Frank Warren Confirms They Have Replacement For Dillian Whyte
With the Wembley Stadium WBC Heavyweight title defense of Tyson Fury now just two weeks away, his promoter is making clear that the uncooperative challenger, Dillian Whyte, could be replaced if needed.
Speaking on the “Seconds Out” Youtube show and podcast Wednesday afternoon, Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions updated that Whyte continues to violate the contract by refusing to cooperate and promote the fight. And, that his silence and ignoring of the upcoming bout has made them prepare to have a backup, short notice opponent step in.
“All I want him to do, all I want Dillian Whyte to do (help promote the fight/attend press conferences) is what’s in the contract. Nothing more. Nothing less. And, up to now, he has not done that,” Warren told the show.
“He’s in breach. He’s not done that…”
When asked about the fight still selling over 90,000 tickets, including the 4,000 more immediately that were added just on Monday, Warren replied quickly,
“It’s a credit to Tyson. The public has bought in to Tyson. He’s bigger than boxing. He’s crossed over. That’s what’s sold this fight. Nobody else has sold this fight…. Not a peep out of Dillian Whyte.”
And finally came a hypothetical question of what happens if Whyte, who’s slated to get the largest payday of his career at over $7 million guaranteed, doesn’t cooperate further and somehow bows out of the fight? And, Warren said his promotion is ready with another fighter standing by,
“The truth of the matter is: we cover all bases…Would you not think, with an event of this magnitude that we would not cover that scenario? Of course we covered that scenario.”
While Warren did not give a name of whom that emergency replacement for Whyte would be, the name that has continued to be associated with a Fury U.K. title defense in the recent past is Kurdish German, Agit Kabayel. Kabayel is 21-0 with 13 KOS, and hasn’t been in the ring since last June. However, he’s big with a decent punch, ranked in the top 15 by the WBC would be suitable for a fight that almost everyone is tuning in to see Fury for, anyway.
Another replacement name could be Sweden’s Otto Wallin, who now lives and trains in New York. Wallin battled Fury to a non-title decision loss in Las Vegas in the Summer of 2019. He has since won three fights, including an eight round decision win over Kamil Sokolowski in Cardiff, Wales back on February 5th. That improved him to 23-1 with 14 KOs.
And, while that bout was only eight weeks ago, there has been enough recovery time, etc. for Wallin to be available, if Warren and Queensberry would need a credible fighter to step-in last minute.
Of course Wallin was actually slated to fight Whyte last October in an elimination bout of sorts for Fury’s title. That was until Whyte had a mysterious “shoulder injury” and pulled the plug on their bout less than two weeks before it was to have happened. That coincided with negotiations with Fury for a WBC title shot ramping up.
Then came an almost comical press conference about Whyte’s supposed injury, evidence of which was never presented to Wallin or his representatives. That saw Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn repeatedly tell the media their narrative and then, had Whyte almost parrot in verbatim answers what Hearn was telling him to say about the alleged “injury.”
Hearn then lost the WBC’s record purse bid to Warren for a whopping $41 million to promote the Fury-Whyte fight. And, the “pouting” began from he and Whyte.
Again, while Whyte has been completely immature and uncooperative during the Fury build up, the massive payday he’ll get is something he’ll likely never see, again. And, it’s likely that he falls in line, shows up fight week and participates in what he’s supposed to do with the media and public appearances, etc.
But, if Whyte doesn’t cooperate, the names Kabayel and Wallin will certainly become immediately important for Fury’s defense in front of 90,000+ fans April 23rd.