Trainer Andy Lee says Tyson Fury told him that he’d been contemplating retiring from the sport following his recent eleventh round knockout win over Deontay Wilder in their rematch last month on October 9th. Still, he’s now interested in defending against his WBC mandatory/interim heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte.
Fury briefly contemplated the possibility of retiring young, and he doesn’t know what he would do if he hung up his gloves this early in his life. He’d be like baseball great Ty Cobb, retiring while still in his prime in 1928 after batting .336, which was a lesser year for him. Cobb, who made millions in stocks, was reportedly bored retiring early as a wealthy man.
The World Boxing Council are expected to order Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) to defend his WBC title against Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) at their convention this month on November 14th.
Once that happens, Fury will need to decide whether to defend against Whyte next or vacate his title. If Fury does nothing, his WBC belt will be stripped from him by the sanctioning body and likely given to Whyte.
If that’s the scenario that plays out, the 33-year-old Dillian will join the not so prestigious club of the email champions with the WBC, which would put him in the company of Devin Haney.
Whyte won’t turn the WBC belt down obviously because he can use it to open the door for him to get a crack at the winner of the Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua rematch next year.
To get to the big money fight against the Usyk-Joshua 2 winner, Fury will need to defeat Whyte unless he wants to vacate his WBC title and ask the sanctioning body to make him their Franchise champion.
At this point, it doesn’t matter if Fury has the WBC title in his possession or not. Fury will get the winner of the Usyk vs. Joshua 2 fight because he’s the more popular fighter than Whyte.
That’s not to say that Whyte wouldn’t eventually get a crack at the last man standing between those two fights if he has the WBC title, but he won’t get the winner of the Joshua vs. Usyk II fight right away. In other words, Fury gets the first shot.
It looks like Fury is going to defend Whyte next. Dillian doesn’t care that fans view him as having faked a shoulder injury to squirm out of his October 30th fight against Otto Wallin after finding out the WBC was going to order Fury to defend against him if he didn’t set up a unification fight with IBF/WBA/WBO champion Usyk within 30 days.
“He said, ‘Well, I’m thinking that way [to retire],’ And then he said, ‘On the other hand, what else am I going to do with my life?'” said Andy Lee To TalkSport in what Tyson Fury told him.
“He loves to train, he loves to fight, and although there are no challenges out there for him, he can still take a lot of pleasure in cleaning out the division and beating up these other guys and also earn a hell of a lot of money while doing it.
“He likes the Dillian Whyte fight; he is enthused by that; that’s what he is talking about to me, so I can see that being the next one,” said Lee of Fury.
Whyte is a similar type of fighter to Dereck Chisora, only bigger, stronger, but flawed in the same way with his shaky defense and chin. Fury is familiar with Whyte, having sparred with him in the past, so he knows what he’s up against in fighting him.
Whyte looked good in his last fight against 41-year-old Alexander Povetkin last March, but the Russian fighter was coming off a bad case of COVID-19, and he looked terrible physically. The previous year, Povetkin starched Whyte in five rounds in 2020, knocking him clean out. Povetkin would likely have knocked Whyte out a second time if he didn’t come down with COVID.
The only problem with Whyte is he’s got the stigma that will follow him of being viewed by fans as having faked an injury to avoid a risky fight against Wallin, and he’s going to be desperate. If Fury isn’t ready for the all-out assault that Whyte puts on him, he could lose. You’ve got to expect Whyte to rough Fury up as he did in his wins over Dereck Chisora and Joseph Parker.