DEONTAY WILDER stole the show as Tyson Fury weighed in today at Belfast’s Europa Hotel.
The pair are set to fight each other in New York or Las Vegas in November or December, with the WBC heavyweight showdown expected to be formally announced on Monday at the BT Tower in London. All Fury has to do now is take care of Francesco Pianeta tomorrow night at Windsor Park and look reasonable while doing so.
As Fury took to the scales in his pants, Wilder – already positioned at the side of the stage in a hoodie – cupped his hands and hurled his trademark shout, “Bomb Squad!” with all his might. Tyson’s father, John Fury, initially shook hands with Wilder and smiled, before getting increasingly irked with the American howling in his ear.
John, no doubt aware a confrontation like this is great publicity for his son, roared back at Wilder in pantomime style. Ben Davison, Fury’s trainer, stepped in and pulled Fury Snr away.
After Fury weighed in at an impressive 258lbs – 18 pounds lighter than when he took on Sefer Seferi in June – he joined in the fun outside. Fury shouted at Wilder, and Wilder shouted at Fury but, it must be said, neither man looked particularly angry while doing so. This is exactly the type of scene – loud, attention grabbing yet ultimately harmless – that promoter Frank Warren would have wanted when he invited Wilder over from America.
Wilder afterwards told BBC Sport: “As soon as he gets this guy out of the way, it’s done. That’s how simple it is.”
“It’s an excitement and is making the whole thing even better,” Wilder said about the ‘altercation’ at the weigh-in. “Fury has to do what he needs to tomorrow so that when we come to fight, that’s how much excitement and aggression there will be.”
Not so long ago, Wilder had been involved in long and drawn out negotiations with WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua.
“I have no words for Joshua, it’s solely on Fury,” Wilder continued. “Joshua is old news, there’s a new kid in town – Tyson Fury.
“The fight definitely will happen. Fury has to win tomorrow night and look good.”
Incidentally, Pianeta – barely even a member of the supporting cast during this afternoon’s production – weighed 254lbs 10oz.
Atop the bill will be a bout for the ‘interim’ WBO featherweight championship and Carl Frampton [above, right] weighed in on the division’s limit of 126lbs with the unfancied Luke Jackson coming in at 124 3/4lbs.