Dillian Whyte says he will always have the mindset of a challenger

Dillian Whyte believes he will always carry a challenger’s mindset even if he becomes world heavyweight champion as the Londoner revealed his hope to have more than one fight against Tyson Fury.

Whyte has waited years for a shot at the WBC title now held by Fury and is determined to seize his opportunity in front of a record post-war British crowd of around 94,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium.

Should he upset the odds and have his hand raised on Saturday night, Whyte’s status as the WBC’s mandatory challenger ahead of this showdown means there is no rematch clause in the contract.

Dillian Whyte, right, will attempt to dethrone Tyson Fury as WBA heavyweight champion this weekend (Nick Potts/PA)
Dillian Whyte, right, will attempt to dethrone Tyson Fury as WBA heavyweight champion this weekend (Nick Potts/PA)

But Whyte, who insisted his mentality would remain the same irrespective of this weekend’s result, is aware of Fury’s standing as one of the finest fighters of his era and so would welcome a return bout – despite the champion suggesting more than once that he will retire from boxing after this fight.

“I want to fight the best,” said Whyte. “Most believe he’s the best of all-time, why would I not want the fight the best of all-time again? That’s amazing. Imagine if I fight him two or three times.

“I’m not someone to run away from fights, I don’t want to fight someone nobody cares about and then go ‘I made this number of defences of the title’. I want to fight the best guys.

“It’ll be good if I win, but even as champion, I’ll still feel like a challenger. I won’t think ‘oh, I’m champion now, I call the shots’.

“If I’ve got £100million in the bank or £100, world champion or not world champion, I’ll still be the same guy. I’m a bit more calm, a bit more mature, but I’m still the same guy.”

Tyson Fury will make the second defence of his world title this weekend (Nick Potts/PA)
Tyson Fury will make the second defence of his world title this weekend (Nick Potts/PA)

A view held by many is that the awkward movement of Fury (31-0-1, 22KOs), who holds advantages in height, reach and almost certainly weight as well, means Whyte will be relying on his punch power.

However, Whyte (28-2, 19KOs), who at 34 is a year older than his opponent, unsurprisingly has an alternative perspective and is adamant there is more than one path to victory.

“I believe I can beat him on points as well as knocking him out,” said Whyte. “The so-called experts say you can only win the fight one way, and then you go in there and win it another way.

“That’s why boxing is great. Whatever way I can get victory I will take. I’ll find a way. That’s the great thing about me. I’ll find a way to survive, I’ll find a way to get to where I need to get to.”

Jamaica-born Whyte moved to the UK with his family when he was 12, fathered the first of his three children a year later and was shot and stabbed after being drawn into London gang culture in his youth.

Dillian Whyte. the WBC's mandatory challenger, has won 28 of his 30 professional fights (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Dillian Whyte. the WBC’s mandatory challenger, has won 28 of his 30 professional fights (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Taking up boxing was a means of staying out of trouble and bringing in income but while he had no pretensions of ending up as an elite level fighter, Whyte has always been aware of his power.

“I didn’t think I was even going to be British champion,” added Whyte, who even in his two professional defeats wobbled Anthony Joshua and put down Alexander Povetkin twice before being knocked out by both.

“There was nothing special apart from the fact I could knock someone out, I still believe that anybody I touch to the head or body can get knocked out. Then with time and training, I got better.

“I started to get technically better, then I got the sickness for boxing. My balance, my technique, my speed and my boxing brain have all got better. I started to believe more in myself late.

“But I didn’t get into boxing thinking or believing I would be heavyweight champion.”

:: BT Sport Box Office will show Fury v Whyte exclusively live on Saturday, April 23 April from 6pm. For more information go to bt.com/sportboxoffice