Dillian Whyte has no illusions about the task that is in front of him as he faces Tyson Fury for the WBC heavyweight title on Saturday night. But he believes he is up to it.

Whyte stared upwards at Fury at the head-to-head that followed Friday’s weigh-in but having sparred with Fury a decade ago, he has had a long time to think up a fight plan.

“This is one fight where it all has to gel,” Whyte said. “Fury brings everything to the table, he is tall and he is awkward and rangy. He might come to fight and then I don’t need to worry about any of that. We might just have a stand-up and bang and one of us goes down. That would be great.

“But I am also prepared if I need to hunt him down, set traps and outsmart him. A lot of people will laugh at this, they don’t think I can do this, but I haven’t shown half of what I can do yet, because I haven’t had the opportunity.”

Whyte is slightly annoyed that some still write him off as a banger and says that he has improved a lot over the past four years, while he says that it is wrong to assume Fury’s style has changed despite two exciting wins over Deontay Wilder.

“People forget that in the first (Alexander) Povetkin fight I was outboxing him,” he said. “OK, I got caught, but in the return I just went in and banged him out. Two completely different styles, so I am very adaptable.

“When I box I can box, when I move I can move, but that style is boring. Fury’s style is boring. People were excited for the last two fights because he was able to stand and trade with Wilder.

“Wilder is dangerous but not that good, so Fury could stay in the pocket and outwork him and outhustle him, because he didn’t do anything up close apart from throw that big right hand from range.

“So, people have been saying ‘Tyson Fury, he’s the man, he’s exciting’. No he’s not, he beat up Deontay Wilder three times. Come on guys, go back and look. Three years prior, no one cared about Tyson Fury fights. He was a big guy and he was winning, but the fights were boring.”

Whyte has had a long wait for his shot from the WBC, but while still annoyed about it, he admits that the fight is now bigger than it might have been two years ago.

“I’m not someone who really complains or cries about things, but I should have had my title shot at least two years ago,” he said. “I’m two years more seasoned, I have been through ups and downs in those two years, so I am more mature as a person and a fighter. That is one of the main reasons why it didn’t kick off [at the press conference]. I’ve grown up a lot and was able to control the situation instead of jumping in and knocking John Fury out.

“It’s a major event and I am glad to be part of it. Maybe two years ago it wouldn’t have been as big as it is now, so in a way it could be worth the wait.”

Whyte stayed active as he waited for his shot, building up the experience he believes he was lacking.

“I’m a lot different from how I was then,” he said. “I’m smarter, I approach things differently and I don’t rely on my punch power, I’m fitter, stronger, better, I can do other things to win a fight and set things up in different ways.

“Mariusz Wach is probably the biggest guy I have fought, but I have fought a few big guys. I was well out of shape for that fight and mentally I was in a dark place, but I still went in and fought a ten-rounder, so the experience was good, it has shown me that even when I am not at my best I can still beat guys that have a physical advantage over me.

“I fought Rivas, Browne, Parker, I have had a lot of experience against different kinds of guys.”

But having seen Wilder put Fury on the floor twice in their last meeting – as well as twice in their first meeting – does that give Whyte confidence that if he does land he can finish him?

“Wilder put him down in two of the three fights, I don't take much from that because he did get up,” Whyte said. “I think the first should have been stopped but he got up.

“But Wilder is not a good finisher. He is a one-punch finisher. If he gets that one punch away then you go, but he is not a guy who can grind and finish you, it’s just if he nails you, he nails you.

“I haven't watched the bits where Fury's been put down, I watch the bits where he's good, the way he moves, the way he backs Wilder up. I look at the mistakes Wilder makes and what Fury's doing to make sure I am not in that same position. Let’s see. Wilder could not keep his hands up, he could not stop the punches, I think he was a bit freaked out.”

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.