Five of the biggest all-British fights ahead of Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte

Planet Sport recalls some of the biggest fights in the sport’s domestic history ahead of an expected clash between Fury and Whyte.

Finally, Dillian Whyte has been installed as the mandatory challenger for Tyson Fury's WBC heavyweight world title.

At the start of the year, fans expected to see the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis to be crowned between Fury and Anthony Joshua. August 14 was the date and Saudi Arabia was the location.

Eddie Hearn had even confirmed a two-fight deal had been agreed in principle between both teams. That was until an arbitration court ruling blocked the fight, favouring Deontay Wilder in triggering his rematch clause against Fury.

The "Gypsy King" would beat the American for a second time and end the trilogy series with a brutal knockout in round 11. Joshua took on Oleksandr Usyk two weeks before in September but would blow the chance of a unification bout against Fury after losing to the Ukrainian via unanimous decision in London.

Joshua has since activated his rematch clause and despite there being talks about him moving aside for Fury to face Usyk, he will now get the chance to become a three-time heavyweight champion in 2022.

It now means Fury will have to face his mandatory challenger if he is to remain WBC champion and Dillian Whyte has been confirmed as that opponent. The pair are expected to clash in March at either Manchester or Cardiff.

Ahead of the all-British clash, Planet Sport has taken a look at five previous domestic dust-ups below.

Nigel Benn vs Chris Eubank

Nigel Benn Chris Eubank

The ferocious super middleweight rivals clashed for the first time in Birmingham in November 1990, with Chris Eubank winning by ninth-round stoppage.

The rematch in front of 42,000 fans at Old Trafford in October 1993 was an instant classic and ended in a controversial draw with both men retaining their respective world titles although many felt Benn had done enough to win.

Benn made another five successful defences of his WBC title before losing to Thulani Malinga and back-to-back defeats against Steve Collins.

Eubank - who made six defences of his WBO belt - would also get beat by Collins twice before retiring in 1998.

Benn and Eubank remained fierce rivals years after boxing but in 2021, they have put their differences aside and embarked on a UK tour together, telling tales of their rivalry and the two fights they were involved in.

David Haye vs Tony Bellew

Tony Bellew

Bullish cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew got his wish of a crack at former world heavyweight champion David Haye in March 2017.

After an acrimonious build-up, the bout at London's O2 Arena fell flat when Haye tore an Achilles tendon, leading his corner to eventually throw in the towel. Bellew dominated the eventual rematch, flooring Haye three times before winning in round five.

It would be the last fight of Haye's professional career, later confirming his retirement from the sport. He is just one of three fighters - alongside Evander Holyfield and Oleksandr Usyk - to have unified the cruiserweight division as well as winning a world title at heavyweight.

Meanwhile, Bellew had one final fight but got knocked out by Usyk, who made the first and only defence of his cruiserweight world titles.

Frank Bruno vs Lennox Lewis

Frank Bruno and Lennox Lewis collide in all-British encounter

The so-called 'Battle of Britain' took place at Cardiff Arms Park in October 1993. Lennox Lewis was making the second defence of his WBC title, with Frank Bruno making his third bid for a world crown.

Bruno wobbled Lewis in the third round but it proved to be a momentary success as the champion began to dominate and eventually forced referee Mickey Vann's intervention midway through the seventh round.

"True Brit" Bruno would become world champion in his fourth attempt against Oliver McCall but lost it in his first defence to Mike Tyson in 1996.

Lewis would gain revenge for Bruno by beating Tyson in 2002 via stoppage in round 10 - it remains the most lucrative heavyweight fight in boxing history with 1.95 million pay-per-view buys in America.

He is also the last fighter to have been undisputed champion in the division having achieved it by beating Evander Holyfield in 1999.

Joe Bugner vs Henry Cooper

Boxing  British, Commonwealth and European Heavyweight Title  Henry Cooper v Joe Bugner  Empire Pool

Henry Cooper, a veteran of two heroic challenges to Muhammad Ali, met the 21-year-old Joe Bugner at Wembley in March 1971, for Cooper's British, European and Commonwealth belts.

Having famously floored the "Louisville Lip", then known as Cassius Clay, Cooper was adored by British fans and seen as a national treasure. It was reflected years after receiving a knighthood by Her Majesty, and he remains the only Knight of Boxing although Planet Sport believes Amir Khan should follow in his footsteps.

After a hard-fought contest, referee Harry Gibbs awarded Bugner the victory by the slimmest of margins, one quarter of a point. The verdict split the crowd and the wider sporting nation, and infuriated Cooper, who immediately announced his retirement and would refuse to speak to Gibbs for many years.

For Bugner, he would go on to challenge Ali on two occasions, the second being in 1975 for the WBA and WBC heavyweight world titles although both ended in a unanimous decision defeat for the Hungarian-born Briton.

Initially retiring after defeating to Frank Bruno in 1987, Bugner made a comeback in 1995 before hanging them up for good in 1999.

Carl Froch vs George Groves

Carl Froch

Carl Froch and George Groves met for the first time in Manchester in November 2013. With no love lost between the pair, Froch claimed a controversial stoppage win in the ninth round, when Groves was well ahead on the scorecards.

As promised during the build-up, Groves knocked Froch down in the opening round and continued to wobble him in the early stages. In round eight, the first time Froch had any real success he wobbled Groves and it was enough for referee Howard Foster to halt proceedings.

The post-fight reaction was met with jeers from fans inside the arena as well as a distraught Groves, who had split with Adam Booth prior to the fight with Paddy Fitzpatrick in his corner for the bout.

The ending paved the way for an even more lucrative rematch which took place at Wembley in May 2014.

The IBF ordered the rematch and Nottingham's Froch agreed to the fight with it taking place in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. The main event, which included a rising Anthony Joshua on the undercard, saw Froch stop Groves via a pair of devastating hooks mid-way through round eight.

Read more: Tyson Fury ordered to defend WBC heavyweight title against Dillian Whyte

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