Tyson Fury reckons he’s the unintentional master of the mind games and has already got Dillian Whyte overthinking.
The WBC heavyweight champion defends his title against his mandatory challenger in a £31.5m clash at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. It is Fury’s first fight back on these shores since 2018 and his first against a fellow Brit since he stopped Derek Chisora in 2014.
Whyte has been a reluctant party so far in the pre-fight build-up, with his first media showing at last week’s conference call which descended into farce.
Unbeaten Fury, 33, has been selling the fight on his own since an announcement press conference back in March and Wembley will be packed with a record 94,000-strong crowd this weekend. Fury and Whyte will begin their fight week media obligations on Tuesday with an open workout in the Wembley area before a press conference on Wednesday when they will finally go face to face.
“People always say I am a master of mind games but I don’t do anything intentionally, I just talk,” said Fury. “Sometimes it’s a load of old rubbish and sometimes it’s good, most of the time it is entertaining. But a lot of fighters have a fear factor that I am going to get in their head.
“But I’m not Doctor X, I am just a boxer, how can I get inside someone’s brain? Dillian Whyte not getting involved has shown that I am in his mind already. He has stayed away and stayed quiet because he thinks it will stop that. But I know he has been thinking hard about me.”
There has been some doubt whether Whyte would go through with the fight despite earning over £6m because he wasn’t happy with details of the contract he signed. Those fears have been put to bed by the Brixton bruiser finally starting to get involved in his contractual obligations.
“He’ll turn up, I know he will, 100 per cent,” said Fury. “For the money he is getting you would turn up in any state, only an idiot wouldn’t. “Even if I had been on the drink every night of camp and eating s*** every day, I would still turn up and take the money. You would have to, wouldn’t you?”
Fury has been known for his jovial antics at press conferences before. He has dressed up as Batman to rattle Wladimir Klitschko and engaged Deontay Wilder in vicious verbal sparring sessions which riled up the American. This week he may face some uncomfortable questions, though, in the aftermath of former advisor Daniel Kinahan’s sanctioning by the US treasury.
Boxers were warned last week by Gardai [police] in Ireland to sever all ties with Kinahan, after the US sanctioned the alleged organised crime boss and issued a £3.8m reward for information leading to his arrest. But Fury will no doubt try to brush off any interrogation on the matter as he plots his path to an undisputed heavyweight fight.
“The Batman stunt is my favourite, I always wanted to do it and Klitschko was the perfect fight for it,” he added. “It’s alright being brash and confident but you have to back it up. Some of these fighters, supposed confident characters – naming no names – and they go in and can’t back it up. But if you can go in and back it up every time then you are on to a winner.”
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