There’s something to be said for confidence, and we saw it on display at a press conference Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles. Tuscaloosa’s Deontay Wilder, WBC Heavyweight Champion of the world, announced Wednesday that he will knock Tyson Fury out in their fight Saturday night at the Staples Center (8PM, Showtime PPV, $74.95). Britain’s Tyson Fury, understandably, disagreed and proclaimed he would do the same to Wilder. The language used by both men was a bit more colorful.
In what is being billed as the Heavyweight Lineal Championship of the World, Wednesday’s final press conference turned into chaos as support personnel from both camps started pushing each other as both men stared each other down during a photo opportunity, each boxer telling the other what was going to happen Saturday night. Eventually order was restored, but both men were extremely animated with Fury flinging his shirt off saying he was ready right there. Of course, with so much on the line there was no real danger that the two men would settle the title right then and there.
Fury (27-0, 19 KO), who is the last fighter to be able to proclaim himself Lineal Champion of the World after his win over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, is attempting to restore his legacy after over 2 years out of the ring. Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) is facing the biggest challenge of his career and is defending the WBC title for the 8th time since winning the belt in 2015 from Bermaine Stiverne.
It is strange to believe this is the second biggest sporting event happening as far as the State of Alabama is concerned. It certainly is though, as no other members of Alabama’s media made the trip for the press conference. In contrast, British media covered the press conference with gusto as some of the biggest names in their media joined the event. American media was also heavily in attendance as national boxing writers from all over the country were in the audience, which was broadcast on Showtime’s YouTube page.
After the cameras were off, Wilder and Fury participated in one-on-one interviews with outlets around the world. It was an exhausting day for both fighters, which explains why the press conference was held on Wednesday instead of Thursday when the press has normally been invited to ask questions for main events.
Wilder never seemed negative and seems ready to go. He proclaimed this as one of the best fight camps he’s ever had in preparation for the fight. Trainer Jay Deas confirmed this camp went much better than the last one where Wilder came into the ring at the lightest weight he’d been in a while due to an illness.
Fury did not betray any nervousness at all when asked if he was ready to go with only 2 tune-up fights after his extended absence from the ring. He has also faced weight issues as the 6-foot 8-inch Fury says he ballooned up to close to 400 pounds. He weighed less than 260 pounds in his latest fight.
Both men went after their opponent’s opposition with Wilder claiming Klitschko gifted Fury a win because he failed to punch at the British fighter and said Fury’s victory by points over journeyman Francisco Pianeta (Wilder called him the Piñata) proves he has nothing to fear from Fury’s power.
Fury poked at Wilder coming to boxing late in life and said there was no one on Wilder’s resume who comes close to the skill coming to the ring Saturday night. Fury boasted of his life long ambition to become Heavyweight Champion of the World and said no one would take that away from him.
These words mean little though when the action starts. There’s only one way to know who the true champion is and that will occur Saturday night.