Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder forego stare down after heated exchange

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The final news conference to promote the third fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder on Wednesday was largely uneventful until the final moments, when they exchanged harsh words and talked over one another.

The temperature was so hot that promoter Bob Arum decided it would be best if the fighters didn’t engage in the traditional stare down.

The trouble started when the outspoken Fury made his final remarks in Las Vegas, the site of the pay-per-view fight.

The titleholder, who won his belt by stopping Wilder in seven rounds 19-plus months ago, responded to Wilder’s repeated allegations that he cheated ahead of their second fight. Among Wilder’s assertions: Fury loaded his gloves.

Wilder refused to take back his claims on Wednesday.

“He knows what he’s saying are lies,” Fury said. “And deep down in his soul he knows why he lost. And he’ll lose again. He lost the first time (a draw in 2018). He lost the second time. And he’s going to lose the third time.

“And guess what? After this fight, he’ll be back working in that fast food chain he was working at early on in his career.”

That’s when Wilder responded directly to Fury’s comments and the back-and-forth exchange was on.

“You’re in denial and you’re going to get knocked out,” Fury said, driving home his earlier point.

“You don’t know nothing about knocking no one out,” responded Wilder, who was stopped on his feet in their last fight. “You don’t have knockout power. … I didn’t feel nothing. You don’t have power.

“You’re not a knockout artist. I’m a knockout artist.”

Then it became difficult to hear what either was saying because they shouted at the same time. However, the intensity of the exchange couldn’t have been more clear, which evidently is why Arum waved off the stare down and sent the fighters on their way.

The promoter didn’t want a repeat of the recent Canelo Alvarez-Caleb Plant stare down, during which the fighters exchanged blows.

Fury and Wilder will leave that for the ring.

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