Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder are about to fight each other for a third time on Saturday night, but most of their tustling over the last three years has come outside of the ring.
The pair do not see eye to eye, that much is clear, and their verbal blows have accelerated over the last few weeks as tension builds ahead of their clash in Las Vegas – but the taunts are nothing new.
Trash talk is common in boxing, but when it comes to Fury and Wilder there is a greater level of ferocity between two rivals at the top of the heavyweight game.
There has been chilling threats, mockery and even cheating accusations across the years in the two fights that saw a draw between the pair in 2018 and then a dominant stoppage for Fury in 2020 – which Wilder is desperate to avenge.
Sportsmail takes a look back at the biggest and boldest verbal shots fired by the two fighters ahead of Saturday’s big fight.
Tyson Fury and Wilder will go head to head for a third time this week – but it is their verbal blows that have generated many of the headlines
Fury – Wilder is a pretender
When Tyson Fury got his wish to face long-term rival Deontay Wilder in 2018 – it was to be the start of an incredible sporting comeback after years out of the ring following his win over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.
At the time, Wilder was seen as one of the most feared heavyweights on the planet and one of the biggest punchers the sport has ever known.
Fury, who had been binging, using drugs and had only just shed away the pounds during his exile from boxing – was being given no chance, but was still in a confident mood in the build-up.
Fury showed no fear of taking on Deontay Wilder in 2018 and called him a ‘pretender’
‘I’m telling you now, Wilder is getting knocked out by me on Saturday night, he said. ‘On Saturday night the whole world will know him as the person who Fury knocked out.
‘This swagger is not genuine, it’s fake – a snide and a fraud. I look at him and don’t see a bad man, I see a pretender.’
A pretender he certainly wasn’t – at least not judging by his punching power as searing left hook floored Fury, who appeared to be unconscious on the canvas before miraculously getting to his feet, with the fight later being scored as a draw.
Wilder floored him with a big left hook but the fight was scored as a draw after Fury recovered
Wilder – I brought you back
A year passed as both fighters went elsewhere before gearing up for their rematch. Fury came through two fights against Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin, while Wilder steamrollered through Dominic Breazeale and then cleaning out Luis Ortiz for the second time.
As Fury and Wilder faced each other at a furious press conference before their second bout in Las Vegas, Wilder did not take kindly to Fury’s claim that he had raised the American’s profile – with the American telling him he ‘dragged him back’ after his years of inactivity.
‘Don’t he dare to say that he got me into big-time boxing,’ Wilder said furiously. ‘If he does, I’ll slap him.’
The pair agreed a rematch more than a year later and Wilder unloaded at the Brit after he claimed he elevated his profile
The American told Fury he ‘dragged him back’ after years out of the ring with drug addiction
‘Don’t you ever forget that when I found you, you were strung out on coke. You were like a big house, contemplating killing yourself. Don’t you ever forget who brought you to big-time boxing. I brought you back, dragged you back, I put food on your table for your family to eat and I’m doing it again for a second time. I’m the one who sells the pay-per-view and tickets. They come to see me.’
Fury responded that people in Wilder’s country didn’t know who he was, adding: ‘And that’s the man you take on? A man thinking about killing himself?
‘You thought you were getting an easy victory, didn’t you? Well it didn’t work out: I came back and kicked your arse all over.’
Fury has ‘pillow fists’
Many had Fury winning the pair’s first fight despite being flattened by Wilder late on, and the Bronze Bomber was quick to insist he was never troubled by any of Fury’s biggest shots throughout the first contest, labelling him as ‘pillow fists’.
‘He has pillows as fists,’ he said. ‘That’s how soft they were. Maybe my adrenaline was too high to feel anything. Sometimes after a fight you feel sore. But even after the fight I didn’t feel anything.
Bronze Bomber taunted Fury in the build up to the second fight and said he had ‘pillow fists’
‘I took all his punches, the ones he landed, and I walked right through them. So I don’t respect none of his power.
‘He’s just a tall big man that can move around the ring. And that’s about it. As far as power, there’s none there.’
So much for having weak punches, Fury came up with the goods in the second fight and battered Wilder from pillar to post to secure a seventh-round stoppage and take his WBC belt from him.
But in the immediate aftermath of the fight, Wilder began some serious claims that Fury was only able to inflict so much damage on him – including bleeding from his ear – because he had put an egg weight inside his glove.
In an eerie video on social media, Wilder set out his accusations, showing footage that appeared to suggest Fury’s glove had bended during the bout.
