South London fight fraternity give their predictions for Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte heavyweight clash

Brixton’s Dillian Whyte challenges WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury tomorrow night at Wembley Stadium.

‘The Bodysnatcher’ is viewed as a major underdog to emerge victorious in front of an expected crowd of 94,000 in north London. But what does the South London fight fraternity make of his prospects?

We canvassed the opinion of trainers and also boxers to get a prediction of how the bout – live on BT Sport Box Office – plays out.

JAMES COOK (trainer and Peckham’s former European and British super middleweight champion)
“I do see the fight going a long way but if Dillian can’t get to Tyson early and slow him down then he might have problems running up to the line. Dillian is going to have to do a lot of movement on his feet to get near enough to throw his trademark body shots, and he is not that type of fighter.
“The fight Dillian Whyte wants is for Tyson Fury to come to him and we know that’s not going to happen. Tyson is ahead of him boxing wise and he’ll use that long reach.
“Dillian has got to be on his toes to roll on to his body shots, what you don’t want to happen is that he gets close enough for Tyson to tie him up – Tyson is very good at those type of things.
“He has got to focus on the body, not anything else, and staying in the fight. If he can do that for the first six rounds then he stands a very good chance.”

CRAIG RICHARDS (Crystal Palace super-middleweight)
“It is a 50-50 fight. Dillian has got a good chance of going in there, roughing Tyson up, breaking him down and getting the stoppage.
“A lot of people have written him off, but styles make fights. You’d have to have Fury as the favourite – he’s the world champion and unbeaten – but this is Dillian’s big opportunity and he’ll go for it.
“He needs to keep working the body and letting his hands go in bunches. I’d love to see him do it for South London.”

LEON McKENZIE (ex-Crystal Palace and Charlton striker who had professional boxing career at super-middleweight)
“I’m leaning on the fence a bit because I feel like Dillian could cause an upset. He has got the ability to shock a lot of people, because everyone sees Tyson Fury as the man, that he can do no wrong and is perfect.
“You’re looking at someone in Tyson Fury who is pretty special but Dillian has shown his resilience – he’s won major fights and lost major fights but always been able to come back with a force. He has grown so much as a fighter.
“Dillian has got the pedigree to maybe unsettle Tyson and can be just as awkward. If it goes the distance you favour Tyson.”

SAMM MULLINS (head trainer at Churchills Boxing Gym in Lambeth)
“It’s going to be a bit like when Dillian fought AJ [Anthony Joshua] – he’ll have a bit of success early doors and then I think he’ll walk on to something big.
“I like Dillian and I want him to win, he’s a South London guy. I expect him to start well, probably win the first four rounds, but Tyson stops him late.
“The good thing with Dillian is he’d fight King Kong. The man comes with a lot of bottle and he ain’t going to be intimidated by all the stuff that goes around Tyson.
“There are levels in boxing, and I don’t think he is at that level.”

South London fight fraternity give their predictions for Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte heavyweight clash

CHRIS BOURKE (Streatham’s former British super-bantam champion)
“Tyson Fury is so big and awkward – Dillian has to get on his chest and try to rough him up. But I just feel Tyson will be too tricky to do that to. I see it being a frustrating fight for Whyte.
“It is going to be entertaining. Dillian is a lot tougher than Deontay Wilder [beaten twice by Fury, who boxed aggressively on the front foot]. Dillian can whack and you know he will be up for it. It will be one that you can’t take your eyes off because Fury has been dropped by smaller punches than him.”

DENZEL BENTLEY (Battersea’s ex-British middleweight champion)
“Dillian’s best approach is to smother Fury’s work but since Fury has joined Sugar Hill [Steward] he has learned to fight a lot better on the inside. I don’t think Whyte will have fought anyone this tall and heavy. The whole show is about Fury and I think all eyes will be on him, that will sway the judges’ opinions.
“I’m rooting for Dillian but my smart money would be on Fury. I do think Dillian will start well but once Fury has warmed up I think he’ll figure out how to approach the situation and outbox Whyte.”


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