Tyson Fury paid tribute to "fantastic opponent" Dillian Whyte ahead of the pair's record-breaking Wembley Stadium bout next weekend.

The undefeated WBC champion faces his British rival and mandatory challenger at the national stadium on April 23, in what he says will be the final fight of his 31–0–1 career.

Despite having previously compared their bout as "a Ferrari racing a Vauxhall Corsa" in March, Fury was complimentary of Whyte's prowess and 28–2 record ahead of their match.

"Whyte is a fantastic opponent," he told a pre-fight news conference. "He is the guy who has been mandatory for however long, the guy everyone has been avoiding.

"Nobody wanted to fight Dillian Whyte for whatever reason. He’s a vicious puncher, great puncher to the body, very compact, solid.

"He has a fantastic record of only two losses. The fight sold out in just a few hours, so it's a fight people are excited about, and I can't wait to put on a great show."

With 94,000 tickets reportedly sold for the sell-out event, Fury and Whyte's clash is set take the record for the most-attended boxing bout on British soil in history.

Indeed, it will come close to the all-time stadium record too, likely falling only short of Adele's 2017 concert residency, and Fury is happy to mix music metaphors into his showmanship.

"I am ready to rock ’n’ roll, man," he added. "It will be a performance for the ages — 94,000 people, the biggest sporting crowd they have ever had at Wembley.

"It's going to be an absolutely fantastic event, and I'm very much looking forward to it and to putting on a great show."

 

The mayors of both Manchester and Liverpool have joined calls for Manchester City and Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final next month to be moved away from Wembley.

Pep Guardiola's Citizens and Jurgen Klopp's Reds are set to face off across the weekend of April 16/17 for a place in the final of football's oldest knockout tournament.

Yet supporters of the two Premier League and Champions League title rivals have pushed for the match to be shifted to an alternative location over logistical concerns.

Now, Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, and Liverpool metro mayor Steve Rotheram have issued a joint statement calling for the FA to heed such requests in the face of multiple issues.

"Over the last year, we have heard the slogan 'football without fans is nothing' many times," the pair stated.

"If this decision is left to stand, and people are either priced out of this game or unable to attend for other reasons, those words will be meaningless to many.

"We believe the most obvious solution is to move the game to a more accessible stadium and offer to work constructively with you to make that happen.

"Without quick, direct trains, many people will be left with no option but to drive, fly, make overly complex rail journeys or book overnight accommodation.

"When you factor in the rising costs of fuel, it is clear that supporters of both clubs attending this game will face excessive cost and inconvenience - and that is before any environmental impact is considered.

"There are also significant logistical and safety considerations. With thousands of fans making the long journey south, there will be huge numbers converging on the M6, which is likely to be stretched to capacity by bank holiday traffic.

"A single accident would risk the entire motorway being brought to a standstill and fans missing the kick-off."

City and Liverpool's semi-final clash will be the second meeting between the two in the space of a week, with the pair set to meet in the Premier League on April 10.

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