Fight News: Wilder-Fury Promo Circus, Bob Arum Catches Crossover Fever and MORE
All the latest combat news from around the fight world.
The promotional wagon rolled on this week for the Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder rematch with both fighters appearing in Fox Studios to discuss the fight.
Wilder began by questioning Fury’s status as lineal champ:
People talk about the Lineal. Well, I've never really heard of it until he Fury, he talked about it. Nobody really talked about it. I didn't see, I mean a lot of people say Lennox Lewis is the Lineal champion. I guess if he comes back we'll have two, so...
But Fury wrong-footed his opponent by responding with open respect:
I've won six belts as well so you know this is why it's an eagerly anticipated fight and people want to see who's the best. I do as a boxing fan and so does Deontay. I know he does. This is why we're throwing down. This is why I respect this man because, in a lot of other weight divisions, especially in our era we're the only two undefeated warriors. We turned pro at the same time. We're still undefeated at the same time. And we're going to put it all on the line yet again for the fans.
From there the discussion turned to an honest appraisal of the fight.
Deontay Wilder, WBC Heavyweight Champion:
I mean I still think Tyson has pillows as fists but he's a skilful fighter though. You know you can't have it all. People say that I don't have skills, but I have the punch. (Reporter question: Does he have pillow hands like you really said?) That's what I felt at the time. You know what I mean. It's an adrenaline rush and all jokes aside it's an adrenaline rush in the ring. So you know we're all great warriors. You know we're all gladiators and that's why we come the night of the fight to give you guys the best show of your lives.
Tyson Fury, Lineal Heavyweight Champion:
Well the thing is. We're giant heavyweights. I'm six foot nine. I weighed two hundred and sixty-nine pounds this morning, and I've had twenty knockouts out of twenty-nine victories, so you know I'm very capable of knocking people out.
Every victory I've knocked off a few undefeated fighters myself, but I think this one is going to be a little bit more special for me you know. (Reporter questions: Why?) Because of the history we have. The controversial draw, and you know for me I consider Tyson a breath of fresh air for me especially in the heavyweight division you know because a lot of the other guys are just stiff. They don't want to open their mouths. They don't wanna really just let themselves loose and have fun.
And we’ve only got three weeks left to wait. Wilder vs Fury 2 for the WBC heavyweight championship title takes place on February 22nd at the MGM Grand, Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Crossover fever has claimed another victim, with the usually sane Bob Arum declaring interest in two fights between his star charge Terence Crawford and UFC cash cow Conor McGregor. One fight would be under MMA rules, the other boxing.
"You don't think that would be interesting and something the public would want to see?” Arum told ESPN. “I think it's very realistic."
It should be mentioned at this point that Bob has publicly admitted to smoking weed. For his part, WBO Welterweight Champion Crawford didn’t shoot the idea down entirely. But as far as a meaningful fight for either fighter, this is not one.
Curtis Blaydes beat the fifth placed contestant on Brazil’s Dancing with the Stars, Junior Dos Santos, at UFC Fight Night 166 in Raleigh North Carolina over the weekend.
It took less than a minute for Blaydes to shoot for a takedown, but Dos Santos was ready to stuff it. Robbed of his usual path to victory, Blaydes managed to land a right on Cigano’s chin that rocked him like a hurricane and set up the stoppage.
Cris Cyborg has finally proved that she is the second-best women’s featherweight in the world, with a fourth-round stoppage of Julia Budd at Bellator 238 in California to take the Bellator title.
Budd looked competitive in the clinch heavy affair until Cyborg’s relentless pressure and gas tank saw her edge away. By the championship rounds Budd was cooked and Cyborg was able to finish with some trademark swarming.
Alex Perez and Herbert Burns took home performance bonuses at UFC Fight Night 166 over the weekend, while Brett Johns and Tony Gravely won fight of the night for their early card brawl.
Other than Cyborg claiming the belt, Darrion Caldwell subbed Adam Borics in the first round to set up a grand prix semi final fight with AJ McKee. Sergio Pettis also picked up a tasty finish in his Bellator debut.