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CITY SCUFFLE: Wilder and Szpilka Beef

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CITY SCUFFLE: Wilder and Szpilka Beef

Nothing like a little scuffle before fight night to get eyes trained on a forthcoming prizefight.

Deontay Wilder, a brash Alabaman prone to yelling “Boooooomb Squadddd” nearly anywhere and everywhere, save church and the airport, was too vocal for his own good, in the mind of Artur Szpilka, a convicted ex soccer hooligan–as a 19 year old he did 18 months time–who took umbrage during a Wednesday photo op.

Harsh words and nearly blows were exchanged, at the new World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan.

Seasoned pros, and both men are, know it isn't wise to start swinging before the official date, because who wants to imperil a payday. But Szpilka got irritated at the Bama man's yapping and let him know it. He also slipped into street-fighter mode with a lil head butt attempt on Wilder.

On Saturday, the deal gets real at Barclays Center, on a Lou Dibella card, portions of which run on Showtime.

Przemek Garczarczyk, a writer covering boxing for Polish media in US for last 25 years, was there for the tiff. What started it? “Just Artur being Artur,” he told me. “With Wilder screaming throughout a Szpilka interview with Polish TV, Szpilka decided to say something and when they got close, he will never back down! He told me after, he will never take shit from anybody!”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.comor by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the thought to be impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live since 2017. He now does work for PROBOX TV, the first truly global boxing network.