Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte: Promoter insists Whyte is being 'underestimated'

Boxxer promoter Ben Shalom has warned Tyson Fury not to underestimate Dillian Whyte when the two British heavyweights meet at Wembley next month.

Fury will put his WBC world title on the line in front of 90,000 at Wembley in what will be the biggest heavyweight fight in British history.

Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) has been inactive for 12 months, waiting for his shot at a world title. That wait looked like being futile after Whyte was shocked by Alexander Povetkin in August 2020.

His momentum, and mandatory position, was halted by the 40-year-old Russian, who knocked him out with a single left uppercut.

Whyte exacted revenge though in March 2021, knocking out Povetkin in four rounds to regain his interim title and ultimately a shot at Fury.

And Shalom, whose Boxxer promotional company is partnered with Sky Sports, thinks Whyte will "do well" against Fury on April 23.

Just exactly what the up-and-coming promoter means by that is unclear. Any sort of defeat will leave the Brixton fighter firmly at the back of the queue of heavyweights gunning for a world title.

Fury, who set out a five-fight plan last year and has already knocked off one of those after blasting out Deontay Wilder in the 11th round in October, will not entertain a re-match.

His eyes were on a double-header with Anthony Joshua, however AJ's defeat by Oleksandr Usyk may have changed that, before Fury talked about a fight with close pal Derek Chisora and bows out of the sport.

But Shalom says Whyte, who has only been beaten by Povetkin and Joshua, should not be taken lightly.

"I think he's going to do well, Dillian. I think people are underestimating him, Shalom told SecondsOut.

"He's so focused on this fight, and he's been focused on this fight for a long time, and I wouldn't underestimate what he can potentially do against Tyson Fury."

Whyte, who waited until just hours remaining on the deadline to sign the deal to fight Fury, refused to take part in the first press conference.

The 33-year-old is far from happy with the 80/20 purse split in favour of Fury, which was set beforehand by the WBC.

Whyte and Warren 'have never seen eye-to-eye'

"I don't think it's mind games. I think he's still generally upset that he's on 20% [split for the Tyson Fury fight]," said Shalom.

"Regardless of whether it's £8million, £12million, or £15 million, he's still only 20%, and I don't think he ever thought that was fair, or that was ever right, but that was the WBC's position.

"I do feel a little bit for Frank [Warren] and Bob [Arum] because they've made a bid, they've won. They've outbid [Matchroom Boxing]. It's not their decision, is it?" said Shalom when told that Fury's promoters pushed for the 80/20 split for the Whyte fight.

"Just as Eddie [Hearn] and myself say that it should be more, they're representing Tyson, and their job is to get him as much money. The WBC are the arbitrators. It's been called 80/20.

"I can see why Dillian is not going [to the press conferences]. He doesn't have any incentive to. Regardless of what people might say, he's focused on this fight; he wants to win this fight.

"Why is he going to put any undue stress and pressure on his promotion? I don't know. They've got some issues, I'm sure. Dillian and Frank have never seen eye-to-eye and got on. So genuinely, he probably just sees, 'Why should I do any favors?'

"Obviously, we'd love to be seeing part of the promotion, but whether it makes a difference or whether it doesn't, I don't know. The tickets sold pretty well. I don't know, but I can see both sides," said Shalom.

Read more: Five reasons why Tyson Fury is world heavyweight champion

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