Glory or money? Why Dillian Whyte should bet on himself and fight Tyson Fury

Despite only being offered an 80-20 split, Lewis Oldham looks at why Dillian Whyte should put glory over money in his pursuit for a world title…

2021 was a wild year for heavyweight boxing. Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury looked set to take place before an arbitration case involving Deontay Wilder disrupted those plans.

Fury would instead fight Wilder for a third time, while Joshua fought his WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk.

By now we know how these barnstorming bouts panned out. Fury retained his WBC strap, while Usyk demolished AJ to become a two-weight world champion.

Had Fury and Joshua come through their fights unscathed, the intention was for them to restart talks for that evasive all-British unification bout.

But with Joshua now focusing on reclaiming his belts from Usyk in March or April, Fury's near future is in doubt…

This is where Whyte comes in. Ever since his loss in a classic against Joshua in 2015, the 'Bodysnatcher' has been working towards earning a world title shot.

By defeating the likes of Derek Chisora (twice), Joseph Parker and Oscar Rivas, Whyte's place as No.1 in the WBC rankings was established and a world title shot seemed to be an inevitability.

This all could have come crashing down in August 2020, though. He fought Alexander Povetkin behind closed doors at Fight Camp.

Whyte was the WBC interim heavyweight champion at this point and he was just keeping himself ticking over before his world title opportunity came.

To his frustration, however, the first Povetkin clash proved to be one risk too many for the British fighter.

After dominating the early rounds, Whyte was knocked out in the fifth by his Russian opponent. Whyte's career was now in limbo. He rematched Povetkin in unfamiliar surroundings last March as they headlined a stacked card in Gibraltar.

The Brixton heavyweight got his revenge that night via a decisive fourth-round stoppage. He was now back as interim champion and got his career back on track once again.

This is where the stories of Whyte and Fury overlap. The WBC have ordered the "Gypsy King' to defend his belt against his British rival.

Eddie Hearn has been clamouring for there to be a 55-45 split, whereas Top Rank were in favour of an 80-20 share.

Hearn has argued that Whyte is a proven PPV attraction and given that he is the interim champion, the purse should be more evenly proportioned.

It was announced just before the New Year though that Fury's team had got their wish. This came as the WBC ruled that Whyte would only receive 20% of the overall purse.

If an agreement cannot be reached between the two teams, purse bids will take place on January 11.

The likes of DAZN, Sky Sports and BT Sport will all be massively interested in broadcasting what would be one of the biggest fights of 2022.

Nevertheless, a question still remains. Will Whyte take the fight against Fury on these terms?

You can see why he wouldn't, given that he and his team would want a bigger slice of the pie.

The argument stands that in this case - especially considering how long he has waited for his opportunity - the shot at world glory outweighs money in terms of importance.

For over six years, Whyte has been fighting with the aim being to earn a world title shot. He deserves immense credit as he has never turned down a challenge, even when his spot in the rankings has been at stake.

Few can match Whyte in terms of his resume and the calibre of fighters he has beaten.

Now all of that work is about to pay off as a fight against Fury is only a couple of months away; he should take it with both hands.

Money has come in the way of an endless number of fights happening over the years. Given Whyte's character, it is hard to see him wanting his reputation being affected by him turning down a world title fight when it was right there for him.

For fight fans, this is a bout we need to see. While it is not as big as Fury-Joshua, it is still a mammoth all-British world title fight that would sell out any stadium in the UK.

Both are well supported and with their qualities, they should combine to deliver an exhilarating fight.

If Whyte truly believes that he can beat Fury, he should bet on himself and take this fight. The rewards professionally and financially are going to be enormous if he can win.

A potential rematch would be monumental and then the purse would be slanted significantly more towards Whyte.

There is no doubt that Fury would be a heavy favourite to beat Whyte, but the latter has the tools to pull off an upset.

As brilliant as Fury was against Wilder in their trilogy of fights, the champion became progressively easier to hit in each of their bouts.

Fury's aggressive approach made him more exposed as Wilder - who is not the best pure boxer - was able to capitalise to down the Brit on multiple occasions.

While Whyte does not carry as much punch power as Wilder, he is less likely than the American to gas out.

If he is able to hurt Fury, Whyte has the engine to jump on him to get him out of there.

Fury-Wilder III surpassed expectations but Fury-Whyte is just as intriguing a match up and it is a must for 2022.

Whyte may well suffer a definitive defeat against Fury, but this is the time to fight the Gypsy King so there are no ifs and buts when he eventually retires.

Regardless of the result, the respect for Whyte would go up just for taking the fight on these terms.

The time is now for the 33-year-old and if the purse dispute clouds his eventual judgement, he would live to regret it…

Read more: Floyd Mayweather - Has 'Money' obsession ruined his boxing legacy?

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