A furious Tyson Fury vowed to knockout Deontay Wilder when the two rivals meet for the third time on Saturday in Las Vegas with the Briton’s WBC heavyweight title on the line.
The undefeated Fury (30-0-1), who battled Wilder (42-1-1) to a draw in 2018 before taking the belt from the American 20 months ago, was the aggressor in Wednesday’s press conference, repeatedly berating the former champion.
“You’re a weak man and you’re getting knocked out,” said Fury, who wore a colourful suit with a pattern of WBC belts on it at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“Your legacy will be in tatters. Torn to bits. Finished,” he added during a particularly heated back-and-forth near the end of the event, which led organizers to call off a planned face-off for the cameras.
Fury was particularly bothered by Wilder’s claims that the “Gypsy King” cheated in their last meeting by illegally tampering with his gloves ahead of the seventh-round stoppage.
Saturday’s fight was scheduled for July 24 before Fury’s positive Covid-19 test forced a postponement.
Fury welcomed a baby girl nearly two months ago but she had to be placed into the hospital’s intensive care unit. He said he spent two weeks by her side before she came home.
“I knew if I got that hurdle out of the way, things would be good and I could concentrate on the fight,” he said. “Daddy’s just got to do his job. That’s it,” he said.
Wilder, sporting a blood red track suit with the words “Eye for an eye” written on it in Russian, appeared more relaxed, saying he had “nothing to lose and everything to gain” in the fight.
“I’m in a great place, a great state of mind,” Wilder said. “There’s nothing to prove at all. This right here in redemption, retaliation and retribution.”
Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott said the two have been working to expand the knockout artist’s toolbox while Fury’s trainer Sugar Hill Steward said their focus has been on fine-tuning the “already exceptional” Fury.
The winner is expected to face Oleksandr Usyk, who holds the other three titles, for a chance to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lenox Lewis 21 years ago.