Tuesday 17 September 2019

Watch: Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder final press conference abandoned after rival entourages clash on stage

Boxers Deontay Wilder, left, and Tyson Fury exchange words as they face each other at a news conference in Los Angeles
Boxers Deontay Wilder, left, and Tyson Fury exchange words as they face each other at a news conference in Los Angeles

Luke Brown

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder’s final press conference had to be abandoned on Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles, as their rival entourages came to blows on stage.

At a lengthy final news conference ahead of their heavyweight world title fight at the Staples Centre on Saturday, tensions boiled over when the two boxers were brought together for a face-off.

A visibly infuriated Wilder began screaming obscenities into Fury’s face, and even accused Frank Warren of pushing him, before appearing to accidentally poke the lineal champion in the eye.

That resulted in Fury pushing his rival, leading to the former's brother, Shane, making his way onto the stage on crutches to escalate the argument.

Fury removed his shirt as security intervened, as numerous security guards struggled to regain control of the situation before the stage was eventually cleared.

The brawl was an eyebrow-raising end to an otherwise fairly good-natured press conference, during which both men acknowledged how they needed the other boxer to help advance their respective legacies.

“I am blessed he is a rival to me and a rival of this country,” Wilder had acknowledged. “I am not just grateful to him but all of my opponents. They have all brought something to the table. And it is very refreshing to have an opponent who can speak their piece as well as I can speak mine.”

Fury meanwhile poked fun at Wilder’s late route into the sport.

“He tried to make it in American football and basketball, but he was not good enough,’ he said, to laughs from the crowd, before appearing to suddenly invent an unlikely talent for basketball himself.

“I did not want to do anything else but be a fighting man. That is all I have ever done. I even had the opportunity to come to the United States once to be a basketball player, but I said no thank you, I am going to be the heavyweight champion of the world.”

Fury was also keen to revisit his famous victory over Wladimir Klitschko — which happened three years ago today.

“It is three years since I went to Dusseldorf and kicked Klitschko's arse all over the place," he said.

“On Saturday I'm going to punch (Wilder's) face in for him. I've heard a lot of people say 'Wilder by knockout or Fury on points', but I'm telling you now, Wilder's going to get knocked out by me.”

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