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Bob Arum and Frank Warren intervene to stop face off and ‘save’ Fury vs Wilder III

Tyson Fury vs Wilder
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Bob Arum and Frank Warren intervene to stop the Fury vs Wilder press conference descending into chaos

BOB ARUM and Frank Warren might just have saved the Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder fight. A war of words was ratcheting up the tension between the two fighters towards the end of their press conference on Wednesday at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas. Then with no visible security presence on the stage, the two heavyweights were urged to face off. Fury’s promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren sprang from their seats in the audience in order to stop it happening.

Speaking to Boxing News immediately afterwards, Frank Warren said, “It was just crazy. My big observation was no security. So I’m thinking how are you going to let these guys go [and face off], who’s going to be in the middle of it? All you’re going to do is push them together like this, you know what’s going to happen. You’ve been around long enough to see that.”

Arum was incensed afterwards, blaming Fox, one of the networks broadcasting the fight, for stirring up the risk of a potential altercation between the boxers. “The understanding was no face off,” Arum declared. “We said no face off… There was no face off and we saved the fight.

“Maybe nothing [would have happened if they had faced off]. The chances of something happening and upsetting the fight where everybody’s worked extraordinarily hard to put it together, the PBC people, ourselves, the fighters. It would have been a tragedy. So why take that risk? Why? To entertain the circus?”

For most of the press conference Wilder had refused to engage with Fury. Initially he didn’t speak to the Briton directly and turned his attention to his phone when Fury, the holder of the WBC belt, was speaking.

But in the closing minutes of the conference, as Fury goaded him in a final statement, Wilder began to respond.

“Wilder says that I only won the second fight because I ‘cheated’ but then he goes and changes his whole team, does all this extra training, trains as hard as he’s ever trained with this team and all that. So I ask the question if I only won because I ‘cheated’ what’s the point of changing everything? Can anyone answer that question, I know he can’t. He hasn’t got the brains to. No one can answer that question,” Fury said. “He says he wants to do bad things to bad things to me, hurt me and he’s got anger and aggression. Well, for those who hold the hot coal, with the intentions of throwing it at somebody, guess what? They’re the ones who’s going to get burned. I don’t want to hurt Deontay Wilder. I just want to beat him in a fight and he knows what he’s saying is lies and deep down in his soul he knows that he lost and he’s going to lose again.”

As Wilder began to speak, the insults continued to flow from Fury. “Retirement,” he bellowed. ‘Dosser!”

“I see nervous energy,” Wilder insisted. “I didn’t feel nothing. You have no power. You’re not a knockout artist. I went out on my feet. I had a disloyal trainer and guess what, when someone throws the towel in after the boss tells them not to do that, the employee gets fired.”

Fury fired back, “You’re legacy’s already finished. All the excuses, you’ve been done, finished. You’ve been beat, you’ve humiliated, you’ve been busted. End of.”

They finished exiting the stage in opposite directions, with nothing thrown from either man beyond bad tempered words, much to the relief of the event promoters. Any punches are going to be held until Saturday night.

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