Tyson Fury insists he is not “untouchable” as he prepares to shake off a fight week free of animosity and go to “war” against Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night.
Fury weighed 18st 12lbs 13oz on the eve of his WBC heavyweight title defence, nearly a stone lighter than six months ago when he knocked out Deontay Wilder in a thrilling third fight between the pair.
Speculation has persisted throughout the build-up that Fury may look to keep the fight at a distance and frustrate Whyte, but the self-styled Gypsy King was adamant his defence is not impregnable.
While he has beaten everyone he has faced, Fury was downed four times in his trilogy against Wilder and also had to rise from the canvas to beat Neven Pajkic in 2011 and Steve Cunningham two years later.
“I’m not sure about all this outboxing – unless I’m Houdini, I can definitely hit them all, for sure, but I’ve definitely been hit before,” said Fury, who has won 31 and drawn one of his 32 fights.
“I’ve been bounced off the canvas more times than a bouncy ball. I’m not this untouchable boxer everyone thinks I might be. I’m just a normal boxing man who has got lucky 32 times in a row, I think!
“Don’t doubt us, we’re going to put a show on, like no other before."
Fury and Whyte were training partners on several occasions earlier in their careers. When they have been together this there has been a surprising lack of friction, with the good will continuing at Friday’s weigh-in, where Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) scaled 18st 1lb 4oz.
They briefly danced on stage alongside one another as the music blared, having turned to face the assembled crowd, although a fired-up Fury insisted matters would be more serious when they next meet.
“[Whyte is] a decent bloke,” added Fury. “He’s got some morals and we got along like a house on fire in training camps.
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“He’s definitely a fearless guy, I’ve sparred him a lot in the past and he didn’t show any weaknesses at all. I’m not going to sit here and slate the fella because I’ve not got anything to slate him on.”
Fury, 33, and Whyte, 34, were in a playful spirits at the final stare down. The 6ft 9in Fury emphasised his five-inch height advantage by standing on his tiptoes at Wembley and Whyte played along by crouching down, with the pair shaking hands, trading baseball caps and sharing wide grins.
Fury, who has repeatedly suggested he will retire whatever the outcome this weekend, was clear the mood will be different when they next meet.
“We’re going to give you a real fight,” said Fury. “Don’t doubt us, we’re going to put a show on like no other before. It’s going to be a war, don’t worry about that.”
This will be Fury’s first fight on UK soil since August 2018, with his last five bouts in the United States, and it is expected to attract an estimated 94,000 spectators – a post-war British record.
Whyte was first installed as the WBC’s No 1 contender four years ago but has kept improving since then.
He has seen off the likes of Joseph Parker and Oscar Rivas in recent years before avenging his defeat to Alexander Povetkin by stopping the Russian in his last bout 13 months ago.
“Nothing is worth this wait, but we are here,” said Whyte. “I’m not someone who really complains or cries about things, but I should have had my title shot at least two years ago.
“I’m two years more seasoned, I have been through ups and down in those two years, so I am more mature as a person and a fighter.
“Maybe two years ago it wouldn’t have been as big as it is now, so in another way it could be worth the wait.”