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Frank Warren exclusive: Inside fight week ahead of record-breaking Fury vs Whyte world title showdown
Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren previews Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte as record-breaking crowds expected for heavyweight world-title showdown, exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office.
Fight week is always exciting.
You’ve been spending all that time working hard behind the scenes, planning it and now you see what’s come of it. Fury vs Whyte is the biggest event I’ve ever done. It’s the biggest boxing event to take place in Europe as far as crowds go and the highest grossing gate of any event at Wembley too.
I’m working with one of the best blokes I’ve worked for as a promoter in Tyson Fury and it’s going to be a good fight. Dillian’s finally shown up and started helping - which is nice - so touch wood, it’s all going okay at the moment!
This event hasn’t just happened overnight though; we’ve had to build up to this point.
You think back when Tyson came back from retirement, nobody really wanted to know. They’re all being after-timers now and saying they should have signed him or whatever, but the fact is they didn’t. I knew he was always going to come with me and I knew he would always want to become world champion again and that’s what we’ve achieved.
BT, to their credit, stepped up to the plate and helped us get it done and now we’re all enjoying the journey, however long it continues!
It was great to see Dillian in the flesh this week – although it’s disappointing it’s taken this long to have him involved in the build-up.
It would have been good for him, too. He’s part of a historic night and it takes two to make the fight. He’s engaging now, but he’s the one who’s lost out on this in some ways. It is what it is, but if he’s trying to play mind games with Tyson, he’ll never get anywhere.
Dereck Chisora tried it, Deontay Wilder tried getting under his skin and intimidating Tyson. None of that stuff works with him. Tyson is the one who plays all sorts of mind games.
He’s not just a great fighter, he’s a great psychologist.
This is the opportunity Dillian has been going on about for 1000 days now or whatever it’s supposed to be since he was made number one contender.
I'm glad here's here and happy and healthy. He’s been moaning about it forever, but now his time’s here and if he is serious about winning this fight, he was always going to have to come into it in tip-top condition because anything less won’t do.
I've been asked countless times how I think the fight will go and the fact is I can’t see Dillian outboxing Tyson.
I think what he’s going to have to do to win is take the fight to him, do what Wilder did in the early stages of that third fight.
If he does that, you’re going to get a cracking fight. He’s not going to be on the back foot, Dillian, because he doesn’t know how to fight that way and he’s not going to be changing his style too much at this stage in his career, that’s for sure.
The weigh-ins will be interesting on Friday, too. Tyson looks really well at the moment so we’ll see what he tips the scales at.
The thing is with heavyweights, if they come in at around their fighting weight, I don’t have a problem with it. But I don’t like it when fighters put on a load of weight on because I think it just slows you down. Your best weight should be natural – why would you want to lug a load of weight around for?
Having said that, when you look at Tyson, you’d never think for a million years he is the athlete that he is. But when you look at what he can do in the ring, it’s like looking at a different person. It’s remarkable.
There’s been a few changes to the undercard this week after the unfortunate situation with Anthony Cacace’s opponent. He’s off the card now, but we’ve managed to replace it with an absolutely cracking fight in Ekow Essuman vs Darren Tetley.
There’s a lot of talk about Essuman fighting Conor Benn perhaps later this year, so it’s a great chance for everyone to see him on the big stage. Ekow will be fighting in front of such a huge crowd, so nobody can say they don’t know who he is after that!
He’s really coming into his own at welterweight now and he’s done brilliantly in his two most recent fights. He’s a great lad too and I like him a lot – he’s pleasantly surprised us.
It'll be a good fight this one. On paper it’s a very even fight, so it’s a great test for Ekow against Tetley.
We’re thrilled to get some of the younger lads out on a huge card too.
It’s going to be a family affair for the Furys with Tommy also fighting. He’s looking to make an impression against a guy who’s 10-1 and if he looks good in that, we’re hoping we can still make that Jake Paul fight.
You’ve also got a really good fight between Isaac Lowe and Nick Ball there on the undercard. Isaac is a tough sod, but Ball is a really good fighter ,so that is going to be an interesting clash.
David Adeleye is being stepped up too, so I’m really excited to see him.
Our young lad, Royston Barney-Smith, is back too after making his debut. He’s a kid who I think is born for this, he will love these type of events.
Karol Itauma, the light heavyweight who won the Youth Olympic Games gold medal, he’s fighting. He’s put together a great string of wins recently and is looking the business.
Saturday is going to be remembered for a long time and I can’t wait. Although Tyson and I have had some disagreements this week, as he’s a Man Utd fan and I’m an Arsenal fan, so that game on BT Sport on Saturday lunchtime is going to be a fun one.
What a great sporting weekend it is – and I hope everyone enjoys it!
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