Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 5 June 2020

Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury II: Boxers wrestle on stage before the heavyweight showdown - in pictures

Shoving match in Las Vegas in the build up to world title fight

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder kicked off their final showdown with a shoving match ahead of Saturday's WBC heavyweight title rematch.

As soon as the two boxers walked on to the stage, British fighter Fury got in Wilder's face, singing and taunting the American champion.

Wilder kept his composure until finally losing his patience and pushing Fury away, with the challenger then replying in kind before security staff quickly waded in.

As the slanging match continued, Fury claimed to have raised Wilder's profile and stock - only for the American to taunt his rival about his mental health issues.

Wilder said: "He should not dare to say that he got me into big-time boxing. If he does, I'll slap him.

"Don't you ever forget that when I found you, you were strung out. You were like a big house, contemplating killing yourself.

"Don't you ever forget who brought you to big-time boxing. I brought you back, dragged you back, I put food on your table for your family to eat and I'm doing it again for a second time.

"I'm the one who sells the pay-per-view and tickets. They come to see me."

Fury, unsurprisingly, took Wilder to task over the taunts. "I was the man who beat Wladimir Klitschko," he said. "I gave you your biggest payday. You're a bum - nobody even knows you in your own country."

Responding to more goading, Fury referred back to their first encounter, a controversial draw in December 2018. "You thought you were getting an easy victory, didn't you? Well it didn't work out - I came back and kicked you all over."

The first match ended in a draw, with Fury showing almost superhuman powers to rise to his feet after appearing to be knocked unconscious by the heavy-hitting American midway through the 12th round when they first locked horns in Los Angeles.

Fury has the distinction of being the only fighter the 'Bronze Bomber' has failed to dispatch in 42 professional contests, and has vowed to knockout the champion when they meet this weekend rather than leave it to the judges.

Updated: February 20, 2020 12:19 PM

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