TYSON FURY and Dillian Whyte’s relationship has turned sour in recent years with a fight between the heavyweight pair edging closer.
But it wasn’t always this way.
The Gypsy King shared old photos of himself alongside the Body Snatcher on Sunday with the duo former sparring partners.
Captioning the snaps, the 33-year-old said: “Funny how people treat you when you are good to them.”
Earlier in the day, Whyte, 33, had called out the WBC champion in a post he shared to his 447,000 Instagram followers.
He remarked: “The coward really doesn’t want any smoke. I can’t wait for my moment, it will be a special night.”
Interim WBC champ Whyte is desperate to land his first heavyweight world title shot, and believes he will be the first person to inflict a defeat on Fury’s professional record.
But unbeaten Mancunian Fury is confident it will be an easy night’s work against his British compatriot.
JOIN SUN VEGAS: GET A FREE £10 BONUS WITH 100s OF GAMES TO PLAY AND NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED (Ts&Cs apply)
Here SunSport takes a look at how the ex-pals have turned rivals in recent years…
CONFLICTING SPARRING CLAIMS
Whyte was twice drafted in to be Fury’s sparring partner – first in Manchester in 2012 ahead of the latter’s bout against Martin Rogan.
And again in the middle of 2013 on the Belgian-Dutch border for Fury’s domestic dust-up against David Haye, which failed to materialise.
Both men have different views on how the sparring went, with the pair insisting that they got the better of one another.
Speaking to Michelle Joy Phelps in 2019, Fury said: “Dillian Whyte is a heavy bag on legs, I punched his head in for him plenty of times in the gym and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do it in the ring.”
Meanwhile White told Sky Sports: “Tyson’s awkward, he’s long, he’s rangy, some days he may outbox you here and there, but I definitely laid him out before.
“I definitely put him on his bottom before.”
Before adding: “He’s the one that came out and said he beat me up in the gym. I can tell you now, that didn’t happen.
“I don’t like telling sparring stories, but people in the game know. They know about me. Well, me and Tyson Fury sparred and I bashed him about and dropped him on multiple occasions. Simple as that.”
Despite Whyte being the No1 challenger to face Deontay Wilder for the WBC strap in 2018, the Bronze Bomber instead chose to face Fury inside the squared circle.
The American, who drew and then lost twice against Fury in their next epic trilogy, labelled Whyte as the ‘s*** on his toilet paper’ earlier this year as he stated he means nothing to him.
After failing to secure a fight against the Alabama native, it was expected that Whyte would be granted a shot at Fury’s belt next.
But the WBC sensationally failed to name him as Fury’s mandatory challenger, much to Whyte’s anger, who had already spent over 1,000 days as Wilder’s mandatory.
Fury then spoke of his dismay at the ruling, as he declared: “I am due for an easy fight so Dillian Whyte would have been ideal, a big punch bag on legs is what I am after and he would have been the ideal candidate.
“But he has his own legal situations going on that he has to sort out first.
“I don’t care who I fight but I am definitely fighting at the end of February or early March, 100 per cent guaranteed.
“And I don’t give a damn who it is because the outcome is always the same, I will win.”
The WBC ruling only added to Whyte’s frustration at not being able to fight Fury after claiming in September that the Gypsy King has twice rejected the chance to pit his wits against him.
In an X-rated Twitter exchange between the pair, Fury said: “Dillian Whyte is a chinless piece of s**t, who is a massive s**thouse and was offered £5million to fight AJ and declined.
“I’m putting you on notice, you bum. Try not to lose again before I smash you to bits in a keep busy fight for me before I smash Anthony Joshua.”
Whyte responded by referencing Fury’s failed VADA tests for cocaine back in 2016.
He tweeted: “Coke head, don’t talk about what you don’t know, talk about the two times you got ordered to fight me and p*****d, you gypsy coward.
“You know where I’m at, coke head. Hit me up baby, I got you covered.”
Fury replied: “I got a real fight to do first! Then I take you as a keep busy fight. Bum.
“I can beat you with one hand behind my back.”
COOL HAND LUKE
In another claim, Whyte has declared that Fury’s real name is Luke, and he changed it to Tyson to make him sound harder.
The former British and European champ lists his full name as Tyson Luke Fury.
Whyte told SunSport last year: “My real name is Dillian. I know his real name is Luke.
“He changed it to Tyson to make himself sound harder. People can have a little look around on the internet and see for themselves. In boxing, the name Tyson is a lot more sellable than Luke.
“A lot of what Tyson does and says is a game, you can never take anything he says seriously or at face value.
“He might say he wants to fight me sometimes but how can you trust a man who doesn’t even use his own name?”
And earlier this year, Anthony Joshua joined Whyte in calling Fury ‘Luke’ after his fight to face him fell through.