Tyson Fury’s all-British showdown with Dillian Whyte is set to unfold early next year as the “Gypsy King” defends his homecoming title.
Still, the fight will be especially poignant for Fury who once viewed the Body-Snatcher as a close friend before their relationship turned sour.
The 33-year-old retained his WBC heavyweight crown with stunning style in October, once again destroying Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas.
And it looks like he’s about to collide with Whyte – who tried to get his fellow Briton to agree to a fight on Instagram.
The 33-year-old captioned a training photo: “The coward really doesn’t want smoke. I can’t wait to be there, it will be a special night.
Fury then responded with a series of images of the couple as they trained together.
He wrote next to the photos: “It’s funny how people treat you when you’re nice to them.”
So how did old friends become enemies? talkSPORT.com has all the details …
Whyte was twice recruited to act as Fury’s training partner and the two have vastly different accounts of who got the better of whom.
The Brixton banger first joined Gypsy King’s camp in Manchester nine years ago before the latter’s five-round victory over Martin Rogan in 2012.
He then joined Fury a year later at the Belgian-Dutch border for Fury’s doomed scrap with David Haye.
Talk to Michelle Joy Phelps in 2019, Fury said, “Whyte is a heavy sack on his legs, I’ve punched him in the head several times in the gym and hope I get a chance to do that in the ring.”
Only a day later, Whyte had retaliated against Air sports: “Tyson is clumsy, he’s long, he’s slender, some days he can send you here and there, but I’ve definitely laid him down before.
“I definitely put it on her butt before.”
He later added, “He was the one who came out and said he beat me in the gym. I can tell you now that this did not happen.
“I don’t like to tell battle stories, but the folks in the game know that. They know about me. Well Tyson Fury and I fought and I criticized him and let him down on several occasions. As simple as that. “
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 – who 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 him sound louder. People can take a quick trip to the Internet and see for themselves.
“In boxing, the name Tyson is much more salable 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 can tell he wants to beat me sometimes, but how can you trust a man who doesn’t even use his own name?” “
Whyte’s recent frustrations with Fury have piled up for months due to the lack of title shots the former received.
The WBC was widely expected to officially call for action at its convention last week, but the situation has taken an unexpected turn.
It has been known for several months that Whyte had taken action against the sanctioning body in the pursuit of his title shot, although little has been made public on the details of the case.
The WBC reported that the case is currently before an arbitration tribunal, without resolution at this time, hence the reason they cannot order an attorney.
When recently asked about the ongoing case in July, Whyte promoter Eddie Hearn simply said talkSPORT.com: “Yes, it’s still going on.
“I think Dillian Whyte is pushing for answers and a little bit of justice.”
Fury raised the bar by saying he was annoyed the WBC didn’t order the fight as he had to fight easily after epic clashes with Deontay Wilder.
He told IFL: “I’m due for an easy fight so Dillian Whyte would have been ideal, a big punching bag on the legs is what I’m looking for and he would have been the perfect candidate.
“But he has his own ongoing legal situations that he needs to sort out first.
“I don’t care who I fight, but I’m definitely fighting in late February or early March, 100% guaranteed.
“And I don’t care who it is because the result is always the same, I’m going to win.”