Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury were separated Wednesday as tensions boiled over in a chaotic final press conference before their highly-anticipated heavyweight world title fight.
WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (40-0, 39 KO's) and lineal champion Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) will square off on Saturday in a fight between unbeaten giants on Showtime pay-per-view at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
When the fighters later posed for the face-off, Wilder said: “I’m going to knock you out, motherfucker. I promise you.” Fury stripped to his waist and challenged Wilder to fight right then and there, but the brouhaha was broken up.
“Mark my words, I will knock him out,” said Fury, 30, who has battled back from depression and drug abuse to have another shot at heavyweight title glory. “He’s not a bad man; he’s a pretender. This is the biggest fight of my career so far. Everything has gone fantastic. The training, the preparation, injury-free, we’ve got a great game plan, and we’re going to execute it on the night.”
Fury believes Wilder was trying to goad him into punching him to cancel the fight.
"He wanted to trick me into hitting him so that he could get out of the fight. I'm not going to make that mistake; I'm not going to lose my purse," Fury said.
"He knows he can't win and it's clear for everyone to see now. He's a very nervous character, and by the looks of it, he doesn't want to fight. He talks a good game, but he talks nonsense really. I believe Wilder wanted me to aim the left hook so that the fight would be canceled.
"He wanted me to get a massive fine, but I'm not that stupid. He's rattled, and he knows he's getting an ass kicking. Wilder's nervous; he felt he needed to scream and shout and make threats. We're fighting men, but he had his big team there."