A furious Frank Warren was left to cry “this is madness” as Dillian Whyte failed to show up for the press conference for his world heavyweight title challenge vs Tyson Fury.
‘Body Snatcher’ stayed at his training camp in Portugal on Tuesday instead of being on hand at Wembley to officially announce the all-British showdown set for Wembley Stadium on Saturday April 23.
Warren on Whyte no-show
Warren was left on stage to explain the circumstances around Whyte’s no-show, revealing:
- Whyte wanted a private jet to fly him in and out of the UK
- When that was offered, he added in more demands
- He did not want his photo to be used on posters promoting the event
Warren said the whole thing was “disgraceful”, particularly as the showdown has the potential to really set pulses racing in front of a near 100,000 crowd in April.
He explained: “This is huge – the largest purses ever paid to British boxers on British soil. I’m delighted, we’re at Wembley – it doesn’t get any better than this. It’s gonna be a fantastic night.
“I think we’re going to sell out – just under 100,000 capacity. You’ve got the lineal champion, the WBC champion, who has not been here for four years. We’ve had a lot of orders for tickets, they go on sale tomorrow (Wednesday) at noon, start at 55 quid onwards.
“It’s gonna be pheonomenal, the atmosphere is going to be brilliant – all we need, and unfortunately he’s not here today, is the other side of the card to show up.”
In terms of Whyte’s absence, Warren explained the full chain of events – right back to when his team won the purse bids for stage the April 23 show.
Fury vs Whyte timeline
The WBC put the fight out for negotiations against a mandatory challenger. We couldn’t agree terms, we went to purse bids. We won the purse bids and then had to fulfil certain critera for the purse bids, which we’ve done. Ticked all the boxes.
“He (Whyte) then signed a contract, which he left right to the last minute before he put it in, and now he’s trying to renegotiate. That’s why we had a period to agree terms.
“One of things was he wanted a private jet to fly him in and out today. But yesterday we said we’d do that, in writing. Then they started adding other stuff to it. They didn’t even want us to use his photo on a poster. You cannot use his image rights. I’ve never heard anything like it in my life.
“I’ve never heard of a fighter not showing up for a press conference for a big fight. He’s getting eight times more than Tyson got to fight (Wladimir) Klitschko. He’s getting more than Joshua got paid to fight (Charles) Martin. He’s getting more than Usyk got to fight Joshua.
“Champions bank on themselves to win, that’s what they do to become the king. You win the title, you get the money. The 20 percent is there. Any good fighters, like Usyk did – went and beat Joshua – now he’s in the big time. Ruiz did the same thing, Tyson did the same thing.
“We are where we are but Dillian Whyte isn’t. He’s in Portugal – he should be here. It’s disgraceful he’s not here. It’s not professional.
“If somebody else had won a purse bid, we would have helped to make that work – whether it had been Tyson or somebody else. He goes to the press conference. This is madness.”
Tickets for Fury vs Whyte go on sale on Wednesday at noon UK – available from Ticketmaster. The fight itself will air as a PPV in the UK on BT Sport Box Office, and on PPV on ESPN in the United States.