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'We're not going to f*** it up' - Wilder and Fury banned from facing off at today's weigh-in

Promoter Bob Arum supported the decision but UFC star Conor McGregor was among those to call for NSAC to change its mind.

Wilder and Fury engaged in a shoving contest at Wednesday's press conference.
Wilder and Fury engaged in a shoving contest at Wednesday's press conference.
Image: Bradley Collyer

DEONTAY WILDER AND Tyson Fury have been banned from facing off at tonight’s weigh-in by the Nevada State Athletic Commission [NSAC] following their shoving match before Wednesday’s press conference.

WBC World heavyweight champion Wilder [42-0-1, 41KOs] and former unified king Fury [29-0-1, 20KOs] are due to take to the scales at around 11pm Irish time, but have been prohibited by the state commission from engaging in a traditional staredown when they meet for the last time before trading leather at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, on Saturday night.

“The reason the decision was made, on behalf of the commission, is because the press conference spoke for itself,” NSAC executive director Bob Bennett told ESPN.

There was some argy-bargy between the two giants as soon as they took to the stage for Wednesday’s final presser, with security forced to intervene as an unscheduled nose-to-nose meeting resulted in an exchange of shoves.

“The actions of the two fighters pushing each other, which was not staged, is not indicative of the image of our sport as a major league sport, thus having a faceoff is not in the best interest in the health and safety of the fighters, the public and the event,” Bennett said.

“And, quite frankly, that image, where you have two professional athletes pushing each other where somebody could get hurt, is not keeping with the image of a major league sport and we’re a major league sport.

I’m not going to put the public or the fighters or the event in harm’s way because everybody is looking forward to a spectacular event. This decision is in the best interest of the fighters, the fans and the event.

Bennett told ESPN that he had consulted commission chairman Anthony Marnell III on Wednesday night and that Marnell fully supported the idea. Wilder’s promoter, Tom Brown of TGB Promotions, and Fury’s co-promoter, Bob Arum, were on board with the decision.

pjimage (11) Bob Arum and Conor McGregor had different opinions on NSAC's decision. Source: PA Images

Arum told ESPN: “If this fight depends on a face-off to sell it, we have not done our job. They will take pictures, just no faceoff.

This commission realises because of ESPN and Fox that boxing is back as a major sport and we’re not going to fuck it up by having these guys push each other or fight each other at a weigh-in.

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“It doesn’t happen in the NFL, or Major League Baseball or the NBA where you have the athletes pushing and shoving before their contest,” Arum added. “Boxing is now a major sport and we will conduct ourselves like one.”

Former two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor was among those to criticise the decision. McGregor, who has had his issues with NSAC in the past but was licenced by them to box Floyd Mayweather in 2017 despite having only a modest amateur boxing background himself, tweeted:

Guys, please relax here. Vegas commission, you are one of thee [sic] best commissions, bar none, for impeccably handling events of unpredictability. Place men between the men. Security on stage. Let them get one last look at each other. The last look before it’s really fucking on.

Andy Dunne and Murray Kinsella join Gavan Casey to tee you up for Sunday’s big one. The lads try to figure out where the winning and losing of the game will be, field a The42 member’s question as to what extent the media plays a role in Ireland’s performance, and Andy explains why Henry Tuilagi haunts his dreams at night.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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