Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury needed to be separated here Wednesday as tempers boiled over in an explosive final press conference before their heavyweight title showdown.
World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Wilder and Fury will collide in a high-stakes showdown at the Staples Center on Saturday which could see the winner advance to a money-spinning unification bout.
After trading verbal blows before reporters on Wednesday, the two unbeaten heavyweights engaged in an angry face-off that threatened to erupt into a full-scale brawl.
Fury, the trash-talking “Gypsy King”, appeared to have clearly rattled Wilder, who looked by far the angrier of the two fighters.
The 30-year-old Fury, who has battled back from depression and drug abuse to land his shot against Wilder, opened by stating bluntly he expected to knock out the American champion (40-0, 39 knockouts).
Wilder however angrily confronted Fury as the two men faced off on the dais, contrasting the two fighters’ respective heritages in an expletive-laden rant.
Fury believes Wilder is looking for a way out – and was attempting to get Fury in trouble to cancel the contest.
“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 cancelled.
“He wanted me to get a massive fine but I’m not that stupid. He’s rattled and he knows he’s getting an a*** 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.”