Tyson Fury says Deontay Wilder face-off was halted to stop him headbutting him

WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury has joked he was denied a face-off with Deontay Wilder at Thursday’s press conference because the Briton’s promoters were scared he would headbutt his opponent.

The undefeated Fury (30-0-1) defends his WBC heavyweight title against American Wilder (42-1-1) this Saturday as the rivals round out their trilogy.

In December 2018, the pair fought to a controversial split draw, before Fury stopped Wilder in the seventh round of their rematch in February 2020.

Ahead of their third meeting, which takes place at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena this weekend, Fury and Wilder took part in a press conference on Thursday but were not allowed to conduct a face-off. When presenter Kate Abdo called for the heavyweights to stand up and square off, promoters Frank Warren and Bob Arum furiously intervened.

Fury asked IFL TV: “Why? Frank Warren must have thought I was going to chin him.

“I wouldn’t have chinned him, I’d have just nutted the c***. Like that!”

Arum criticised Abdo for trying to initiate a face-off, suggesting that the presenter knew beforehand that no staredown was to be allowed.

“She knew that the understanding was no face-off,” the American said.

“[Wilder’s promoter] Tom Brown argued with Fox for no face-off, we said no face-off, and what does she say? ‘Now we’re gonna do a face-off.’

“F*** her and f*** them, there was no face-off and we saved the fight.”

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