Haye backing Whyte to spark upset despite admitting Fury is world No 1

David Haye sees Tyson Fury as the No 1 heavyweight on the PLANET, but that isn’t stopping him from backing Dillian Whyte for an upset next weekend… the former champion believes his old sparring partner’s ‘big left hook’ can shock the world

  • David Haye is putting his money on Dillian Whyte to get the better of Tyson Fury
  • Whyte is set to make his first world-title challenge at Wembley next Saturday
  • Fury is the big favourite to successfully defend his WBC heavyweight title
  • But Haye is adamant that the odds for a shock Whyte win are far too high at 6-1
  • The ex-heavyweight champion feels Fury could come unstuck if he is gung ho
  • He has sparred Whyte in the past and is well aware of the punch power he has 

The British boxing David who slew Goliath to become world champion acclaims Tyson Fury as ‘the No 1 heavyweight today, rightfully the linear champion, the most multi-talented man in the division, the top ring strategist and at the peak of his powers right now.’

Even so the Hayemaker who mowed down the seven-foot tall Russian giant Nikolai Valuev to win the WBA belt 13 years ago is backing Dillian Whyte to claim the WBC heavyweight title by upsetting the 6ft 9in Tyson Fury before a record Wembley Stadium crowd next Saturday night.

How so? ‘Tyson has everything it takes to be the best heavyweight in the world ,’ says David Haye. ‘But as a betting man I’m putting my money on Dillian. Because the odds (6-1 against) are out of proportion with his reasonable chance of pulling off this shock.’

David Haye believes Dillian Whyte (left) could shock the world against Tyson Fury (right)

He adds that his gamble will be reinforced if Fury comes out in the all-out attacking mode to which he was converted by trainer SugarHill Steward for his KO victories over mega-puncher Deontay Wilder in the second and third fights of their epic trilogy.

‘If Tyson does that again,’ says Haye, ‘his style should be perfect for Dillian’s counter-punching. Especially that big left hook.’ But, conversely, he adds: ‘If Fury goes back to moving and boxing for this one, he would probably out-skill Whyte. That could be the best way for him to go on this occasion. But with this being his homecoming to the UK in front of 94,000 fans he will be wanting to put on a show.

‘He’s involved himself in much more aggressive fan-friendly tussles lately. That’s great for all the rest of us watching. But that and a possible sense of complacency against Whyte after those great fights with Wilder are the biggest dangers to him.

Whyte will be the underdog when he collides with bitter rival Fury at Wembley next weekend

Fury is rightfully considered the top heavyweight on the planet after battering Deontay Wilder

But Haye would not be surprised to see Whyte prevail if the Gypsy King comes out gung ho

‘A lot of people are really underestimating Dillian. He is at his best against the biggest opponents and he is more motivated for this one than any other fight in his life. 

‘There’s been controversy about him not turning up for media conferences but the reason is not that he didn’t want Tyson the best player of brain games getting into his head. He preferred to focus entirely on his training camp in Portugal rather than spend three or four days interrupting his work by travelling to London and back.

‘That’s how seriously he’s taken this. And probably his best way of getting under Tyson’s skin has been to deprive him of the banter he enjoys.’

Those considerations hark back to Haye’s sparring sessions with a then-young and learning Whyte. He says: ‘When Dillian first arrived in boxing as a kid coming through he was right up there with all the top sparring partners I was working with. In fact he was probably the best of them. 

‘One problem he gave me is that he has very long arms for a 6ft 4in fighter. Tyson may have to spend the first couple of rounds adjusting to a jab two inches longer than he’s expecting. It makes it tricky to set your distance.

The ex-heavyweight champion has sparred Whyte in the past and is well aware of his qualities

‘It was not a lack of ability that kept him waiting so long for his title shot. Those thousand or more days. It was because everyone sees him as such a dangerous opponent. Tyson has the all-round talent but Dillian has the biggest single KO punch with that left hand. And in terms of hand speed they’re just about equal.’

Haye is taking a diversion via the Wembley ringside between making Haye on long semi-working sunshine breaks in Mexico and Costa Rica. Smiling through his shades, this former world cruiserweight champion who turned the boxing world upside down by going 12 winning rounds against the so-called Beast From The East says: ‘It will be a lot easier looking on at Wembley to see how my bet on Dillian works out than it was beating Valuev. I’m telling you, the underdog is not that much of an underdog in reality.’

Well, as the saying goes, you pays your money and you takes your choice. 

Fury v Whyte will be televised live on BT Sport Box Office on Saturday night, April 23.

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