Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte: ‘Bodysnatcher’ signs fight contract for April
Dillian Whyte has signed a contract to fight WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury just hours before the deadline.
The fight is expected to take place at Wembley Stadium and Fury confirmed it is to be on 23 April.
Whyte, 33, had until 06:00 GMT on Tuesday to sign but had spent the weekend and Monday negotiating details of the deal.
“Dillian Whyte signed his contract for $8m, what a surprise,” Fury said on social media.
Fury added: “The man’s signed for the biggest payday he’s going to get in his life.”
In a later video on Tuesday he told his followers that he will now be taking a break from social media as he prepares for the bout.
“I’m about to go off social media completely for the next eight and a half weeks,” he said.
“I’m going into training camp to give Dillian Whyte all the respect in the world he needs. I’ll never underestimate anyone in my life.
“Don’t phone me, call me, email me, text me or try to contact me in any way as I am out of bounds until May. I’ll be training away. Please respect my privacy and space. See you all at the press conference.”
Fury v Whyte: How did we get here?
Whyte is the mandatory challenger to Fury’s WBC belt and has been waiting years for a shot at the world title as the WBC’s number-one-ranked contender.
After lengthy discussions between both teams came to nothing, Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions won the purse bids in January with a $41m (£30m) bid, beating Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn who was the only other bidder.
Fury, 33, is now set to receive 80%, around £20m, of the purse and Whyte the remaining 20%.
Whyte has been pushing for a bigger split of the purse bid but the £5.6m he is guaranteed to receive will be the biggest payday of his career to date. There is also a further £3.1m on offer for the winner.
Fury has not fought in the UK since August 2018 when he beat Francesco Pianeta having fought exclusively in the US since signing a promotional deal with Bob Arum’s Top Rank.
Whyte has built a formidable reputation in UK with just two defeats on his record. There was a suggestion his decision to delay signing his contract was an attempt to unsettle Fury, but the ‘Gypsy King’ poked fun at the idea.
He joked: “My head hurts from all the mind games Dillian Whyte has been playing on me. Oh my god. I’m so sore I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, my training’s camp a mess.”
Fury, who is unbeaten in his pro career with 31 wins and one draw, will now need to seek a boxing licence from the British Boxing Board of Control.
A news conference officially announcing the fight could happen as early as Wednesday. Cardiff’s Principality Stadium is still an option to host the bout although the 90,000-seater Wembley Stadium, a venue neither fighter has headlined, is a clear favourite.
There is still one final outstanding issue between Fury and Whyte to be resolved before an official announcement is made.