Tyson Fury has a seven-inch reach advantage over Dillian Whyte, which in and of itself could get him the victory on Saturday in their bout for the WBC and lineal heavyweight titles before 94,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in London.
The unbeaten Fury has one of the best jabs in the business, and in Whyte’s two losses, he showed vulnerability to a straight, hard jab. Fury could stay on the outside, circle, pop his jab, pile up points and win an easy decision in what he insists will be his final fight.
But if it is his final fight, does he want to go out that way, with a humdrum victory that leaves the crowd sitting on its hands?
And that’s a good thing, because Fury to win is -650 at BetMGM and a huge price to pay if you back the champ.
Trainer SugarHill Steward’s changed Fury dramatically in the two fights they’ve worked together, both knockouts of Deontay Wilder. Under Hill, Fury moves forward far more often and drops that right hand in regularly.
Whyte’s options are limited. He is a slow starter, which against the new-style Fury could be an issue. He is often flat-footed and not only is he vulnerable to a crisp jab, but he eats a lot of left hooks.
In his win over Joseph Parker in 2018, Whyte was hit far too often with a left hook off the jab. Parker is 6-6 with a 76-inch reach, but Fury is 6-9 with an 84-inch reach. So Fury could emulate Parker’s plan and outdo him by jabbing regularly and hooking off the jab.
Fury is a strong though not devastating puncher, and Whyte won’t be able to take that long.
So Whyte’s best option is to jab to the body to get to the inside, and then make it a firefight at close range. Whyte has the power to hurt Fury. Fury was knocked down four times in three fights against Wilder, but was also dropped by Steve Cunningham and Neven Pajkic.
The safe place for Whyte would be inside, where he could smother Fury’s power, limit some of his options and potentially hurt Fury with a body-head combination.
More likely, though, is Fury finding the distance he’s comfortable with and then walking down Whyte. It would be no shock to see Whyte on the floor a few times early in the fight.
At BetMGM, Fury by KO/TKO/Technical Decision/DQ is -150. Fury by decision is +225.
As tempting as it may be to go for the plus money and play Fury by decision, the most likely scenario is that Fury finishes Whyte.
I’ll lay two units on Fury by KO, risking $300 in the hope of making a $200 profit.
I just can’t recommend laying -650 on Fury to win, though, because the price is too high, creating an unacceptable risk/reward ratio.