LONDON – Tyson Fury sauntered to the scale to Gala’s “Freed from Desire,” and was greeted by a raucous crowd of Englishmen who welcomed “The Gypsy King” on Friday ahead of his first-ever title fight on British soil.
The heavyweight champion disrobed before he fired a big right hand into the sky and stepped on the scale: 264.8 pounds, nearly 13 pounds less than he weighed for his October win over Deontay Wilder.
Dillian Whyte, who will challenge Fury on Saturday before 94,000-plus at Wembley Stadium (2 pm ET, ESPN + PPV) in just the third all-British heavyweight title fight in the division’s 130-year-plus history, checked in at 253.25 pounds.
“For the last fight, it’s no secret, [trainer SugarHill Steward] can tell you, we had about four, five weeks training time for that, and in that time we had to cross the Atlantic to Vegas in a different time zone, “Fury told ESPN when asked to explain all the pounds that were shed.” For this camp, we had 14 weeks preparation. We’re in shape! “
As always, Fury’s physique belies his impeccable conditioning, a 12-round engine that is among the best in all of boxing, not just the heavyweight division.
In ESPN’s 2021 Fight of the Year, an 11th-round KO of Wilder in a hellacious slugfest, Fury weighed a career-high 277 pounds. Even after all those grueling rounds, Fury had the energy to belt out a celebratory song in the ring before he partied on stage with DJ Steven Aoki at a Las Vegas night club deep into the night.
The 33-year-old Fury is on top of the game and is guaranteed $ 29,538,000. If Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) emerges victorious, he’ll earn a career-high $ 33,640,500 (a $ 4,102,500 win bonus is on the line.) He’s rated No. 1 by ESPN at heavyweight and No. 6 pound-for-pound, yet insists he’ll retire after Saturday’s showdown with Whyte.
The promise comes despite the temptation of a fight for the undisputed championship later this year against the winner of the July 23 rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua. The prospective matchup for all four heavyweight titles stands to be one of the richest in boxing history, but Fury vows to walk away from it all.
“I’m taking it all in, like every person who came, it means the world to me,” Fury said. “There was once upon a time in this country when fans booed me, believe it or not. Now, they embrace me and they love me and it’s an overwhelming feeling; overjoyed with it all. Fantastic support from the British people.”
Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) is a native of Jamaica but resided in England for a long time before he recently relocated to Portugal. The 34-year-old headlined on pay-per-view many times in the UK and is a major attraction here in his own right, a big reason why this fight is so heavily anticipated.
Since he became the WBC’s No. 1 contender in October 2017 with a victory over Robert Helenius, Whyte has waited more than 1,600 days for his title shot. Arguably, he is boxing’s most accomplished fighter to never vie for a championship.
“I’m ready to go to war tomorrow,” said Whyte, rated the No. 6 heavyweight by ESPN. “… Everyone’s got their time and I feel this is my time.”
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