Dillian Whyte: ‘Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua? I just want to fight the best’

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Dillian Whyte says he is ready to face fellow Britons Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua and is “hungry” for the chance to become world heavyweight champion.

Whyte, who will fight Russia’s Alexander Povetkin on 2 May in Manchester, is the mandatory challenger for the WBC world heavyweight title.

But the WBC says his tilt at the crown will not arrive until February 2021.

WBC champion Fury and Joshua, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO belts, could meet in a unification bout before that.

Fury is first set to face Deontay Wilder in a trilogy fight, having defeated the previously unbeaten American last month to win the belt, while Joshua faces Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in June.

In an insightful interview, Whyte tells BBC Sport how he has tried to arrange fights with Fury, why Andy Ruiz Jr has become obese, how Wilder could have lost his life and why he finally deserves his shot at a the heavyweight crown.

“I would fight any one of them. I just want to fight the best guys,” the 31-year-old told BBC Sport. “A guy is the number one challenger for a reason.”

‘It makes me frustrated, it makes me hungry’

Jamaica-born Whyte’s resume shows only one defeat – by Joshua in 2015 – and boasts wins over Joseph Parker, Dereck Chisora twice and Oscar Rivas.

He has held the WBC interim crown since July last year and has been forced to wait for a crack at the title.

“Fury says he’s the best, Joshua says he’s the best. Wilder thought he was the best. I don’t care – win, lose or draw,” added Whyte, who had a doping violation charge dropped in December.

“There are many guys who have gone through their careers and not fought the number one challengers, avoided guys, waited until they were 60 before fighting them. No, not me. I just want to fight the best.”

Whyte is backing Fury for another victory over American Wilder – the pair have agreed to a third fight in the summer, according to Fury’s US promoter Bob Arum.

“I know the champion never wanted to fight me because he was a coward,” said Whyte. “For me, it just shows how good I am. It makes me frustrated, it makes me hungry, it makes me train harder because I know that my time will come – he can’t run forever.

“He got bashed up in in his last fight so I think he will get bashed in again in the rematch, so it looks like I need to start looking at Tyson Fury. He’s someone I have been trying to make multiple fights with over the years.

“Either way, Fury, Wilder, Joshua, it doesn’t matter to me.”

However, Whyte says he would not be able to pick a winner should Fury and Joshua get in the ring for a potential unification bout.

“It’s a good fight,” he said. “They both showed different ends of the spectrum in their last fights – Joshua showed a bit of movement and a bit of boxing, one could read into that and say maybe he is gun shy or nervous and one could say he has improved his flexibility and his boxing skills.

“Fury has now all of a sudden become a front-foot fighter, which is something he has not done in years. It’s a very fine line, they both have a lot of ability and a lot of skill there.”

‘Ruiz couldn’t say no to the cakes’

Another fight Whyte has been to trying to make is against Andy Ruiz Jr, the Mexican who inflicted the solitary defeat of Joshua’s career, only to lose the rematch and claim three months of partying had left him overweight.

“He won the world titles, he became obese, came into the fight in terrible shape and after I offered him a fight,” said Whyte.

“He wanted to get in more shape because obviously he had a weight watchers problem. He was fighting his weight, I understand that. I have been overweight before.

“But he only has himself to blame. He had everything to play for and couldn’t discipline himself. He lost his mind, lost his way and couldn’t say no to the cakes. Now he’s put a lot of weight on. Just tell the truth.

“I am the one who has told my people to go and find you, made you two offers – one in the UK, one in America. What more can I do? We are talking similar money you got to fight Joshua for the world title!”

‘Wilder could have lost his life’

Whyte was visibly concerned watching Wilder’s loss to Fury in Las Vegas last month, and says cornerman Mark Breland saved the 34-year-old’s life by throwing in the towel in the seventh round.

“The guy was getting creamed. I don’t understand why his corner didn’t pull him out,” said Whyte. “The one actual fighter in his corner, someone who has fought and understands, Breland who threw the towel in, is the one he is angry at.

“These other fake guys in his corner don’t know what they are talking about. They just want the money. They think the gravy train is going to stop so they are willing to risk his life.

“I believe they should have stopped it two rounds before, another round I think he could have lost his life. Breland did the right and the compassionate thing.

