Deontay Wilder has warned Tyson Fury he is gravely mistaken if he believes his tension at Wednesday’s press conference means he is running scared.
Wilder lost his composure while the smiling, relaxed Fury spoke over him at the final press conference for Saturday’s fight at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, leading to the two fighters and their entourages having to be separated after a heated confrontation.
To the neutral observer, the WBC heavyweight champion cut an unsettled figure, and the 30-year-old Fury departed convinced he had succeeded in unnerving his opponent, even insisting Wilder had deliberately attempted to jeopardise their fight.
Wilder had regardless also been similarly angry before one of his finest victories, over Bermane Stiverne, and he said: “If Fury’s team think all that stuff was a sign of weakness then I cannot wait to show them strength on Saturday. They know it was not weakness; they just needed something to say.
“I’m not afraid to lose my unbeaten record. We all want to stay undefeated but I do not dwell on it. I can lose and comeback. Look at (Muhammad) Ali and others who lost and came back.
“People want to see you lose to see how you come back. People want to see you start back at the ground and rebuild. People don’t like winners, they get tired of them. When you are confident and bold people want to see you lose; I know people want to see me lose.
“Do not misconstrue my mindset; this is not for the cameras, this is real, I could not care less.
“For 10 years I have been doing this so why should I care now? I have a job on Saturday night and I am great at it. I cannot wait to provide my service.
“My mindset is like no other. I was ready two weeks ago, I didn’t even need this. I beat (Luis) Ortiz after the worst camp of my life.”
Victory over Fury could also make a fight between Wilder and IBF, WBA and WBO champion Anthony Joshua the richest fight in the world, but the American insists a rematch with Fury remains likelier.
“The AJ fight is up to them, they have to stop being cowards, we are moving on from him,” the 33-year-old said.
“If it’s a great fight and fans want to see the rematch then why not? Why not give a great fighter another opportunity?
“I will probably end up giving him a second opportunity before any of these so-called best give (Fury) even one opportunity because they are worried about their clean records.
“Holding on to an undefeated record is not what makes this sport great.”