Tyson Fury used his clash with Oleksandr Usyk to give the Ukrainian fighter a taste of what will happen when they meet in their highly anticipated clash in Saudi Arabia.
The two fighters confirmed the rescheduled date for their grudge match on February 17 next year, with the ‘Ring of Fire’ taking part in Saudi Arabia’s ‘Riyadh Season’.
Despite there being more than three months to go until the match, the Gypsy King wasted no time intimidating his rival as the pair were able to go head-to-head after an explosive press conference.
The anger hit the forehead first, falling on Usyk, who did not back down from the Morecambe-based fighter’s aggression.
Ultimately, however, Fury took it a step too far and the pair had to be forcibly separated at the sign of an impending struggle.
Tyson Fury was full of intimidation tactics as he took part in a showdown with Oleksandr Usyk
The Gypsy King approached the Ukrainian and the pair pushed each other back and forth until they finally separated
The lineal heavyweight champion was all fire and raving during Thursday’s press event
The Brit repeatedly shouted “I’m going to knock you out” over chants of “Usyk, Usyk” from the Ukrainian camp, before calling Usyk “ap**** with an earring, like a little girl.”
The heated physical encounter between the two heavyweights was forewarned by the earlier press questions, in which Fury took every opportunity to screw a sometimes frustratingly cool Usyk.
In a return to his taunts earlier in the afternoon, Fury immediately began calling Usyk a “sausage” and a “rabbit” after taking his seat at the table in front of the microphone.
Fury also called Usyk a “cissy with an earring” and a “little man” – an insult Fury later took back amid a heated argument.
“Yeah, I’m a small guy,” Usyk admitted, before being interrupted by the 35-year-old who seemed to change his mind and instead called him “average size for a heavyweight” and the “perfect size.”
For his part, Usyk did little to provoke his rival for the undisputed heavyweight title, saying at the start of the press conference, “I will speak in the ring.”
February’s fight will mark the first time in 24 years that a heavyweight has claimed the title of undisputed world champion, with the last holder being Lennox Lewis after his defeat to Evander Holyfield in 1999.
But for all his talk, Fury agreed that talk ahead of a fight of this magnitude was just ‘a lot of nonsense’.
Usyk, on the other hand, chose to cut a more reserved figure and spoke mainly through the translation of his promoter Alex Krassyuk
The Morecambe heavyweight was in good spirits as he hurled insults
‘If he hits me, I shake his hand. If I win, I hope he shakes my hand.’
The scenes at Wembley were equally volatile on Wednesday night, with the announcement of the ‘Day of Reckoning’ card to be hosted on the date of Usyk and Fury’s first fight, December 23.
Anthony Joshua, who will fight Otto Wallin in Saudi Arabia, clashed with his old foe Jarrell Miller and began taunting over his apparent lack of interest in fighting Deontay Wilder.
Wilder – who will face Joseph Parker as the evening’s co-main event – admitted exclusively to Mail Sport that the British two-time heavyweight champion turned down a staggering £40 million ($50 million) offered to him by Wilder’s camp to let the fight happen.