Tyson Fury is unconcerned about the chaotic build-up to the first defence of his WBC heavyweight title as Deontay Wilder promised “redemption, retaliation, retribution” in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Fury is an overwhelming favourite to have his hand raised, as he did 20 months ago when confounding many observers with aggressive tactics to give a bloodied and broken Wilder the first defeat of his professional career.
Wilder made several peculiar excuses in the aftermath, from the weight of his ring walk costume to the completely unfounded accusation Fury had loaded gloves, and sacked trainer Mark Breland, replacing him with Malik Scott.
But his appeal for Fury to honour his contractual obligation for a third fight found favour with a United States arbitrator, scuppering the Briton’s hopes of a much-anticipated domestic showdown with Anthony Joshua this summer.
A July date was put back after Fury contracted Covid-19 while the 33-year-old delayed his latest training camp to be with wife Paris as she gave birth to daughter Athena, who then had a number of days in an intensive care unit.
Fury stepped up his preparations for Wilder last month after revealing his sixth child was at full health and is now fully focused on extending his unbeaten professional record at the T-Mobile Arena.
“All these fights are exactly the same to me: I’ve got some guy trying to take my head off with punches, no matter whether it is Deontay Wilder or whoever it may be,” Fury said.
“It doesn’t really matter to me because it’s a Tyson Fury roadshow which has been continuing for 13 years. I train every day in my life, twice a day mostly, I eat, sleep, train, repeat.
“I’ve had a few personal problems at home, but there’s always going to be some type of problem or hurdle to get over in life.
“I had a little baby girl who was born seven and a half weeks ago and she was very unwell for a minute or two and I was there for two weeks in the hospital with her.
“I knew that if I got that hurdle out the way, things would be good and I could concentrate on the fight. That’s exactly what I did. The baby is 100 per cent at home, the family’s good so daddy’s just got to do his job now.”
The 6ft 9in Fury (30-0-1, 21KOs) possesses marginal height and reach advantages over Wilder but outweighed the Alabaman by 43lbs in the pair’s last fight in February last year.
Tension between the combatants has been steadily building in recent months and erupted in Wednesday’s final press conference, leading to a slanging match and the cancellation of the normal practice of a face-to-face staredown.
Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum insisted there will be no head-to-head at Friday’s weigh-in either, telling BBC Sport: “I will not have these fighters being treated like they are fighting dogs or fighting cocks. The fighters will not face off, both promotional companies agree.”
While Fury is expected to stick with a similar strategy that saw him become world champion for a second time, all eyes will be on whether Wilder (42-1-1, 41KOs) has made any adjustments.
Even Scott acknowledged the former WBC champion has relied too much on his freakish power and has sought to bring his more unstated attributes to the fore.
Wilder said: “I don’t have anything to prove, I’m in a great place, a great state of mind, a lot of great people around me that have been covering me all this time. It’s nothing to prove at all.
“This right here is redemption, retaliation, retribution.”