The first press conference between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury had its fair share of notable moments, not just from the fighters, but from the representatives as well.
Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s co-manager, not only spoke highly of Fury in the first press conference, but also took a shot at one particular British fighter whom Wilder wanted to fight before ultimately signing on to defend his WBC heavyweight title against Fury.
“We didn’t pick to fight you or you to fight us because we thought you were easy. We believed you’re the best out there. That’s why we want to fight the best and only the best. That’s why we have respect for you because you’re countryman didn’t have the guts to step up like you did,” Finkel told Fury.
The “countryman” whom Finkel referenced was unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Joshua and Wilder had previously agreed to a fight earlier this year in which a new undisputed heavyweight champion would be crowned until the fight fell through. Finkel further went deeper on Joshua not taking the fight offer that was given to him.
“[Joshua] was offered a fortune for that fight, the fortune that he asked for and when it was presented to him and he said no. When Frank [Warren] said ‘why don’t we present it to Tyson Fury?’ I said, ‘Oh, you’re kidding. Would he really want to?’ I commend [Fury] for stepping up. There was no question about it. We went through the procedure quickly and now we have a fight that the promoter for the other person said, ‘Oh no, this fight won’t happen.’ I thank you for being with us,” Finkel said.
Joshua would then go on to defend his titles against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin on September 22 in London. Wilder and Fury will fight in a pay-per-view main event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 1.