Fury and Wilder fire wild pre-fight barbs

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Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder have been refused the opportunity to go head-to-head after a blazing argument between the two heavyweights erupted at the final press conference for their trilogy fight.

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.

Wilder's unfounded allegations that his opponent cheated, by illegally tampering with his gloves, was the catalyst for a furious on-stage row.

Both fighters attempted to speak over each other but once the angry exchanges abated, Fury's co-promoter Bob Arum seemed to quash any chance of the traditional stare down.

"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.

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.

Wilder, dressed in a red tracksuit, kept his closing remarks short, saying: "Prepare yourself on the battlefield and get ready for war.

"It is going to be an amazing fight, I am wearing my red outfit so I want to beckon blood.

"I am looking forward to it.

"There's nothing to prove at all. This right here in redemption, retaliation and retribution."

Fury had initially been set for a unification fight this year with former world champion Anthony Joshua, but was ordered to grant Wilder a rematch in May after the intervention of an independent arbitrator.

Saturday's fight was scheduled for July 24 before Fury's positive COVID-19 test forced a postponement.

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 after his recent win over Joshua, for a chance to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lenox Lewis 21 years ago.

with Reuters

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