In his latest column, the British boxing legend assesses what’s next for Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte after a stunning win for The Gypsy King and looks forward to a huge night for Jack Massey at Fightzone.
Fury still in control
It’s hard to believe what’s coming out Tyson Fury’s mouth at times, and I say that with love! If he’s retired from boxing, he’s made himself proud, and I’m proud to call him my friend after everything he’s done in and out of the ring. He has been an honor to the sport.
But the only thing that makes me question how long he will be able to stay away is, of course, the situation with Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk. If I know Tyson as I think I know him, he will not be really happy until he has ticked the box and fought to become overall champion.
I can be wrong, of course. For you reach a point in your training, your diet, when you work and sacrifice every day of your life, and you say, ‘I can no longer, I’ve had enough’. It’s the hardest game in the world, and once you’ve been in the fights he’s been in, I’ll totally understand it if he’s hanging his gloves up forever.
I’ve always said that if Tyson used his skills and avoided going to war, as he has done in his last few fights, he would beat Dillian Whyte. And that’s pretty much what happened. Dillian is a great fighter, but he does not have the fastest hands and fastest feet, and it turned out.
When Tyson has the physical advantages, you need that speed, and that’s not Dillian’s strong point, Dillian is a knockout puncher. When you think about it, he never had a chance to close the distance.
A blessing in disguise?
I do not think there is another fight out there that could keep Tyson interested in staying in boxing other than the winner of Usyk vs Joshua – absolutely not. I know Tyson is interested in fighting UFC champion Francis Ngannou and he could definitely go for it.
He loves all the game, the big ring entrances, the big crowds, putting on a show. He’s had his way in the WWE world, and it would not surprise me at all if this fight with Ngannou took place as an exhibition.
It suits Tyson everywhere. He loves the limelight. And that’s one of the reasons I do not think it’s the last thing we’ve seen of him in the boxing ring. If he retires, I will be happy, but I think he will just wait and see.
Who knows, it could be a blessing in the form of finally getting Fury vs Joshua. It depends, of course, on AJ beating Usyk first. But if he and Eddie Hearn feel they are now on the verge of losing that battle forever, it could make their side more determined to get it done, it could see them bend a little more in these negotiations. It could turn out to be a very smart move from Tyson. It’s all still in his hands.
Joshua rematch an opportunity for Whyte
I think Dillian’s chances of getting a rematch against Fury are small and none. I can not see it happening at all. Dillian has now fought for the world heavyweight title on St George’s Day in front of 94,000 people no less.
Even though he was outclassed, it takes a lot to fight for that title. Dillian can still keep his head high with what he has accomplished, but as for this rematch, I would be very shocked if that happened.
Dillian has had a great payday here, the biggest of his career, and it’s well deserved. He has put so much work into it, so he probably wants to go and take a break, take a holiday and have fun and finally talk to his team and his family about what’s next.
The Anthony Joshua rematch could be a very interesting option if AJ falls short against Usyk. No respect for AJ, but Dillian has much better chances of beating him than he had of beating Tyson. If we remember the first match, Joshua stood there and had it out with him – AJ won, but Dillian had his moments and certainly looked more dangerous than he did against Fury.
Tyson would always box him out and let Dillian fight to close the distance. Against AJ, I do not think it’s such a big issue, he certainly has a better chance of getting it right. If that match were to be made, he would definitely have a better chance than he has ever done against Tyson, and that is no disrespect to AJ.
If I were in Dillian’s shoes, I would take a rest, take some time to think about my options and see what comes over the horizon when the dust settles elsewhere in the division.
While Tyson’s victory over Dillian was very one-sided, I remember Whyte and Joshua being closer to each other, a little snap and times, while still being explosive. There is every chance that the match will happen again – you would definitely pay to see them take it again. Styles create fights and that would be another belts.
Ricky Hatton vs. Marco Antonio Barrera takes place at the AO Arena in Manchester on Saturday 2 July.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Go to HattonBarrera.com for more details.
First title defense for Massey at Fightzone
Jack Massey’s big night is almost here – on Saturday he’s back in Bolton to defend his IBO cruiserweight title against Vaclav Pejsar live on Fightzone.
Jack enjoyed the biggest night of his career at the same venue back in November, stopping Bilal Laggoune in just three rounds to claim his first World Cup.
We’re a close family in Manchester, I’ve known his coach Robert Rimmer for a number of years and Jack’s a top boy, I’m sure their camp will jump into this one. His confidence will be sky high here and he has got a decent test against Pejsar, who has won four of his last matches to earn his shot at gold.
There are some huge battles for Jack later down the line with so many great opportunities out in that cruiserweight division, against the other champions like Lawrence Oklolie and people like Richard Riakporhe and Chris Billam-Smith.
But the hardest thing about boxing is not winning the title, it’s holding on to it. There will be pressure on Jack because this boy is coming to take his title away, but I’m sure he will enjoy the opportunity.
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MORE: Dillian Whyte says Tyson Fury knockout was an ‘illegal’ push and demands rematch
MORE: Ricky Hatton: My showdown against Marco Antonio Barrera is going to be a party, it’s been a tough time for all of us
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