Whyte is set to finally get his shot at the world heavyweight title on Saturday night against Tyson Fury, and top prospect Viddal Riley has opened up about his sparring session with the challenger
Viddal Riley has detailed the two “signature moves” he was looking out for when he sparred with world heavyweight title challenger Dillian Whyte.
Riley, a top amateur who is 5-0 as a professional, took on Whyte during his days before joining the paid ranks, years before the Brit would become world heavyweight title challenger. And ahead of this weekend’s Wembley Stadium headliner, Riley has opened up about the little known session, offering his take on what Whyte brings to the table.
Whyte is set to face the undefeated world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on Saturday night, with a record 94,000 fans expected to attend. And Riley believes that he has the ability to drop the champ if Whyte can maintain his game and draw Fury into a tough fight.
“I sparred him, I think we did like four rounds,” Riley told The True Geordie on his podcast. “And when heavyweights spar with lighter people the speed puts them off. That’s what I think and especially at that time when I was in amateur mode more than I am now, the first four rounds I was always going to do what I do, pick, pick, pick and make him look for me.
“I’m quite quick on my feet. I used to get happy about that sort of thing but they’re pros and they play the game completely different. He’s not thinking about punching you until round six, really and by round six or seven you would really see what would happen.
“We’ve done four rounds, he’s got another sparring partner waiting on the outside and he’s probably trying to chill because he knows the guy that’s coming in for the next four is going to be fresh.
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“Definitely for the four rounds I was thinking ‘I don’t want to get hit by you, I know you swing some overhand rights’, it’s his signature overhand right and his left hook is short, on point. So those were the two things I thought about and I kind of just kept it long range, moved around and picked my punches.”
Riley, who most recently dominated Willbeforce Shihepo on the undercard of Amir Khan and Kell Broo’s grudge match, believes Fury will have too much for Whyte given his skillset. But he has predicted on a number of occasions that, once again, the champion will need to rise from the canvas to get the victory.
“I think Whyte and Fury is a close fight up until round six,” he continued. “I think Fury’s pace, that leaning, grabbing, picking, dancing, switching is too much. But I see Fury getting dropped, though, I predicted that early because I think they might scrap for a bit.”