Tyson Fury elongated his wingspan, bounced on his tippy toes, and generally tried to prove himself the bigger being as he stared at Deontay Wilder on the deck of the USS Intrepid Tuesday afternoon, on the second leg of the press tour to hype the Dec. 1 clash between the WBC heavyweight champ and the brash talking Traveller from England.
Monday it was London, Tuesday NYC and next up they will yap and posture and try to stir up interest in LA, on Wednesday.
Wilder shoved Fury in England, and fans gathered at the open to the public Intrepid event wondered if things would go off the rails in Manhattan. It didn’t; there was plenty of verbal sparring, though it had the feeling of a WWE promotion. No surprise, both men are on the same page when it comes to seeking the same thing—they both want more people to tune in than less.
Brian Custer at the mic talked to both fighters, and the session was in the vein of Sho pressers the last year or so, shorter and to the point. He first addressed Wilder. The Alabama boxer said that this fight is quite meaningful to the division. This is a bit of a return to a golden age sort of feel, he said. He knows people want KOs, and “I deliver that each and every time…I promise you I’m gonna knock out the Gypsy King! Tiiiiiimberrrrrrrr.”
Fury took his mic and stood up, and owned the room. “Even Deontay Wilder knows to sit down in the presence of greatness,” he said, going on to refer to most of Wilders’ foes as “tomato cans.” In round five or six he will turn it up, and then at eight or nine, he will go to another level. He called Wilder a “skinny runt,” and promised to yell at Deontay, “You got knocked the fuck out, man!”
Wilder was asked if he took the fight because he thinks Fury is weak prey because he’s so soon back from a hiatus. He said no sir, he thinks Fury is solid on paper. “I’m a big fat baldheaded bearded man,” Fury interrupted, “who can fight like thunder! It’s going to look even worse when a fat man beats ya!”
They squared off with Fury yelling at Wilder to take off his glasses, which he referred to as sunglasses. Fury then theatened to kiss Wilder, who he called handsome. “I promise you I’m gonna knock you out,” he barked, and Fury mocked him for being repetitive. Fury called him a “proper bum,” and said that he wouldn’t land a single blow come fight night.
Fury said “I’ma make this man quit,” and said that Wilder has beaten mainly bums. Wilder then said that he thinks Fury won’t be trading with him, despite his promises. “You’re very nervous around me,” Fury stated, and then Wilder got up off his chair once again. Fury called him “you ugly little rat,” and security gathered round. Fury showed off his defensive skills, ducking left and right. “Nobody even knows him in his own country,” Fury declared.
They jawed more, as Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor did at their pressers, also put together by the Showtime crew.
Lou Dibella, who has promoted Wilders’ recent fights, presided and promised “a heavyweight fight for the generations.” He then kicked it to Custer, who took the baton.
Dibella brought out Showtime sports boss Stephen Espinoza, who said that such a fight as this one has a “mystique.” The feel, the “buzz” is unique, he stated, and noted these are the two tallest scrappers in the division.
My three cents: Nope, no discernible “real” heat between the two and that will be disappointing to those old schoolers who can’t wrap their brains around the new ways. An “it is what it is” feeling was conjured for those who understand that this is the boxing business and making money holds much more import than it did back in the day, when pride and toughness were more front and center. That said, all of the above are hoping Dec. 1 plays out in fan friendly style.