By Frank Warren
THE TYSON FURY roadshow rolled into town on Tuesday to signpost the official launch of his WBC World heavyweight championship showdown against his mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte on April 23.
Tyson is set to illuminate Wembley Stadium on St George’s Day in a mighty collision against fellow Brit and mandatory challenger Whyte. The biggest venue in the country packed to the rafters in honour of one of the biggest sporting personalities in the world.
It was a pity that Whyte didn’t extend us the courtesy of following big fight protocols and appearing at the press conference. We have invested a lot of money in this fight, giving him the biggest pay cheque of his career and his long yearned for shot at the world title. The fight is even in his home city!
Some of his demands are simply ludicrous and you really couldn’t make it up.
Thankfully Tyson is more than capable of carrying a show on his own and he did just that on Tuesday. I honestly believe if Whyte had turned up he would have been bamboozled by Tyson and maybe this played a part in his thinking.
We will crack on with putting on the biggest show of the year and leave the childish games and comments to others. As long as he returns to London for fight week, that is all that really matters.
We were totally vindicated in choosing the national stadium for this event by the staggering demand for tickets when they became available on Ticketmaster. Some 85,000 tickets were snapped up within a few hours, with another 5,000 to come online combined with coach packages.
We are also in dialogue with the local authority over bumping up the capacity to a record level so we can hopefully cater for the huge demand to a greater degree. Keep tabs on our social media channels for updates regarding further ticket availability.
The rapid snapping up of the tickets demonstrates what an attraction Tyson has become on both sides of the Atlantic. I don’t think there is any other in this sport who holds such appeal and can pack out venues in the UK and USA.
Normally people suspect promoter-speak when news breaks of record ticket sales, but everyone could see for themselves just how many people logged on attempting to buy tickets.
What Tyson has accomplished since making his return to the ring – his second career, as he describes it – is just remarkable and the public have warmed to him in a big way.
Despite him being an awkward customer, I fully acknowledge that Dillian will be a tough and dangerous opponent for Tyson on April 23. He has done well in his career to work himself into position from his beginnings on the small hall circuit and there is no doubt he will be doing his utmost to seize his moment at Wembley.
He is a big puncher with a huge left hook and Tyson cannot and won’t take him lightly. It is a fight he has called for for a long time and now he has got what he wanted.
I just believe Tyson is too good for everyone out there, whoever it is. He carries all the physical advantages and possesses a boxing brain that is second to none.
So we are in for a truly special night under the Wembley arch and I thank you for your incredible support of the event, while I am sorry for those who have been left disappointed on this occasion.
Demand just completely outstripped supply.
WE HAVE ANOTHER huge fight on the horizon now following another successful purse bid that will see Demetrius Andrade come over to the UK to take on our swashbuckling super middleweight Zach Parker.
The fight was ordered by the WBO for the Interim world title and, even with the short end of the purse, we got behind our man to try and give him every advantage.
It should be an absolutely cracking fight. Andrade has been something of a slayer of the Brits and Irish across his career, but this time around he is up a weight and against somebody with the physical dimensions to match his own.
The American is a top operator, no doubt about that, but I really believe in Zach and was totally won over by him the first time I watched him up close.
Plans are currently being put in place for a big night in Derby that we will be able to reveal all on soon.
DANIEL DUBOIS IS currently having to play the waiting game so he needs to keep his eyes on the prize and make the wait worthwhile.
It is frustrating for all concerned, but the fact is he has been called by the WBA to challenge for the world heavyweight title held by Trevor Bryan. This has to be his next fight and there is no option for an interim contest.
If we were to arrange a fight for him in between times, Bryan’s promoter Don King would rightly flag this up to the WBA and the champion would likely be granted a voluntary defence, which would push everything back even further.
Where we are at is we have called for a purse bid and we have been directly assured by WBA President Gilberto Mendoza that this will take place next week on March 11.
Then we can get the fight on and then get Daniel as active as possible. The same goes for Joe Joyce, who is recovering well from injury, and we are plotting a big fight for him in May.