By Keith Idec
Billy Joe Saunders reportedly threw half a chicken at Deontay Wilder on Friday night.
Yes, you read that correctly.
According to numerous British media outlets, the incident took place at Nando’s, a restaurant in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Saunders and Wilder were seen speaking to each other inside that restaurant before Saunders later threw food at the 6-feet-7 heavyweight champion and ran.
Footage posted on Twitter shows a man, believed to be Saunders, running out of the restaurant. Two people who were with Wilder are seen in the short, grainy video chasing Saunders through Nando’s.
It isn’t clear if Wilder or any of his friends caught up to Saunders once they left Nando’s.
England’s Saunders, the WBO middleweight champion, is Tyson Fury’s close friend. Wilder, who holds the WBC heavyweight title, is in Belfast to watch Fury fight Francesco Pianeta on Saturday night at Windsor Park.
If the heavily favored Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) beats Pianeta (35-4-1, 20 KOs), a southpaw from Italy, the former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champion is expected to challenge Wilder in November in Las Vegas. Wilder will be part of BT Sport’s broadcast team Saturday night and will enter the ring to confront Fury if Fury wins.
BT Sport will air the Fury-Pianeta and Carl Frampton-Luke Jackson fights (7:45 p.m. BST). Showtime will stream both bouts on its YouTube channel, beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT.
Belfast’s Frampton (25-1, 14 KOs), a former featherweight and super bantamweight champion, and Jackson (16-0, 7 KOs), an unknown, untested Australian, will fight for the WBO interim featherweight title in the 12-round main event. A capacity crowd of roughly 25,000 is expected at Windsor Park, an outdoor soccer stadium.
Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) is scheduled to make a mandatory defense of his WBO 160-pound championship against American Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) on October 20 at TD Garden in Boston.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.