Fossilized fight promoter Bob Arum blew a gasket during Wednesday’s press conference in Las Vegas, run by FOX Sports, after emcee Kate Abdo prompted Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder to face off ahead of their WBC heavyweight title fight this weekend in “Sin City.”
Why so serious?
The presser was supposed to conclude without fighter staredowns because FOX failed to provide the security needed to keep things under control. A Fury-Wilder face off without the muscle to keep them in check could have boiled over and jeopardized their Oct. 9 trilogy.
“You know that if they had done a face-off here, they’d have shoved each other,” Arum said after the presser. “There was no security up there. There was this broad [Abdo] egging them on. Who was going to stop anything? They’re emotional. They’re fighters. They’re human beings and they’ve insulted each other in front of the world. They were saying the worst things about each other, which is acceptable. Words don’t do any damage. Now you put them together like they’re angry dogs.”
Boxing has a history of ugly press conference brawls (like this one).
“FOX ran this event [and] of course you should have security,” Arum continued. “Of course. PBC did its job. They were arguing with FOX, ‘No face-off, get security, etc.’ They understand. They’re boxing people. These friggin’ people from FOX, they don’t know crap. They bring this woman in from the U.K. and she’s slanting all of the press conference to Wilder. I don’t give a damn, but it’s obvious that’s what she was doing. She knew that the understanding was no face-off. Tom Brown [of TGB Promotions] argued with FOX for no face-off. We said no face-off. What does she say? ‘We’re going to do a face-off. Fuck her and fuck them. No face-off and we saved the fight.”
Abdo claims she was only doing what she was told.
“With regards to the face off — I was doing what we the broadcaster believed was agreed upon,” Abdo wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “I have nothing but respect for Bob Arum and the empire he has created. I understand what he means to boxing and what this sport owes him. I think the language in this interview was entirely inappropriate. Of course it’s disappointing to be disrespected by someone I respect. But that’s life, not everyone will give you the courtesy you deserve.”
Hopefully whoever runs Friday’s weigh ins will provide the necessary security.