Tyson Fury accuses Dillian Whyte of 'showing white flag' for missing press conference

British boxers due to clash in heavyweight title bout at Wembley Stadium in London on April 23

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Tyson Fury has accused Dillian Whyte of "showing the white flag" for failing to show up for a media event promoting their world heavyweight title fight at Wembley Stadium in London.

Fury is defending his WBC belt against his fellow Briton on April 23 and the pair were due to go head-to-head in a press conference on Tuesday only for Whyte not to turn up.

It was reported that Whyte - the mandatory challenger for Fury's title - was seeking to renegotiate his share of the fight split before he signed his contract hours ahead of the deadline last week.

Frank Warren won the rights to stage the encounter between his client and Whyte, with a record $42 million purse bid. Fury is set to receive almost $30m of that, with Whyte taking home a little more than $7m. A bonus of $4m goes to the winner.

Whyte is currently preparing for his first world title opportunity in Portugal and, according to Warren, rejected the offer of a private jet to come head-to-head with Fury.

“He’s getting the biggest payday of his life,” said Fury, who is unbeaten in his 32 pro bouts. Whyte has lost twice in his 28 fights. “He should be here kissing my feet and washing my feet.

“Before I was like ‘you know what, when I say stuff about Dillian Whyte he always fires back and he gets upset and causes a bit of a ruckus’, now it’s like ‘say what you want about the guy’.

“It’s given me that much more confidence, it’s unbelievable. He’s definitely shown the white flag in my estimation.

“He doesn’t want to go face-to-face with me because he’ll see that fire in my eyes and he’ll think ‘I’m getting smashed to bits’.”

Fury's last fight saw him defeat Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in their third fight with a brutal 11th-round knockout. He last bout in Britain was in August 2018 when he beat Francesco Pianeta in Belfast.

Warren claimed that Whyte is getting paid more than his contemporaries did when they first fought for a world title. “I’ve never heard of a fighter not showing up to a press conference,” the promoter said.

“He’s getting eight times more than Tyson got to fight [Wladimir] Klitschko, he’s getting more than [Anthony] Joshua got paid to fight [Charles] Martin, he’s getting more than [Oleksandr] Usyk got to fight Joshua.

“Champions bank on themselves to win, that’s what they do to become the king. You win the title, you get the money.

“It’s just not right. We are where we are but Dillian Whyte is in Portugal. He should be here. It’s disgraceful that he’s not here, it’s not professional.”

Whyte last fought when he beat Alexander Povetkin with a knockout in his March 2021 rematch - after losing their first bout against the Russian - with both wins coming via knockout. Whyte's other defeat came against former world champion Joshua in 2015.

Fury added: “He’s no different to many of the other opponents I’ve fought in my career. They’re all dangerous, they’ve all got a puncher’s chance.

“I always put a lot of pressure on myself and if I can’t look like Muhammad Ali boxing this guy then I’m in the wrong position and I’m not as good as I think I am. I will chop him to bits, not a problem.

“You’re going to see a boxing a masterclass, you’ll see the difference in levels, you’re going to see the Ferrari racing the Vauxhall Corsa in a race. There’s levels to this game.

“I’m not saying Dillian Whyte’s not capable of winning a fight because he’s won nearly 30 fights but there’s a gulf in class here. If I’m daft enough to get knocked out by him then I don’t deserve to be world heavyweight champion.”

Updated: March 01, 2022, 5:31 PM
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