Dillian Whyte denies faking injury to set up Tyson Fury heavyweight title fight

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Dillian Whyte who has his sights set on a showdown with Tyson Fury next year despite pulling out of his bout with Otto Wallin - Dillian Whyte denies faking injury to set up Tyson Fury bout and avoid fighting Otto Wallin - PA
Dillian Whyte who has his sights set on a showdown with Tyson Fury next year despite pulling out of his bout with Otto Wallin - Dillian Whyte denies faking injury to set up Tyson Fury bout and avoid fighting Otto Wallin - PA

Dillian Whyte has denied claims he may have faked an injury to put himself on course for a heavyweight title fight with Tyson Fury.

Whyte was scheduled to defend his WBC interim belt against Swedish fighter Otto Wallin this Saturday at the O2 Arena in London but withdrew from the contest following a shoulder injury sustained in training.

The fight was billed as a heavyweight title eliminator with the winner potentially challenging Tyson Fury in a lucrative bout for the WBC title next year.

Wallin, who previously lost to Fury on points, this week called for an independent doctor to verify Whyte's injury, while his promoter Dmitriy Salita insisted the fight should be rescheduled.

Otto Wallin (R) exchanges punches with Nick Kisner (L) at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on April 13, 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey - GETTY IMAGES
Otto Wallin (R) exchanges punches with Nick Kisner (L) at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on April 13, 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey - GETTY IMAGES

But Whyte denied accusations he deliberately withdrew from Saturday's card.

"We suffered the injury, I wanted to fight," he said. "You’ve got professional people on your team, people who use their brain. I use my balls and my muscle.

"These guys are the brain guys – the surgeons and the doctors – and they told me, ‘If you fight, you’re gonna risk your career.' People know I don't pull out of fights. My shoulder just completely shut down - I was in pain.

Asked if he’d take the Fury fight instead if possible, Whyte said: “Yeah, of course. Fury’s got the world title and that’s what I’ve been waiting for, that’s what I’ve worked for.

"I don’t even know how much sanctioning fees I’ve paid. I could’ve easily abandoned this route and gone down another route years ago, but I’ve waited and I’ve waited and I’ve waited. So what am I gonna do?

"Fight Otto Wallin or fight Tyson Fury, what are you gonna do? It’s common sense. Like I said, I’m not scared of no one [sic]. I wanted to fight."

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said that Fury, who defeated Deontay Wilder by 11th round knockout on October 9, had to schedule an undisputed match-up with Oleksandr Usyk, holder of the IBF, WBA and WBO belts, within 30 days, or face the interim champion.

However, Anthony Joshua has already triggered a rematch clause with Usyk and they will meet for a second time in March or April next year. Prior to that, the contest between Whyte and Wallin had been announced.

Whyte will now wait to see if the WBC mandates any contest with Fury but Salita is pushing to have the fight with Wallin rebooked.

Salita explained: "We are all talking to the WBC about this at the moment, to clarify the situation, so I cannot tell too much publicly. We are all speaking with the WBC."

In an interview with YouTube channel Seconds Out Boxing, Wallin said: "They have the right to withdraw from the fight if he’s injured, but they’ve gotta prove the injury.

"I’m not saying it’s not real, but please have an independent doctor look at him so we can all know."

He then added: "I’m here to fight him, I wanna fight him. He’s been given a lot of credit for fighting tough guys, now he’s gotta be true to his word.”

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