“If Wilder has any sense and wants to be world champion again, he needs to really think about what he is doing, show Breland respect and apologise to him. Work and box and listen to Mark, because the other clowns around him are just clowns.”

‘A guy is the number one challenger for a reason’

Before he gets a crack at Fury, Joshua or Wilder, Whyte must defend his WBC interim heavyweight title against 40-year-old Povetkin.

Whyte says he faces a “dangerous” opponent in the Olympic gold medallist and former WBA world champion but is not in the game of taking “easy fights”.

Whyte believes he does not get the recognition he deserves for his own record but is not paying too much attention to what those outside his camp are saying.

“That’s not my job, my job is to keep fighting the best people and keep winning,” he said.

“When I retire I want to look at myself in the mirror and say: ‘You know what? I fought everyone, never turned a fight down and I was world champion. I made a good living and I leave a good legacy behind and inspired a few people’.

“This is heavyweight boxing. I just have to stay ready. I should have been mandatory challenger and fought for the world title two years ago.

“I am still here, still trying to chase the elusive world title because of politics and promoters don’t like other promoters. It’s all nonsense.

“Back in the day, you had to face the number one challenger.”

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Jurgen Klopp backed to make bold Liverpool team selection against Chelsea in FA Cup

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp should back his youngsters again in the FA Cup for the fifth-round trip to Chelsea, says former Arsenal forward Paul Merson. Liverpool will aim to bounce back from their first Premier League defeat of the season by reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Tuesday night. Klopp has rotated his squad for the first two rounds of the competition and played no first-team players in the fourth-round replay win over Shrewsbury as it coincided with the Premier League winter break.

Liverpool are 22 points clear at the top of the league table with 10 games remaining and are almost certain to land their first title for 30 years.

But despite that, Merson still believes Klopp should not put great importance on the FA Cup and instead focus on the Champions League, where they currently trail Atletico Madrid 1-0 after the first leg of their last-16 tie.

“Do they play a strong team [against Chelsea]? I don’t know,” Merson said on The Debate.

“He’s given kids a chance in this competition, does he go with that still and think ‘I’ll go for the Champions League’?

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“I think it would be hard for them to keep the league up, then win the FA Cup and be in the Champions League at the same time.

“He’s played a lot of the kids in this competition who have done great and not let him down and it’s been a real good experience for them.

“I think this would be a massive experience for them if he played them in this game as well, against some quality players at Chelsea.

“At the start of the season if everybody sat down at Liverpool and went ‘right, what do we win this year? What would everybody want to win?’, you’d say the Premier League an everything else is irrelevant in my opinion.

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“Now, they’ve won the league, do you go for the Champions League and go back to back for the first time? Or do you try and win the FA Cup?

“For me I’d concentrate on Atletico Madrid and give these kids all the experience in the world again [on Tuesday] at Stamford Bridge against some quality players.”

Klopp would not give any clues about his team selection at his pre-match press conference on Monday.

“We have to make a decision: do we talk about the line-up or not?” Klopp said.


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“I decided we don’t talk about the line-up and that means we cannot talk about single players.

“All fit players are in contention – that obviously includes Taki [Takumi Minamino] as well.

“If you tell me the Chelsea line-up, I will give you our line-up.

“I don’t want to gamble with it or whatever, line-ups are decisive and as long as we don’t know anything about the opponent, we cannot give anything away. That’s how it is.”

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Manu Tuilagi preps for Wales by rehearsing wrecking ball tactics on chess board

Manu Tuilagi has told how he is preparing for Wales by rehearsing his wrecking ball tactics – on the chess board.

England’s plans for Saturday’s Twickenham clash might have been disrupted by the shock of prop Mako Vunipola being told to self-isolate as a coronavirus precaution after he flew home from Tonga via Hong Kong.

But Tuilagi has focused in on the task at hand by heading to the games room at England's five-star hotel and schooling his team mates.

“He killed me at chess, he is unbelievable at it,” Henry Slade admitted. “It lasted about 30 seconds. It was a rude awakening.”

England have been at their best on the pitch when they jump out to a fast start on the back of a marauding Tuilagi forcing the opposition onto the back foot.

New Zealand could not cope with him in the World Cup, Ireland were equally powerless 10 days ago.

And now team mates, used to the luxury of playing alongside him, are getting a taste of the treatment he inflicts on the enemy – without even picking up a ball.

