IT seems increasingly rare for a major fight to pass without a heated dispute about the gloves that will be used. Wladimir Klitschko versus Tyson Fury is no different.
“The gloves were prototypes and were sent for fabrication, I think it’s in Pakistan or India, that’s from Paffen Sports, a very well reputed company and we hope that they are here right on time,” Bernd Boente, head of the Klitschko Management Group, said at Tuesday’s press conference. “We have the contract and we will go with the contract and we will not discuss the contract here in front of the media. There’s a contract in place and we go with the contract. Everything else will be organised and decided by the governing bodies on Friday at the rules meeting.”
Fury’s promoter Mick Hennesy however insisted, “The gloves need to be here on time. Those were the gloves that were sent to Tyson, he approved them, so those gloves need to be here on time. Any other glove manufacturer in the world, Everlast, Reyes, Rival, would get us a great selection in 24 hours so we need those gloves.
“Why wouldn’t they arrive on time? This is the biggest prize in sport, this is heavyweight boxing, for any manufacturer it’s a dream to be involved in this fight, why wouldn’t they be turned around?
“We will have the gloves that Tyson approved. Paffen sent Tyson the gloves to approve, he approved them.”
Boente hit back, saying, “Team Fury tried on this glove, a prototype, five weeks, I don’t know if you have to be an amateur or a professional to make a decision in five weeks if the glove is right or not.”
Blaming Hennessy, he continued, “It was your fault. It doesn’t matter. We will have gloves on Friday.”
Mick responded, “For five weeks, the first gloves you gave him, he tried to get his hands used to them, he couldn’t. Then we informed you he needed another pair of gloves. You’ve had a few weeks with these new prototypes… There’s a health and safety issue. The gloves have got to be right for Tyson’s hands.”
Peter Fury, Tyson’s trainer, explained, “The problem was that Tyson kept hurting his thumb. He’s hitting with the gloves, he’s catching his thumb, pushing his thumb back, he’s not able to throw his back hand. He has to have the gloves. Hopefully they’ll be there. They have to be there because what’s he going to do, box with one hand? The thumb’s sticking out round about an inch… Paffen said they can produce them.
“We will have the gloves.”
As Hennessy and Boente argued more tempestuously, a relaxed Tyson Fury cheerfully suggested, “Why don’t we settle this like Ronnie Pickering would? Bare-knuckle outside, you two, right now, let’s get it on.”