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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Tyson Fury to open talks with Dillian Whyte over homecoming title defence

Tyson Fury is considering fighting Dillian Whyte at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in March as his promoters enter talks for an all-British heavyweight clash.

Bob Arum, Fury’s US promoter, admitted a unification bout with Oleksandr Usyk is the preferred option, but the Ukrainian is scheduled for a rematch with Anthony Joshua, the man he dethroned as the IBF, WBA and WBO champion in September.

It means Fury could make a voluntary defence against Whyte in what would be a long-awaited homecoming after five successive fights in the United States.

The WBC refused to install Whyte as mandatory challenger at their annual convention in Mexico City earlier this week because of an ongoing lawsuit he filed against the sanctioning body.

But the ruling will not halt Fury’s promoters, Arum and Frank Warren, entering negotiations over the possibilities of an event in Cardiff involving Whyte. 

“Frank and I are looking for the best possible opponent,” explained Arum. “Obviously, No1, we would like [Oleksandr] Usyk if [Anthony] Joshua steps aside [for the WBO, IBF and WBA titles].

“Number two, if that’s not possible, then Whyte probably is as attractive an opponent for Tyson as anybody else out there. We’re gonna sit down with Whyte’s people and see if we can work out a deal.”

Arum’s Top Rank is demanding an 80/20 split of the fight purse in favour of the champion. Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn has since labelled the split as “outrageous”.

However, Arum said: “If Eddie doesn’t like the rules, then he should have been at the WBC convention arguing for new rules. Don’t start talking about what’s outrageous, the rules are the rules.

“If you take the purses that Fury has gotten in his last three fights, you take the purses that Dillian Whyte has gotten and you compare them, if you did the percentages it should probably be 90/10.”

Fury has not fought in the UK since 2018, and his last five contests have been in the US, including the trilogy of fights with Deontay Wilder. Fury has one fight left on his deal with Top Rank.

Any contest in Cardiff is likely to come down to an agreement with Fury’s US paymasters ESPN, with whom he signed an £85 million deal two years ago.

Elsewhere, unbeaten pound for pound star Terence Crawford will make a defence of his WBO welterweight title against fellow American Shawn Porter in Las Vegas on Saturday night in one of the match-ups of the year.

While London’s unbeaten Richard Riakporhe headlines against veteran Nigerian and two-time world title challenger Ola Durodola for the vacant WBC Silver cruiserweight belt at Wembley Arena.

A victory would propel the British fighter into contention for a challenge at the full WBC title, which current holder Ilunga Makabu will defend next against boxing’s Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

Alvarez will step up two weight divisions to challenge for the 200lbs crown after unifying all the belts at super middleweight two weeks ago. 

Should ‘Canelo’ defeat Makabu, boxing’s biggest draw would become a five-weight world champion.

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