The hope of fight fans around the world is that Tyson Fury defeats Dillian Whyte in their huge heavyweight contest at London’s Wembley Stadium, setting up a unification bout with Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua.
It would be a chance to crown an undisputed heavyweight champion of the world for the first time in more than two decades, and the bookmakers expect Fury to hold up his end of the bargain. The Gypsy King is the red hot 1/5 favourite in the boxing odds from Paddy Power, and while Whyte has a ‘puncher’s chance’, he is unlikely to be able to live with the skillset of the WBC champion.
Indeed, the 33-year-old is expected to win inside the distance, with the Fury vs Whyte odds making him an 8/11 chance to triumph by KO or by KO.
Fury has unleashed dynamite in his fists since teaming up with trainer SugarHill Steward, and that explosive knockout power has left MMA fans with the mouth-watering prospect of some kind of hybrid fight against UFC heavyweight king Francis Ngannou.
That is a prospect that Fury has not ruled out – more on that shortly, but in the meantime, the seriousness of his claim that he will retire after facing Whyte needs to be examined.
Tyson Fury tells talkSPORT that he is definitely going to retire from boxing following his fight with Dillian Whyte https://t.co/zcVvmW39ZZ— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) April 19, 2022
The Gypsy King has told reporters on more than one occasion that the scrap with the Body Snatcher will be his last, and whether that is a genuine threat or not, or merely a bargaining chip to help him extract more money out of promoters and sponsors for future fights, remains to be seen.
His promoter, Frank Warren, is unsure of his client’s future, but Fury himself hinted at retirement in another recent interview. “It’s been a long old journey, ups and downs in my career, lots of ups and downs. I’m coming up to 34, 20 years as a boxer, that’s enough for anybody.”
However, he has also intimated that he could make an exception in the right circumstances.
Fury has long spoken of his desire to take on Ngannou in a contest that blends boxing and MMA together in a unique ‘crossover’.
They could collide wearing 4oz gloves, which is the same weight as UFC gloves, and much lighter than the standard 12-16oz pairs worn in boxing. The fight could even take place inside a cage, with the Allegiant Stadium – the home of the Las Vegas Raiders – touted as a potential host next year.
Additionally, in an exclusive chat with MMA Hour, boxing’s heavyweight star confirmed there would be nothing standing in his way once business with Whyte is taken care of. “I will have retired from competitive, championship boxing and I’ll be ready to do the crossover fights completely,” he said.
Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn’t think anyone can touch Tyson Fury when it comes to boxing 😬— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) February 21, 2022
His prediction for the potential Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou fight 💭👇 pic.twitter.com/DhgISNxg1T
It’s unlikely that any such scrap would allow for takedowns or other forms of striking other than punching, but even so, Ngannou has suggested he would be interested in talking terms over the crossover contest.
So, could the worlds of MMA and boxing collide in a ‘clash of the titans’ in 2023?