Tuilagi, 28, chuckled: “I only started playing chess in Japan during the World Cup but I am obsessed with it.

“The way I play is pretty much the same as my rugby. If I’m in white I’ll attack as you get to go first.

“And when you attack you have to go all in, because as soon as you let your foot off the gas you’ll be losing.”

The Irish team well beaten at Twickenham less than a fortnight ago will recognise that approach.

“I try to get us over the gainline early on, get some momentum,” Tuilagi continued. “If we get that it’s easier to play off it, whether to kick or carry on running.

“We got it last week and we had a good start. Hopefully we will look to do the same against Wales.”

After England had beaten Ireland, forwards coach Matt Proudfoot turned to his family and asked them which player had caught their eye. All said Tuilagi.

“He just offers so much,” said Proudfoot. “He gives you direction. His personality is dependable, reliable. He offers that in the midfield.”

Slade must wait to see whether Eddie Jones considers the time right to restore his centre partnership with Tuilagi, which worked so well in Japan, against Wales. He would love nothing more.

“Manu gives the team a massive lift,” said the Exeter ace. “He gets us over the gainline really well, but we can also use him as a decoy. And defensively, if you run into him, he hits you bloody hard.”

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LaVar Ball is back — and so are his ridiculous claims

Big Baller Brand is back — and apparently, so is LaVar Ball. Two weeks after bringing his failed company back to life with a new website, Ball returned to the public spotlight with a Tuesday appearance on FS1’s “Undisputed.”

Despite keeping a low profile following the fallout of Big Baller Brand in early 2019, Ball didn’t skip a beat on the show and quickly started making his traditional outlandish claims.

Needless to say, it didn’t take long for Ball to start trending on social media.

These were his most ridiculous statements during his segment with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe:

The Pelicans will top the Lakers in the 2020 NBA playoffs

Ball said the Lakers will lose because his oldest son, Lonzo, will be in “revenge” mode against his former team.

LiAngelo will lead the NBA in scoring

Ball claims his middle son, LiAngelo, will be the NBA’s leading scorer within three years.

The only problem? The 21-year-old just received a G League contract, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, and has never played in an NBA game.

The Knicks are the best fit for LaMelo

Ball’s youngest son, LaMelo, could be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

LaVar claims he wants the 18-year-old to be drafted by the Knicks, who have the fifth-worst record in the league (19-42) and haven’t made the playoffs since 2013. 

“The best fit in my eyes is New York, the New York Knicks,” Ball said. “Because I know Melo. Melo is a big city guy, he likes lights, he’d love it.”

LaVar also thinks LaMelo benefited from dropping out of high school in October 2017 and embarking on a professional career overseas.

LaMelo’s physical development is slow because of his mother’s genetics

Ball thinks LaMelo will need a few years to physically mature because his mom is white.

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Billy Gilmour: Kris Boyd hopes Chelsea starlet inspires Scottish coaching shift

Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd hopes success for young Scottish players like Billy Gilmour could see a change in coaching attitudes in the country.

Gilmour impressed for Chelsea in their 2-0 FA Cup victory over Liverpool on Tuesday night having broken into the first team under Frank Lampard this season.

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The dimunitive 18-year-old midfielder came through the Rangers academy before making the move to Chelsea two years ago.

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Boyd hopes Gilmour’s emergence marks the turning point for a mentality shift in coaching in Scotland.

“He got the chance to showcase his skills on Tuesday and now he’s getting spoken about to a worldwide audience,” the former Scotland international told Sky Sports News.

“Hopefully in Scotland we change our attitudes to smaller guys who are struggling to develop and we give them time as they’re exciting players up here that seem to be getting cut adrift too early.

“With the right coaching, we can get away from the robot type and let them become who they can be if they’re given an opportunity.”

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Gilmour has played 11 times for Scotland Under-21s but is yet to receive a call-up to the senior team. Boyd expects that to change when Scotland play Israel in their Euro 2020 play-off semi-final later this month.

“I actually said a few months ago that it would give the squad a lift to bring someone like Billy in,” added Boyd. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s called up for the Israel game, when you see the ability he’s got.”

Gilmour’s performance against Liverpool has also won praise from his former manager at Rangers, Mark Warburton, who watched the midfielder come through the club’s youth academy.

