Tyson Fury’s all-British showdown with Dillian Whyte will take place later this month as the ‘Gypsy King’ defends his homecoming title.
Still, the fight will be particularly poignant for Fury who once considered the Body-Snatcher a close friend before their relationship turned sour.
The 33-year-old retained his WBC heavyweight crown in stunning style last October, destroying Deontay Wilder again in Las Vegas.
And he’s now on a collision course with Whyte – who tried to trick his fellow Brit into accepting a fight on Instagram before the fight was officially announced.
The 34-year-old captioned a training photo: “Coward really don’t want smoke. I can’t wait for my moment, it will be a special night.
Fury then responded with a series of images of the pair training together.
He wrote alongside the photos: “Funny how people treat you when you’re good to them.”
So how did old friends become enemies? talkSPORT.com has all the details…
Whyte was drafted twice to act as Fury’s sparring partner and the two have very different accounts of who got the better of whom.
The Brixton banger first joined the Gypsy King side in Manchester nine years ago before the latter’s five-round victory over Martin Rogan in 2012.
He then joined Fury again a year later at the Belgian-Dutch border for Fury’s doomed scrap with David Haye.
Whyte told talkSPORT.com’s Alex McCarthy in 2020: “He was getting ready to fight David Haye and his trainer at the time was trying to walk him down and pressure me like he would Haye.
“He was frustrated that day because I kept hitting him, countering him and dropping him.
“I dropped it twice that day. So he was just frustrated and sobbing.
“And then his coach insulted him and said, ‘Look, if that’s what you’re doing here now, David Haye is going to knock you out so get up and keep going. “
Now, two years later, with the pair ready to fight, Fury has given a different version of events.
He told BT Sport: “I’ve faced Dillian Whyte many, many times.
“And each time I used it as a punching bag.
“There were times when he couldn’t defend himself and there was a time when we had to stop the fight and Hughie had to fight him, my cousin Hughie instead.
“Hughie was about 18 at the time and he used to beat him.
“All those stories of him knocking me down 25 times in sparring – it’s highly unlikely anyone would believe that rubbish.”
Use the Force Luke
Whyte’s previous relationship with Fury led to a shocking claim last month that the latter’s real name is Luke – which is currently listed as his middle name.
He told SunSport: “My real name is Dillian. I know his real name is Luke.
“He changed it to Tyson to make himself sound louder. People can take a look on the internet and see for themselves.
“In boxing, the name Tyson is much more marketable than Luke.
“A lot of what Tyson does and says is a game, you can never take what he says seriously or at face value.
“He might say he wants to fight me sometimes, but how can you trust a man who doesn’t even use his own name?”
Whyte’s recent frustrations with Fury have only deepened since the fight between the two was officially confirmed.
Frank Warren didn’t hold back on his thoughts on Whyte saying he is ‘either badly advised or just plain stupid’ for the way he acted.
Warren told the heavyweight to work out his issues with the amount of money he gets to fight Fury with the WBC instead of him.
Whyte will challenge the Gypsy King for their WBC heavyweight title live on talkSPORT on Saturday April 23, but did not show up for the opening presser.
“They had a smoking gun so that smoking gun was fired we sold the tickets it really backfired and it’s a shame because we wanted them there [at the press conference]“Warren said on Fight Night.
“We wanted to see Dillian Whyte, regardless of him being totally unprofessional in the way he behaves to help promote this fight.
“The thing is it’s going to be a good fight, it’s a good challenge for Tyson and I’m sure it’s a great moment for him all this time after he’s been waiting and besides it’s not my fault he waited.
“He’s with Matchroom, they’ve had the world champion for God knows how long, so don’t blame us for any problems he’s had.
“He’s a guy who bleats, saying he’s been there 1200 days anyway and he has a problem with the WBC that’s not my problem, and that’s between them and for them to solve it.
“In the meantime he was on the stock market offer where the percentages were agreed and the offers came in based on that so everyone knew what they were getting into and then to try to renegotiate after an offer scholarship, I’ve never heard of anything like it.
“It’s so ridiculous what they’ve done, him and his team, he’s badly advised and if he makes the final decision he’s just plain stupid.”
Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte is live on talkSPORT on April 23 here
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