By Scoop Malinowski
Vitali Klitschko once said the psychological part of the fight starts long before the first bell. And this week there were a couple of interesting mini battles in the overall war of Dillian Whyte vs Tyson Fury and from my view, both were won by Dillian Whyte.
Whyte has decided he doesn’t want to waste any of his time and energy doing a press conference with Fury to promote the April 23 fight. Whyte presumably feels he should be paid extra for doing any promoting of the fight. Fury has responded in mockery, insulting his rival that he is starting a go fund me for Whyte which he will donate 47 pence to “the sausage.” But when you think about it, Whyte is actually right. If Fury wants 80 percent of the WBC purse split, which he’s getting (thanks to the WBC), shouldn’t he be doing 80 percent of the promoting? Damn right. So why is Whyte needed at the press conference? Fury and his team all said Whyte is not a draw as his last purses indicate. So why do they need Whyte to promote the fight? Fury is the big sell, let him do all the talking. Whyte’s unexpected defiance is a victory of sorts. Because Fury would prefer Whyte to obey all orders and obligations.
Second, Fury just released an intense training video of him boxing southpaw and hitting the pads from the new stance. It looks like an attempt by Fury to intimidate Whyte. Fury tweeted that he’s probably “gonna do southpaw this fight to show the world how good I am.” But under all the bluster and bragging and bravado, is it actually a sign of weakness from Fury? Why does Fury feel the need to do something different for this fight vs Whyte? Won’t the right handed stance be enough to score the victory?
These fight hype incidents may be minor or even meaningless displays of colorful machismo. But outward form can deceive many, and rare is the mind that can discern what is carefully concealed within.
Fury’s intent with this may also be serious strategic power plays, and carefully calculated mind games by a champion who though he pretends to be extremely arrogant, cocky and impervious of any self doubt, beneath the facade he may actually be more concerned and even deeply worried by the arsenal and mental strength and burning desire inside the obsessed, ‘willing to die to win’ heart of Dillian Whyte.
My scorecard so far in the pre-fight mind games aspect of this WBC Heavyweight title fight is 10-9 for Whyte so far.