Deontay Wilder gatecrashed the weigh-in for Tyson Fury’s fight with Francesco Pianeta where he had an aggressive confrontation with Fury’s father John – and then had to be separated from his rival heavyweight.
The WBC heavyweight champion has flown to Belfast from the United States to be ringside for Saturday’s fight at Windsor Park, where should Fury succeed they plan to announce he will challenge Wilder next.
A date of November 17 in Las Vegas has been prepared for their anticipated fight and Fury demonstrated further signs of progress by weighing in at 18st 6lbs – significantly lighter than the 19st 10lbs he was for his comeback fight against Sefer Seferi in June.
The 30-year-old cut a relaxed figure alongside Germany’s Francesco Pianeta, who at 18st 2lbs was narrowly lighter, and Fury remained cool when ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder came into view yelling his trademark “Bomb squad”, to which John Fury apparently took offence.
Following initial attempts to shout each other down, the 54-year-old Fury aggressively approached Wilder before he was restrained by a security guard and his son’s trainer Ben Davison, and further shouting continued.
It was in the crowded reception area of Belfast’s Europa Hotel, after the weigh-in was staged in a function room, that the 32-year-old Wilder then had his confrontation with Tyson Fury, the former WBA, WBO and IBF champion.
The two similarly shouted at each other, and also had to be separated before the threat of violence grew, even if Wilder consistently remained calm.
He has targeted Fury since negotiations for a unification fight with Anthony Joshua ended unsuccessfully, and of Saturday’s fight with the 33-year-old Pianeta, Wilder said: “Fury’s going to win, then I’m going to knock him out.
“Joshua’s old news. The new kid in town is Fury. Ours is the biggest fight.”
Of John Fury, he added: “I’ll get my grandfather out of the grave to knock him out.”
The second fight of Fury’s comeback features prominently on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s against Luke Jackson.
Interim WBO featherweight champion Frampton, 31, appeared dry on the scales and after stripping naked came in exactly on the nine-stone limit.
It is routine for the main-event fighters to appear among the last at a weigh-in, but on this occasion they were instead first, contributing to the belief that Frampton had struggled to make weight.
Australia’s Jackson, 33, was 8st 12.8lbs, and similarly to Wilder, the IBF champion Josh Warrington will be ringside in the expectation of him next fighting Frampton.