THREE days in each other’s company is clearly trying for Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, with each man trying to goad his opponent, sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a snarl, ahead of their December 1 WBC heavyweight title at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The last stop on their three city media tour took them to Los Angeles. Fury held his microphone, strolling around the stage as if he were giving an expletive laden TED talk.
“It’s a fight. We can do all this stuff on stage, I can walk around here and I can talk as good as any man in the country. But when it comes to a fight, it’s going to be a hell of a fight. Deontay Wilder: massive puncher. Me: skillful boxer. It’s going to be an epic night. This is a legacy fight and I do believe that’s true. And after I win, he’s going to hire me as his publicist because I do believe I can promote Deontay Wilder back to being heavyweight champion of the world in no time. But there’s no shame in losing to me because I am the greatest boxer of my generation and I can’t be beat, especially not by him,” Fury said.
“There isn’t a man born from his mother that Tyson Fury is afraid of, and especially not a man who wears pigtails every day. I don’t fear anything about him; I don’t fear anything he can do.”
“There have been many, many fighters before like Deontay Wilder, but there’s never been a Tyson Fury before in the history of boxing. I know that because I studied the game inside out,” he continued. “Deontay Wilder needs Tyson Fury but Tyson Fury doesn’t need Deontay Wilder. I chose Deontay Wilder as an easy victim. This is going to be the easiest fight of my career.”
Wilder said, “I fought one of the best and I think I’m fighting the next best in line in the heavyweight division, and I do think he’s tough. The thing about Tyson, he’s mentally tough. He’s the Gypsy King and you know what they say about Gypsies; they’re traveling people and they’re fearless people. And that’s why he’s the perfect opponent for this situation, for this occasion of bringing the heavyweight division back. So when I knock him out I can say I knocked someone out that was fearless.
“He’s great for the heavyweight division. He’s charismatic, he can talk, I’ve got a great dancing partner. He’s fearless in the ring and he’s got a background of boxing in his blood; he’s named after Mike Tyson and all that is great. It’s good that he’s from another country so you get to see different cultures, different personalities from the two of us. You’ve got one from America and you’ve got one from Great Britain. So that’s going to make it even more pleasurable for me when I knock him out.”
The WBC champion insisted, “You know what I come to do and you know what I’m coming to do December 1. When you come to see fights you come to see somebody get knocked out. You’re not coming to see 12-round fights. I know you’re coming to see some skills but you’re coming to see this man’s body on the canvas and that’s what I’m going to deliver to you.”
The press conference did descend into chaos. The two had to be separated at one point when they went head to head. Once security stood between them, Wilder put down his microphone and lunged towards Fury. He didn’t get very far and Fury danced on the balls of his feet cheerily, as if he was about to start shadowboxing.
Fury probably is increasingly irritating Wilder but the hard sell is certainly underway. However by the time December 1 comes around watching this heavyweight showdown is going to irresistible.