By Terence Dooley
World heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury continued to amuse and bemuse the assembled boxing press this afternoon whilst verbally abusing former titlist Wladimir Klitschko during a press conference at the Manchester Arena, the venue for their return encounter.
The two men took to the dais to promote their July 9 rematch as well as confirming that tickets were released today and are moving at a brisk pace.
Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) walked out with a bunch of cheerleaders, complete with pompoms, before posing for photos; he was followed by Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs), who made a considerably more conservative arrival. Fury threw out a few dance moves when on stage, at one point veering into his opponent’s personal space before giving him a bit of distance.
Initially, it was a case of mutual respect with Frank Warren, Mick Hennessy and Peter Fury opening proceedings. All that changed, though, when Fury took to the mic.
“Tyson Fury did fantastic to win the title, now he's here to defend his titles against a legend of modern boxing,” stated Warren.
“I'd like to thank BoxNation for stepping up to the plate,” added Hennessy. “I'm looking forward to it. Tickets are flying out—get in quick.”
“This is a super fight,” stated Peter Fury. “No padded records, it's almost a pity they have to fight. They have my utmost respect.”
His nephew took a different route, telling the deposed Champion that he can both out-box and out-punch him. “Wladimir isn't a fighting man,” blasted Fury. “If he comes out swinging, I'll just chin him—simple.”
Klitschko replied: “I will knock Fury out."
This prompted a quick barb from his opponent. “You couldn't knock a w**k out!” Fury declared.
Klitschko’s work rate was low during their first encounter, but he pledged to win the titles back by throwing more and using the sting of the defeat to drive him on.
He said: “I have gone through a lot of emotions in the past months. I can confirm I made a mistake in the fight against Fury in Germany. That mistake cost me my titles. It is not easy to fight a challenger with the great skills that Fury has otherwise he wouldn’t have the titles. I will have more motivation than I have ever had. ”
He added: “Many people enjoy having a champion that represents the sport in a certain way. I am not okay with how Fury represents the sport…Nobody looks up to Tyson Fury. All the talking will stop come the fight. I will feel great when I walk into the arena.”
“He didn't throw any punches last time,” Fury replied. “Let's hope when he comes to England he'll take a risk. He is mentally unstable, and will be frightened. He will be quaking in his boots. He's a psychological wreck. He was sh***ing himself during the (first) fight.”
“I’m happy the fight will be staged here and not in Germany or the U.S.,” was Klitschko’s take on the location. “A lot of fans will be on his side, but there will be hard-core fans supporting me.”
Despite the fact that this fight is between the division’s top two fighters, one journalist asked Fury about domestic rival Anthony Joshua and the possibility of an all-British encounter should they win their next fights.
“Considering we're not here to talk about someone else with a plastic belt, we're just going to move on,” he answered.
“I'm already number one. Where do I go from here? Look for some more big fights. I hate boxing. I hate speaking to all of you idiots. I would rather be at home eating sweets and chocolate with my kids—I'm just too f***ing good at it to stop. I'm making too much money from it to stop. I don't even live an athlete's lifestyle. It's an absolute disgrace to call me an athlete.”
Fury underlined his final point by taking off his shirt and patting his belly, telling Klitschko that “A fat man beat you!” before proceedings were brought to an end with Fury’s take on why the press should be grateful that he has ascended to the heavyweight throne.
“I’m a performing monkey,” he said. “I am made out to be the villain, but people like to see it. If I did s**t interviews then nobody tunes in, none of you would get paid. I do this for all of you.”
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