highly unlikely that, without notching a knockdown or two along the way, he would be capable of either outslugging or outboxing Fury over the scheduled distance. With +600 (14% implied chance) on the Whyte stoppage, the +400 (20%) on the Whyte outright win might suffice for underdog backers without having to delve into the props.
Those looking to side with Fury - and it will be the majority - have the opposite problem should they decide against paying the premium for the outright +500 or worse. A Fury win inside the distance - so far 2/2 since linking up with trainer SugarHill Steward - is thought by the layers to be the most probable outcome at a general -150, or a 60% shot. Although odds-on, it’s a price that does have merit: both of Whyte’s defeats have been heavy ones, having been laid out inside five and seven rounds by Povetkin and Joshua respectively.
With Fury having seemingly abandoned the safety-first approach drilled into him by former coach Ben Davison between 2018-2019, it feels unlikely that he will revert to that same cautious fighter here, and so the +250 (29% implied) for Fury on points would appear to rely on Whyte’s durability than any premeditated game plan to take it to the judges.
More likely is that the two men - in front of a Wembley wall of noise - meet head on in the center of the ring, where both have vulnerabilities. There is some appeal in siding with Fury to win in rounds 7-12 at a reasonable +175 (36%), but should things ignite early on, reaching the midpoint could be an uncomfortable wait. The price that stands out, then, is to take the under 8.5 rounds at slight odds-against (+110, 48%), which gets both men on side — as well as the distinct possibility of fireworks from the opening bell.
Fury vs Whyte expert pick
Under 8.5 rounds (+110)
|Age||33 (August 12, 1988)|
|Height||6ft 9in (206 cm)|
|Weight||277lb (19st 7lb)|
|Birthplace||Wythenshawe, Manchester, England|
Tyson Fury is a whopping 6ft 9in tall. For his last fight with fearsome puncher Deontay Wilder, he tipped the scales at 277lbs (19.5st). The boxer, who was born in Manchester, England, is 33-years-old and is unbeaten in 31 fights with a record of 31-0-1 (22KOs).
|Age||33 (April 11, 1988)|
|Height||6ft 4in (193 cm)|
|Weight||250lb (17st 9lb)|
|Birthplace||Port Antonio, Jamaica|
Dillian Whyte is 33-years-of age. Nicknamed 'The Body Snatcher', he was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica and stands at 6ft 4in (193 cm) tall. For his last fight he weighed in at 250lbs. His professional boxing record is 28-2-19KOs.
Both men have been surprisingly calm and respectful in the build up to their heavyweight showdown.
"We're going to treat you all to a hell of a barnstormer. He's a good, strong, solid man. He has good punch with good power - he's knocked out a lot of men. He's definitely a man who needs a lot of respect and that's what I've given him by my training camp. I've trained as hard for Dillian as I have for Wilder, Klitschko or anybody.
"I see the odds and laugh a bit because they're coming from people who don't know anything about boxing. This is heavyweight boxing. Anyone can win with one punch. If I'm not on my A Game, this guy will knock my head right off my shoulders."
"It means everything to fight in my own country, and for the world title. Wembley is not too far from where I'm from. I'm ready to rock and roll. It's a big fight and I'm excited to be here. Sorry I couldn't be here earlier but I'm here now."
Tickets for Tyson Fury's next fight against Dillian Whyte sold out in minutes. The incredible demand for tickets to see the heavyweight showdown has led promoter Frank Warren to apply for permission to increase the capacity at the iconic English venue.
Despite this, there are some tickets available on popular resale sites now.
Here's the full confirmed undercard for Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte so far.
Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte
Tommy Fury vs Daniel Bocianski
Isaac Lowe vs Nick Ball
David Adeleye vs Chris Healey
Kurt Walker vs TBC
Karol Itauma vs Michal Ciach
Royston Barney-Smith vs Jahfieus Faure
Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte will take place at 5:30pm ET on Saturday, April 23. The undercard fights from Wembley Stadium start at 1pm, while the main televised card will kick off at 2pm ET on ESPN+ PPV.
Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte will be live on ESPN PPV in the United States and BT Sports PPV in the UK and Ireland. You can stream the fight on your smartphone, desktop, tablet and Amazon fire stick by visiting ESPN.com or BT.com
To Win Fight
The simplest bet on boxing that we can make. All we need to do is predict which of the two fighters will be victorious. It doesn’t matter how or when they win, all that counts is that the referee holds aloft our selection’s hand at the end of the fight.