West Ham’s London Stadium is among the candidates being considered to host Tyson Fury’s WBC world title defence against Dillian Whyte, set to take place this spring.
The Gypsy King hasn’t fought in the UK since his 2018 bout against Francesco Pianeta at Windsor Park in Belfast, fighting on US soil on five occasions since, including three encounters against Deontay Wilder.
The heavyweight giant is now preparing for his UK homecoming, and Sportsmail understands the London Stadium is rivalling the likes of Cardiff’s Principality Stadium to host the clash.
West Ham’s London Stadium is being considered as an option for Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte
Fury (left) is set to make his homecoming to the UK, with his last five fights taking place on US soil, including three bouts against Deontay Wilder (right)
The bout between the British rivals was finally confirmed last week following an arduous process, which saw purse bids delayed on a number occasions as the parties discussed potential step asides that would have seen Fury take on unified champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Frank Warren’s (left) Queensberry Promotions won the purse bid with a record offer of £31m
With negotiations breaking down late on, purse bids were eventually called at the WBC headquarters in Mexico City, where Frank Warren’s record bid of £31m trumped that of Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn, who offered £24m.
Victory for Warren’s Queensberry Promotions means it’s the Fury camp – also comprised of Bob Arum’s Top Rank – who have control of the all-British heavyweight encounter.
No date has yet been publicised, though it it will have to take place by April 29 at the latest. Reports emerged late last week that April 23 has been pencilled in.
Similarly, no venue has been announced, though Fury quickly confirmed his intentions upon the announcement of the match-up, tweeting: ‘Big GK is coming home.’
The Principality Stadium has previously been deemed the likely option for Fury’s homecoming, given that it has a roof and can hold sporting events all year round. But with the date pushed back to later in the spring, having previously been touted for March, the London Stadium has also emerged as a possibility.
Fury will defend his WBC world heavyweight title against Whyte (pictured) in April
The Principality Stadium in Cardiff is another possible venue for the heavyweight clash
The 60,000-capacity stadium was also in the running for Anthony Joshua’s homecoming against Kubrat Pulev in December 2020, before it went to a limited-capacity Wembley Arena.
Joshua’s following encounter against Usyk, where he lost his WBA, WBO and IBF titles, was also held in London at a full capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The London Stadium has previously been used for concerts, with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters set to perform later this year. The venue is yet to host a boxing event, however.
West Ham is a club with deep boxing routes, though, with a number of high-profile bouts taking place at their former stadium, Upton Park, including the likes of David Haye’s famous win over Derek Chisora.
Though the fight has now been announced, a new twist has since emerged, with reports stating Whyte is yet to sign his contract. The Brixton fighter has been given until February 21 by the WBC to do so.
Fury is set to receive a whopping 80 per cent of the split against his British rival, which Whyte is still contesting, wanting closer to the typical 70-30 split. The current split would see Fury take home a minimum of £24.5million, while Whyte would receive a minimum of just £6.1m.
Fury has called Whyte a ‘b****’ and a ‘coward’ as he urged his rival to break his silence
Whyte is yet to publicly speak on the matter, with Fury accusing his impending opponent of going into hiding. The Gypsy King said: ‘This is a message for Dillian Whyte. Whyte feathers, coward. Where are you Whyte feathers?
‘You wanted your world-title shot with (Deontay) Wilder for three years and you never got it.
‘You were mandatory for me for three minutes and you got your fight didn’t you, you coward. “Tyson Fury’s a coward. He doesn’t want to fight Dillian Whyte.”
‘But all of a sudden it’s on your toes and you’ve gone silent, you little b****. Come out, come out of hiding Whyte feathers. Come and get it.
‘You’re going to get a good hiding. You wanted a bit of free money, didn’t you dosser?
‘But now you’re getting £8m, which is £7.5m too much for you, you old dosser. Come out and say something, bum.’