Fury surprised Wilder with a dominant display – but the American accused him of cheating
‘I saw in the first fight when Ricky Hatton was pulling down your gloves to put your fist in the improper position,’ Wilder said.
‘You tried the same method the second time but this time you scratched flesh out of my ears which caused them to bleed.
‘It’s impossible for a brand new 10oz glove to bend, to keep a smushed-in form or to have loose space. I highly believe you had something hard in your glove, something the size and the shape of an egg-weight. It’s the reason why the side of my face swelled up in an egg-weight form. And it left a dent in my face as well.’
Fury dismissed the accusations and fired back that his rival had ‘lost his marbles’
Fury had ignored many of Wilder’s outbursts throughout the year, after he had made a string of claims – including that his ring walk suit was too heavy and that his trainer Mark Breland spiked his water – and said his opponent had ‘lost his marbles’.
‘I think he has lost his marbles,’ he said.
‘First of all it was the suit, then it was the bicep injury, then his trainer was on our team, then the referee was against him, then I had weights in my gloves. Now someone has spiked his water… it’s one of those things, isn’t it?’
Fury moved on from Wilder briefly after becoming a two-time world champion and set his sights on a lucrative fight with Anthony Joshua – but just before negotiations were finalised the American got his way as a judge ruling forced Fury into a third bout with his nemesis.
With the Gypsy King switching his attentions and in camp for the Wilder fight in July this year, he tested positive for Covid just weeks before it was set to take place, and it was rescheduled for October, though Wilder wasn’t buying it and accused him of lying to avoid facing him.
Wilder made more bold claims that Fury was a liar after he tested positive for Covid this summer to postpone their fight until October
Fury had incurred the wrath of boxing fans after being pictured out in Las Vegas just a week after confirming he had the virus.
A furious Wilder told 78SPORTSTV: ‘I’m just tired of the lies. That’s all it is, lies.
‘That’s what I believe. And a lot of other people do too – the whole world believes it’s nothing but lies. And it really sickens me to hear that because so many people have died of COVID.
‘People I know have had family members to die of it. To hear others using this as an excuse to get out of something is just horrible man.
‘May they burn in hell for that. Especially for something like this. Because the dude said he had COVID, then the next minute you see him in so many different places. It’s just ridiculous.
Wilder said Fury should ‘burn in hell’ and insisted the Gypsy King was trying to avoid him
Fury hit back at his rival on Twitter, labelling him a ‘real piece of work’ and a ‘p****’
‘He’s been trying to run away from me since July of last year. He’s paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to avoid me.
‘They came up with so many excuses to try to avoid me. They contradict themselves so many different times and it’s just ridiculous at this point. You need to put up or shut up.’
Wilder has not shyed away from his belief of Fury’s deceptions and called him ‘one of the biggest cheats in boxing’ and ‘a coward’, but his English rival offered a simple response on social media, saying he was an ‘excuse maker’.
‘This man is a real piece of work,’ Fury wrote on Twitter. ‘A real bully excuse maker. Not a warrior or a man at all. Beat the mug 2 times. I’ve battered him and his trainer. But still talking s***. Real p******.’
Fury – I’ll splatter Wilder
Having already got the better of Wilder last time out, Fury has been in a confident mood ahead of this fight and is even predicting a quicker knockout on this occasion.
He compared himself to a plasterer – and said that was exactly what he was going to do at the T-Mobile Arena.
‘What’s going to happen is I’m going to run across the ring and knock the f*** out of Deontay Wilder. I’m going to plaster him,’ said Fury to Frank Warren’s Queensbury Promotions.
Fury believes he will record a more emphatic victory this time and promised to ‘splatter’ Wilder
‘I’m going to be like a plasterer on the night, plastering walls.
‘I’m going to splatter him in the ring. He’s getting knocked out for sure, 100 per cent. It was an easy fight the second time, and it’ll be an even easier time the third time. I’m knocking him out inside quick time.’
Wilder – your life depends on this, Fury
But Wilder is also predicting a devastating knockout for himself as he uploaded a chilling warning to Fury on social media, telling him his ‘life depends’ on his preparations for their fight.
‘Tyson Fury, I’m going to be short, sweet and simple. This fight right here you better be preparing, you better train your butt off as if your life depends on it – because your life depends on it. Don’t go up missing.’
Fury’s response was typical as he used the same footage before firing back at the end with his own words.
‘I’m gonna smash your f***ing face in, you prick. How about that for a f***ing message!’
The Brit (R) recorded an expletive-ridden message for Deontay Wilder before their fight after the American said his ‘life depends’ on his training