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Jurgen Klopp hailed by Liverpool fans for ‘shushing’ Adam Lallana in FA Cup

Jurgen Klopp was praised by Liverpool fans after being seen talking Adam Lallana to be quiet during their FA Cup clash with Chelsea.

The Reds went into the break 1-0 down against the London side in the FA Cup fifth round.

Willian’s powerful shot was too hot for Adrian to handle, spinning into the net.

Footage has emerged, though, of Klopp trying to keep his team calm at Stamford Bridge.

In the clip, the Reds have just fired a series of shots at Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

But the Spaniard was able to save all of them, seeing the ball fire away from the penalty box with Ross Barkley.

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Lallana comes charging behind the Englishman, fouling him as he tries to get the ball back.

When the referee calls an offence, the Reds midfielder is left furious and yells at the official.

Klopp, though, makes his feelings about this clear.

The German holds his finger to his mouth, telling Lallana to stop protesting against the call.

And the Anfield faithful praised their boss for his gesture.

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“Big fan of Klopp telling Lallana to basically shut the f*** up,” one supporter said.

Another commented: “Klopp’s in the library.”

While a third suggested he was inspired by the club’s biggest rivals.

“Klopp telling Lallana not to moan after the [Everton boss Carlo] Ancelotti incident.”

The Toffees boss was given a red card for his protests after a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

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And a fourth added: “Klopp’s shushing his own players.”

A fifth suggested action should be taken, with: “Klopp telling Lallana to shut up.

“Just take him off now.”

With a another writing: “Lallana has not place in this side.”

Lallana has come under fire recently for his performances in the red shirt.

And it has seen the Englishman linked with a move away from the club next summer.

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Chris Waddle scores worldie at age 59 as former Spurs star rolls back the years

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A new YouTube clip has emerged of the 59-year-old picking up the ball at least 30 yards out, before smashing it home over the unsuspecting goalkeeper.

It’s thought that Waddle was making a guest appearance for Long Bennington Veterans in the “hotly contested” Olivia Hinton Trophy.

As well as playing in veteran football matches, Waddle also works as a commentator and pundit.

And under a month ago, the once World Cup semi-finalist launched a scathing attack on Danny Rose following his loan move from Tottenham to Newcastle in January.

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“When we’re talking about left-backs, we mention Danny Rose right up there with the best of them,” Waddle told Chronicle Live on behalf of the Racing Post.

“When people mention Danny Rose these days they refer to him as a nuisance, someone who’s always moaning and doesn’t get on with Jose Mourinho, and doesn’t mix, and wants to move back up north. And he does let himself down with some of the things he says.

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“But the bottom line is that he’s 29 and was in the last England squad. There aren’t many better left-backs or left wing-backs around and Steve Bruce has had a real coup here.

“I’ve watched him play for years. He’s aggressive, a good crosser, strong and fast, but sometimes his body language has been terrible.

“If it was all about a move back up north then you can’t go further north than Newcastle in the Premier League, so if this is what he’s been angling for then he can finally relax and show us what he’s all about and then get his dream move in the summer.”

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Sebastian Vettel opens door to Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari with Michael Schumacher hint

Sebastian Vettel might clear the way for Lewis Hamilton to complete an eagerly-anticipated move to Ferrari by following the example of F1 great Michael Schumacher. Vettel is out of contract at the end of the season and saw junior team-mate Charles Leclerc handed a long-term deal over the winter while he was made to wait on fresh terms.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has, though, confirmed Vettel is the Prancing Horse’s first-choice option to drive alongside Leclerc next year.

Vettel is yet to add to the four World Drivers’ Championship titles he won with Red Bull during his time in the Italian’s iconic red car.

And he’s now suggested this season might be his last with them by his own choice, as he has not ruled out leaving for another team.

Asked if it’s possible he will drive for a team other than Ferrari, Vettel told Sport Bild: “It is.”

Vettel then referenced Ferrari icon Schumacher, adding: “I think there is even an example of a German who went somewhere else after Ferrari, if I remember correctly.”

Schumacher, who won five of his record seven World Drivers’ Championship titles with Ferrari, left F1’s most illustrious team when he retired in 2006.

He returned to the sport four years later, though, signing up with Mercedes following their takeover of the Brawn GP team.

