Undefeated heavyweight boxers Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury faced off for more than a minute before their final press conference afternoon at MGM Grand Garden, exchanging insults, expletives and — finally — some pushing and shoving.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission decided one face-off was enough.
The organization barred the two from facing off at Friday’s weigh-in, according to a report from ESPN. Fighters usually face off for photos at the conclusion of the weigh-in, providing one final photo opportunity to promote the fight.
“The reason the decision was made, on behalf of the commission, is because the press conference [Wednesday] spoke for itself,” NSAC executive director Bob Bennett told ESPN. “The actions of the two fighters pushing each other, which was not staged, is not indicative of the image of our sport as a major league sport, thus having a face-off is not in the best interest in the health and safety of the fighters, the public and the event.”
Wilder (42-0-1, 41 knockouts) and Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) insulted one another for the majority of the press conference, often interrupting each other before their respective trainers joined the stage and helped simmer the tensions. They were called to face off at the press conference’s conclusion, but opted not to at Top Rank chairman Bob Arum’s request.
They two heavyweights fight Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden for Wilder’s WBC title and supremacy in the division.