Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte share a common experience having both been recruited for the fight by the Klitschkos in their younger years.
The two Brits will meet for the WBC world heavyweight title at Wembley Stadium on April 23, live on talkSPORT, and it’s been a long journey to get here.
Fury turned pro in 2008 and within a few years was rated as an intriguing prospect in the division.
At that time, the Klitschkos were dominant champions and took the opportunity to recruit the world’s best prospects for the fight.
It was their chance to identify potential future adversaries and figure out how they would deal with them if they met in the future.
With Fury, however, it seems that process backfired and led to Wladimir’s downfall in their 2015 fight.
When the duo met on Sky Sports’ ‘Gloves Are Off’, the Brit used his own mind games.
Fury told a story: “I’m at his training camp, we’re in the sauna, like ten guys in the sauna.
“And it happened between me and Wlad in the sauna. Do you remember this Vladimir at all?
“It’s up to him and I’m on the other side. I only had 12 or 13 fights, but still, in my mind, I was mentally competing with him.
“He can say what he wants, he can deny it, whatever.
“I was ready to die in that sauna before I came out. I stayed for about 40 minutes.
Klitschko replied, “Honestly, I don’t know what you’re talking about.
“I don’t remember exactly when, but I think in the sauna, people were walking around naked, so…”
Host Johnny Nelson then asked Fury who left the sauna first, and the ‘Gypsy King’ proudly replied, “He did. He came out first. I thought, ‘Mental victory.’
The champion shot back, “What you built in your own world, that didn’t exist.”
To which the challenger calmly replied, “We both know it existed.”
Klitschko said once again, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.
But Fury kept his cool and concluded, “You can say you don’t know what I’m talking about, but I know and you know it existed.”
Remarkably, Fury upset the odds and dethroned Klitschko, and the sauna story never looked good to him.
In 2020, almost five years after the defeat, Klitschko took to social media in an attempt to clear up the situation.
He said: “I keep reading these disturbing stories about Fury’s memories of a sauna.
“1) Apparently I was in a contest, in his head. 2) How creepy this man is, he keeps having thoughts/dreams of me in a sauna.
Whyte’s time in Klitschko’s camp was even more eventful.
He turned professional in 2011 and was drafted to train a few years later – coincidentally at the same time as his bitter rival Anthony Joshua.
As novices in October 2009, AJ suffered his first loss to Whyte, who dropped him and beat him on points in a three-round contest.
It would be far from the last time they saw each other, however, and Joshua capped off his amateur career by winning Olympic gold.
Recalling their time together in Klitschko’s camp, Whyte told the BBC: “He kinda yearned for Wladimir.
“Joshua is a funny guy, he was a little impressed. He was like, ‘Ah, wow.’
“He fought well, he did his thing, but he was a bit in awe of Klitschko, he’s a bit like that.
“I was just like, ‘Yo, I’m right here, I’m not trying to boo a ***, I’m looking to boo a ***.’
“I was training, I was in a different mindset…
“Me and Joshua went there and I was going to beat him.
“And then people came in and started breaking it or whatever.
“We sat down and [trainer] Bashir said: “You are here to help the champion, you cannot do personal things.”
Whyte and Joshua now seem to share a begrudging level of respect for each other, but Whyte apparently doesn’t feel the same way about Fury.
They will have the chance to settle this on April 23.
Betting offer of the day
Sky Bet: Bet £10 on the Masters and get £30 free golf bets – CLAIM HERE
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. SINGLE FIRST BET AND E/W ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR MORE. 3 BET TOKENS OF £10. FREE BET SETS NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS USABLE ONLY ON GOLF. FREE BETS ARE NOT WITHDRAWN. NO FREE BET EXPIRATION. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS AND OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY. 18+ BeGambleAware.Org