Silence is golden, so they say, and Deontay Wilder looks to prove that come July against Tyson Fury. Tuesday’s press conference announced the third fight between the two heavyweights, but Wilder did not seem interested in participating in the verbal altercations with Fury that occurred in the build-up to the first two fights.
He kept his comments short and to the point, “Enough has been said. It’s time to cut off his head. Come July the 24th, there will be bloodshed. Get your tickets now and I’ll see you soon.” With that, the former champion sat down and stayed quiet for the remainder of the press conference.
Fury was having none of it though. He tried to goad Wilder into speaking. Wilder was wearing noise-canceling headphones and did not respond to any of Fury’s comments. Instead, Wilder’s new trainer, Malik Scott, got into the back and forth with Fury. A discussion followed where Fury brought up busting Scott’s eardrum while training earlier in his career. Wilder, the entire time, sat silently.
Predictably, the boxing press did not take kindly to Wilder’s unusual demeanor for this fight. Some said he had an obligation to talk more to promote the fight and others claimed Fury was “winning” the press conference. Facts however show that Wilder has done more than enough to promote fights since his professional career began thirteen years ago. Wilder has worked overtime with the press against boxers who were either unable to speak English (Ortiz, Szpilka, Duhaupas) or were just not as great at speaking (Stiverne, Washington, Molina).
In reality, Wilder owes the boxing press nothing. They ridiculed him repeatedly after he lost the WBC Heavyweight Title to Fury and when he did speak, they found fault in everything he said. Then, before the fight was announced, they all threw water on the third fight Fury was contractually obligated to give Wilder claiming the world wanted to see Fury fight fellow belt-holder Anthony Joshua. They believed Wilder was angling for step-aside money to allow that bout to happen. Instead, Wilder’s team prevailed in arbitration and his third fight with Fury was ordered to proceed. The mainstream boxing press did not like that and are going to ding Wilder every opportunity they get.
Meanwhile, as the “A” side, it is now Fury’s turn to do the heavy lifting promoting. Wilder is the challenger, even if it is for the first time since 2015. Fury did his best as a one-man-show on Tuesday. He came onto the stage shirtless and talked trash on Wilder as is his usual strategy at press conferences. This time, Wilder was uninterested. Fury seemed to take the hint and kept his comments shorter than usual.
But what is really going on here? Fury is in a new position. Even though he is undefeated, this is the first time he has defended a belt (he dropped his belts shortly after winning them in a victory over Wladamir Klitschko in 2015 and spiraled into a mental breakdown). Wilder may be thinking the pressure that caused him to scurry into retirement 6 years ago could re-emerge and give the Bronze Bomber an advantage this Summer.
After the presser, Wilder and Fury stood for a stare down, which provided the most drama of the day. The two gigantic heavyweights refused to be the first to move and security finally came and broke them up. The stare down lasted for over 5 minutes and seemed much longer. Wilder’s comments at the beginning of the conference were approximately 25 seconds, but his comments could have been 45 minutes and not spoke as loudly as his long stare at Tyson Fury did.
At the end of the day, it does not matter what the boxing press says or what Fury and Wilder say for that matter. It all will come down to what happens in the ring on July 24th at T-Mobile Arena in Vegas.