WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury left fans, and perhaps Saturday’s opponent Dillian Whyte, scratching their heads on Tuesday when he boxed from a southpaw stance for the entirety of his open workout at Wembley. Some have already theorised that it was a subtle attempt at mind games from the 6ft 9in slugger, with the challenger absent for much of the pre-fight build-up.
Fury has shown a talent for mind games in the past, not least before his 2015 bout with Wladimir Klitschko. The famous Batman fancy dress press conference and colourful fighting talk did, by the Ukrainian’s own admission, get into his head before fight night when the Brit shocked the world to claim a unanimous decision victory in Dusseldorf.
The two-time heavyweight champ is taking Whyte on this Saturday, and the pair were expected to be in close proximity with open workouts scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. The challenger failed to turn up, however, amid claims of travel delays.
Fury is known to be a switch fighter, i.e. one capable of switching between orthodox and southpaw stances midway through a fight, but his decision to conduct the whole session from a southpaw stance got minds racing.
It could be a genuine hint on how he will approach Saturday’s crunch showdown, or instead a ploy to make Whyte think as much. Fury played down suggestions that he will attempt to catch his opponent by surprise come fight night.
“We all know I’m ambidextrous and I can punch with both hands,” he told Queensberry Promotions, “I’ve had knockout wins with the right and the left. I’m just sharpening them all up.”
Whyte was completely absent from pre-fight promotion until recently due to disputes with Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren. The 34-year-old failed to show up for the initial launch press conference, and only released his first social media post about the upcoming fight on Wednesday last week.
Some Fury fans fear that the Gypsy King will soon hang up his gloves after capping off an incredible personal comeback story with several blockbuster fights over the past few years. During Tuesday’s open workout, however, his father John Fury confirmed that it would not be his last contest.