Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 August 2020

Dillian Whyte warns Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield against comeback fight

British boxer insists pair should 'enjoy their retirement' and that any bout could result in serious injury

Dillian Whyte has cautioned Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield against making professional returns to the ring, warning the former world heavyweight champions that doing so could result in serious injury.

The pair have both released videos of themselves training recently and speculation is mounting that they could fight for a third time, almost a quarter of a century on from Tyson biting Holyfield's ear in their infamous rematch.

While they are regarded as two of the finest heavyweights of their, or any, era, and broke several records between them, Tyson is now 53 while Holyfield is four years older.

Whyte can see why an exhibition match might be arranged but the Londoner argued anything further between two men who have not fought for several years would be a step too far.

Whyte told the PA news agency: "There's so many different thoughts and ways to think about this.

"If they want to do something for charity in an exhibition match, that's fine. But as long as they keep it like that and don't try to get back in the professional ring.

"Because what it does, it diminishes all of their hard work they've done over the years. It's like 'you're in your fifties now, just relax, enjoy your success and enjoy your retirement'.

"They might get hurt, you know?"

Boxing is littered with examples of fighters coming back into the paid ranks after retiring but Whyte does not plan on adding to that number, insisting he will listen to those close to him if told to hang up his gloves.

Whyte said: "I have a plan to get out at a certain age and not look back.

"That's my plan and I've got people around me who if I ever try to go on too long, they'll tell me straight and I'll just walk away. If those people aren't around me, I wouldn't box anymore."

Whyte refuses to accept the possibility of his WBC heavyweight title shot being pushed back beyond the stipulated date of February next year.

In reinstating Whyte as its interim champion and mandatory challenger last December after a doping violation charge was dropped, the WBC indicated the Londoner would fight for the famous green and gold belt in early 2021.

File photo dated 07-12-2019 of Dillian Whyte. PA Photo. Issue date: Thursday May 11, 2020. Dillian Whyte refuses to accept the possibility of his WBC heavyweight title shot being pushed back beyond the stipulated date of February next year. See PA story BOXING Whyte. Photo credit should read Nick Potts/PA Wire.
Dillian Whyte wants his shot at becoming the WBC heavyweight champion. PA

The coronavirus pandemic complicates the situation as major boxing shows have been put on hold, while WBC titlist Tyson Fury is contractually obliged to face former champion Deontay Wilder for a third time on any resumption.

Speculation is mounting that Fury could then fight Anthony Joshua to determine the undisputed heavyweight champion but Whyte is adamant there should be no further obstacles standing in the way of his shot by the date outlined.

"I've waited long enough now and I've been mandatory and number one for long enough now," Whyte said. "The WBC have got to uphold their end of their bargain.

"I've more than done my bit, I've more than done what's required of me and what's been asked of me. I just want to be full WBC world champion. It's one of the highest prizes in sport, the WBC heavyweight championship.

"It's all good fighting people because I'm a fighter and just winning fights and knocking everyone out, that's all good and enjoyable but you need a belt to secure the history and cross it off the list.

"I want to be able to say 'I was WBC or WBA or IBF or WBO heavyweight champion of the world'."

Updated: May 14, 2020 03:21 PM

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