St Georges Day sees a heavyweight battle of Britain this Saturday night at Wembley Stadium, with Tyson Fury defending his WBC title, and returning to UK soil for the first time since 2018, against the dangerous Dillian Whyte, who has waited so long for this opportunity.
BT Sport Box Office televise Fury vs Whyte live in the UK, with ESPN+ taking the USA rights on pay-per-view.
Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) makes the second defence of the famous green belt that he won in thrilling fashion some two years ago.
’The Gypsy King’ has enjoyed a career resurrection, after going from the highest of highs, defeating Wladimir Klitschko to win WBA ‘super’, IBF, WBO and IBO belts in Germany in 2015, to the lows of depression and addiction, which famously saw him balloon in weight.
The Manchester man returned triumphantly after nearly three years away though, getting into shape and taking two low-key wins, before holding WBC champion Deontay Wilder to a draw at the back end of 2018, where he miraculously got off the canvas in the last round, and was dropped twice, in a fight many thought Fury won.
Two wins set up the rematch, and Fury made no mistake, dominating Wilder and scoring a seventh round stoppage to once again become heavyweight champion.
The 33-year-old looked on course to meet Anthony Joshua in a blockbuster, but Wilder went through the courts to seal a trilogy match, with ‘AJ’ then losing his three belts to Oleksandr Usyk.
Not much was expected of the third meeting, but it was a classic, with both men dropped before Fury pulled out a knockout win in the penultimate round.
He now meets Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs), who has long been waiting for a shot, after serving as WBC number one for a matter of years.
After losing a grudge match with Anthony Joshua in 2015, ’The Bodysnatcher’ worked his way up the rankings, and wins over Joseph Parker and Oscar Rivas, where he got off the canvas both times to take decision wins, put him on the cusp of a world title shot.
Sadly, boxing politics got in the way, and the Brixton native was forced to wait, which came at a cost when taking on faded former world champion Alexander Povetkin in the Matchroom Fight Camp in August 2020.
After dominating the first three frames, and dropping the Russian twice in the fourth, Whyte was poleaxed by a monster uppercut in the same round that wiped him out, and his title ambitions suffered a huge setback.
To his credit, the 34-year-old sought the rematch, and gained redemption in Gibraltar last March, halting Povetkin in three rounds.
Prediction: Fury still holds ambitions in the sport, despite his promise of retirement, and he won’t be looking to easily part with his belt this weekend. Whyte is susceptible to getting involved in a fight, and that will play into Fury’s hands as he uses his size and strength to wear his challenger down. I fancy the champion to retain by the championship rounds.
Essuman-Tetley clash for British and Commonwealth crowns
Anthony Cache’s proposed WBO International title clash with former world title challenger, Jonathan Romero has bitten the dust due to visa issues for the Colombian, and no replacement opponent, so the British and Commonwealth welterweight title clash between the champion,
Ekow Essuman and Darren Tetley is moved from next Friday’s show at York Hall to beef up the bill here.
Nottingham-based, Essuman (16-0, 7 KOs) won the belts in July last year with an impressive eighth round stoppage against Chris Jenkins, and defended the straps, as well as adding the IBF European title last time in October, knocking out Danny Ball in six in Birmingham.
🏟 @ee_engine has stepped up from York Hall to Wembley Stadium 🔥
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) April 21, 2022
Tetley (21-2, 9 KOs) lost his unbeaten record in August 2020, losing a ten round decision to Liam Taylor, and was then knocked out in six rounds in a challenge for the English title against Samuel Antwi.
The Bradford man returned last November, taking a six round points win over Evgenii Vazem.
Prediction: Essuman is an impressive operator, and can stop Tetley here after the halfway mark.
Lowe battles Ball
Isaac Lowe suffered a devastating first pro defeat last time out in an IBF title eliminator, and he returns here in a vacant WBC Silver featherweight title contest against the unbeaten Liverpool native Nick Ball.
The fight is set for twelve rounds. Lowe (21-1-3, 6 KOs) was down twice before a body shot finished him off against Luis Alberto Lopez in December 2021, and this will be a tricky test to return to against Ball (14-0, 7 KOs).
— #FuryWhyte | Saturday | BT Sport Box Office 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) April 21, 2022
The 25-year-old has only been an eight round distance once, so this will be a big jump up in level. He was last out in October last year, taking 36 seconds to see off Piotr Gudel.
Prediction: Lowe’s confidence may be fragile, and I lean towards Ball to take an upset points win.
Adeleye, Fury feature
David Adeleye (8-0, 7 KOs) continues his education, and the heavyweight should have too much for Central Area champion Chris Healey (9-8, 2 KOs) in their match set for eight rounds.
A pair of light heavyweight contests should see wins for Tommy Fury (7-0, 4 KOs) who can take a points win over six against Poland’s Daniel Bocianski (10-1, 2 KOs), and for Karol Itauma (6-0, 4 KOs), who can win early against Michal Ciach (2-11, 1 KO).
There are also a pair of super featherweight clashes. Kurt Walker (1-0, 1 KO) can halt Stefan Nicolae (3-31-2, 1 KO) inside their four round distance, and Royston Barney-Smith (1-0) may need the distance in his four rounder with Constantin Radoi (0-10).