Should Vettel depart Ferrari, it may lead to Hamilton calling time on his own spell with the Silver Arrows in order to join Mattia Binotto’s team.


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Ferrari chief Louis Camilleri revealed at the team’s post-2019 season debrief at Maranello that Hamilton is interested in joining them.

Hamilton has previously spoken of his admiration for the Prancing Horse and recently admitted he’s a fan of their car during an interview in which he was sat across from Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

Asked by Sky Sports F1 pundit Martin Brundle if he fancied having a crack at glory with Ferrari, Hamilton replied: “I think that’s like a short-term kind of thing.

“If you look at all drivers who have driven for Ferrari, obviously it’s an incredible team and obviously the car’s always beautiful red. I have got red on my helmet. Red is the colour of passion or love or whatever you want to say.

“But what Mercedes have done for all their drivers – even Sir Stirling Moss is still a part of the team – they honour that and you become a part of a legacy and a life-long partner, which I think is super appealing.”

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Al Boum Photo enjoys Gold Cup warm-up

Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo showed his well-being ahead of the defence of his crown in a schooling session after racing at Navan on Tuesday.

Al Boum Photo, ridden by his big-race partner Paul Townend, pleased trainer Willie Mullins in the racecourse workout.

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Fury taunts AJ by claiming he's 'only got my leftover belts'

‘How can he be the champion when he hasn’t beaten THE champion? They’re my belts – I never lost them’: Tyson Fury taunts Anthony Joshua on This Morning as he claims he’s ‘only got my leftovers’ after vacating his past titles

  • Tyson Fury taunted heavyweight rival Anthony Joshua for having his ‘leftovers’
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Tyson Fury has insisted he is the real kingpin of the heavyweight division and taunted Anthony Joshua for having his ‘leftovers’ after being forced to vacate his world titles amid mental health problems back in 2016.

Fury dethroned Wladimir Klitschko on a famous night in Dusseldorf five years ago to capture the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world belts – all now held by Joshua – but was quickly stripped of them due to drug and mental health issues.  

There has been considerable speculation of a super-fight between Fury and Joshua for the undisputed crown following the Brit’s astonishing beating of Deontay Wilder last month – which saw him win the coveted WBC title.  

Tyson Fury claimed his is the real legitimate heavyweight champion and not Anthony Joshua 

Tyson and Paris Fury made an appearance on This Morning where they spoke about his future

Speaking about the potential all-British showdown, Fury was is no doubt as to who he thinks is the legitimate heavyweight champion. 

‘I’ve already been the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world when I beat Klitschko, I had all of the belts,’ Fury said during an appearance on Good Morning Britain alongside his wife Paris.

‘So as far as I’m concerned, Anthony Joshua has only got my leftovers because I never lost those belts. I had to vacate them for mental health problems. They’re my belts.’

Fury won four of the major heavyweight titles when he dethroned Wladimir Klitschko in 2015

The self-styled Gypsy King was forced to vacate them amid drug and mental health problems

Joshua now holds the WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF world titles Fury won that night in Dusseldorf

‘He’s [Anthony’s] just keeping them warm,’ Paris joked before Fury added: ‘How can you claim to be the champion when you haven’t beaten the champion?’ 

The self-styled Gypsy King also revealed that he plans to walk away from boxing once he has fought Joshua and cemented his legacy.    

‘I’ve got two more fights left and then we’ll really think about what we’re doing and go from there,’ he said. 

‘I’m undefeated in 31 professional fights and this is my 12th year as a professional.’

His long-term partner Paris agreed that he should hang up his gloves after fighting Joshua – which is being targeted for this winter.

Tyson and Paris both agreed that he should retire after fighting Joshua for all the world titles

Fury won the WBC title and Ring Magazine belt after an astonishing win over Deontay Wilder

Fury must face Wilder for a third time this summer after American activated rematch clause

Fury will have to take on knockout artist Deontay Wilder for a third time in July before he can even think about Joshua after the American activated a rematch clause following his seventh-round stoppage defeat in Las Vegas.

‘I beat him the first time and I beat him the second time and I will surely beat him the third time,’ Fury said.

‘He’s a very worthy opponent. He’s a very dangerous opponent and he has the eraser knockout.

‘You’re only one mistake away from disaster, you have to be switched on for all 12 rounds.’

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