Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte hugged and swapped hats like reunited friends, but the British rivals have declared their desire for a brutal world title fight at Wembley.
Fury’s WBC belt and unbeaten record are at stake when he shares the ring with Whyte in front of an estimated 94,000 crowd – a post-war British record – at the national stadium.
Whyte’s combustible temper has not flared in fight week, while Fury has resisted the temptation to taunt his latest opponent, but grins and handshakes will be replaced by glares and flailing fists.
“I’m very chilled and very relaxed,” Whyte told Sky Sports. “Probably more chilled and relaxed than I’ve been for previous fight build-ups. But it’s been good.
“I’m calm, but the good thing about me, I don’t need to be all aggy and frustrated, because it takes me a split second to turn nasty when I need to, so I don’t need to be like, ‘I’m going to smash his face in!’
“A split second, if someone walks in here now and it goes off, it goes off. I’m ready to go.”
Whyte’s eagerness is understandable, given how long he’s waited for an elusive world title shot, despite a string of destructive victories.
Since a stoppage defeat to Anthony Joshua in 2015, Whyte has spent the last six and a half years grafting his way into this position – leaving a trail of fellow contenders in his wake, including Derek Chisora twice, Joseph Parker and most recently beating Alexander Povetkin in their rematch after losing the initial fight.
“I’m ready to go,” Whyte said. “We’ve taken a lot of time, a lot of patience, a lot of devotion to get to this stage and we’re ready to go. Tomorrow, we’re ready to go to war.
“It is respect. With Tyson, I take him as he comes. I don’t think we’re friends or everything is cool, because he might come out tomorrow and be in a different mindset.
“Today I’m in one mindset, tomorrow I’m in another mindset.”
At Friday’s weigh-in, Fury came in less than a stone heavier than Whyte and more than 12lbs lighter than the career-high 277lbs he weighed the day before knocking out Deontay Wilder in the 11th round of his last title defence in October.
Fury again displayed his battling spirit, along with power and precision when he climbed off the canvas twice to stop Wilder, and is fully aware of the threat posed by Whyte.
“He’s as dangerous as any heavyweight out there,” Fury told Sky Sports earlier in the week. “He’s coming in hungry, he wants to win this fight.
“It’s his big shot at the opportunity of being champion of the world.”
As music blared at the weigh-in, Fury and Whyte even danced next to each other, but they will provide a more explosive combination when the first bell rings.
“Respect to Dillian Whyte and his team, proper professional men, and we’re going to give you a real fight,” said Fury.
“Don’t doubt us, we’re going to put a show on like no other before. It’s going to be a war, don’t worry about that.”
Lennox Lewis expecting “a great fight”
Former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis stopped short of giving a prediction for Saturday night, saying only that he is expecting a “great fight” between the pair.
Lewis told Sky Sports: “They’re ready. All the talk and everything is over. They just want to get in the ring and Tyson feels good, you can tell. Dillian feels good, they’re both up there dancing, so we’re up for a good fight.
“It’s like two warriors. Eat and sleep together, but they’re fighting to hurt each other.
“The prediction is it’s going to be a great fight. There are going to be a lot of people in the stands and it’s going to be electrifying.”
Mikaela Mayer: Fury is going to entertain us
WBO and IBF super-featherweight champion Mikaela Mayer said ahead of the fight, “The weigh-in, the nerves sort of go away for me.
“The body is depleted, I’ve been dehydrated to make the weight, so I’m a little grumpy and ready to get this over with, so I don’t really have a lot of nerves going into weigh-ins.
“This is a little different here. Tyson has so many people here and he’s probably not grumpy. He’s going to do what he does best and entertain us.”
If you wish to purchase Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte on BT Sport Box Office on 23rd April 2022, please visit www.sky.com/boxoffice/btsport.