Dillian Whyte breaks silence on Tyson Fury days before heavyweight title fight at Wembley Stadium

LONDON -- When they finally faced off for the first time after years of trading fighting words, Tyson Fury tickled Dillian Whyte with both hands as the pair of big men erupted in laughter.

Until last week's media conference call, Whyte refused to promote Saturday's heavyweight title fight before 94,000-plus at Wembley Stadium (2 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV).

The challenger, who is usually active on social media, even declined to acknowledge the fight was happening on all on his platforms. Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) was peeved at the parameters of January's record-setting purse bid of $41 million, which pays him 20% and doesn't cut him in on the upside of the pay-per-view sales in the U.K or the U.S.

But now, with the fight just three days away, Whyte was in the mood to talk Wednesday at Wembley Stadium, the site of his first title opportunity, one that he's waited more than 1,500 days for.

"It's two sides to every story," said Whyte, ESPN's No. 6 heavyweight. "One side says a lot of things and they say 'oh, you're scared. I'm not scared of s---; I'm not hiding from s---. It's something to get done. Obviously, fight was signed, but there were other things to sign."

Fury, 33, who will be fighting someone not named Deontay Wilder for the first time since September 2019, cracked jokes throughout the news conference and reiterated several times that Whyte is being underestimated. It's not simply banter meant to promote a fight; Whyte is arguably the most accomplished active boxer to never receive a title shot.

Whyte, 34, owns wins over Joseph Parker, Derek Chisora (twice) and Alexander Povetkin (in a rematch to avenge a KO loss) to go along with a TKO defeat to Anthony Joshua earlier in his career.

"I've done everything possible I can do to train for this; I haven't left any stone unturned," said Fury, ESPN's No. 1 heavyweight. "I trained just as hard for Dillian as I have Wilder, [Wladimir] Klitschko or anybody. He'll be fighting the best version of Tyson Fury. I feel great, I have no injuries.

"This is a heavyweight boxing fight, anyone can win with one punch," Fury added. "If I'm not on my A-game, he's going to knock my head off my shoulders. I think everybody is underestimating how good of a fight this is going to be."

When it comes to entertainment value, Fury will be hard-pressed to top his last bout. His 11th-round knockout of Wilder in October's trilogy bout was ESPN's Fight of the Year and is among the greatest heavyweight title bouts of all time. Now that Fury prefers to seek and destroy inside the ring rather than box off the back foot, "The Gypsy King" could product another slugfest Saturday.

Whyte is one of the sport's most-reliable action fighters, a brawler who utilizes relentless pressure and a concentrated body attack to defeat his foes.

"He's a good fighter, Dillian," Fury said. "He's big, he's strong, he's tough, he's game. ... He has good power; he's knocked out a lot of men." None of those men have been quite like Fury, a future Hall of Famer who hasn't lost many rounds in the pros, let alone a single fight.

"Win, lose or draw," Whyte said, "I always come to fight, that's what I do." And now, he's come to promote the fight as well.