Wilder stokes Fury as Pianeta beckons
Heavyweight duo could be set for November fight in Las Vegas if Fury beats Pianeta tonight
Deontay Wilder gatecrashed the weigh-in for Tyson Fury’s fight with Francesco Pianeta in Belfast where he had an aggressive confrontation with Fury’s father John – and then had to be separated from his rival heavyweight.
The WBC heavyweight champion has flown to Belfast from the United States to be ringside for tonight’s fight at Windsor Park, where should Fury succeed they plan to announce he will challenge Wilder next.
A date of November 17th in Las Vegas has been prepared for their anticipated fight and Fury demonstrated further signs of progress by weighing in at 18st 6lbs – significantly lighter than the 19st 10lbs he was for his comeback fight against Sefer Seferi in June.
The 30-year-old cut a relaxed figure alongside Germany’s Francesco Pianeta, who at 18st 2lbs was narrowly lighter, and Fury remained cool when “Bronze Bomber” Wilder came into view yelling his trademark “Bomb squad”, to which John Fury apparently took offence.
Following initial attempts to shout each other down, the 54-year-old Fury aggressively approached Wilder before he was restrained by a security guard and his son’s trainer Ben Davison, and further shouting continued.
It was in the crowded reception area of Belfast’s Europa Hotel, after the weigh-in was staged in a function room, that the 32-year-old Wilder then had his confrontation with Tyson Fury, the former WBA, WBO and IBF champion.
The two similarly shouted at each other, and also had to be separated before the threat of violence grew, even if Wilder consistently remained calm.
He has targeted Fury since negotiations for a unification fight with Anthony Joshua ended unsuccessfully, and of Saturday’s fight with the 33-year-old Pianeta, Wilder said: “Fury’s going to win, then I’m going to knock him out.
“Joshua’s old news. The new kid in town is Fury. Ours is the biggest fight.”
Of John Fury, he added: “I’ll get my grandfather out of the grave to knock him out.”
Afterwards, Fury vowed to get “serious” against Pianeta for the second fight of his comeback.
When Fury returned after a near-three-year absence against the little-known Sefer Seferi in June, a farcical affair unfolded in which he won in four rounds despite fighting with minimal intent and regularly interacting with the crowd.
Four such unambitious rounds means the prospect of fighting the dangerous Wilder represents a significant risk, particularly having also rarely worked with new trainer Ben Davison, but it is also too tempting for the 30-year-old to resist.
Saturday’s fight against Germany’s Pianeta, 33, is therefore the finest chance he will have of regaining the sharpness he had before his lengthy lay-off, and he said: “Ben wants a serious approach for this fight and that’s what he’ll get. It’s all business in Belfast.
“Everything has gone great, and if Ben wants me to be serious about this fight then I will be serious. “I’m not normally serious about anything in my life, everything is fun and games — even [defeating Wladimir] Klitschko.
“I wasn’t serious — I was doing dance moves, everything. But Ben wants this serious, he will get serious. “I’ll go in there and do my job and that’s it. I won’t even smile once. “I feel totally rejuvenated; I’m even talking better.”
In the main event in Belfast, Carl Frampton defends his interim WBO featherweight title against Australia’s Luke Jackson, and IBF champion Josh Warrington will similarly be ringside amid plans for him to next fight the Northern Irishman.
Interim WBO featherweight champion Frampton, 31, appeared dry on the scales and after stripping naked came in exactly on the nine-stone limit.
It is routine for the main-event fighters to appear among the last at a weigh-in, but on this occasion they were instead first, contributing to the belief that Frampton had struggled to make weight.
Australia’s Jackson, 33, was 8st 12.8lbs.
A 25,000-strong crowd is expected at Windsor Park, and the 31-year-old Frampton said: “Jackson won’t have experienced an atmosphere like Belfast can create. It’s hard enough in front of 9,000 at the SSE Arena so just think how tough it’s going to be for Jackson to fight a hometown boy at Windsor Park.
“It’s going to be so tough. It might make him fold or it might gee him up, but one thing’s for sure, it won’t be easy for him.”
Jackson remains undefeated in 16 fights but has never fought outside of his home country, and he told Press Association Sport: “If I win this fight, we’re all going to make some money, and that’s what it’s all about.
“I want to set up my family and my family’s future. I want everything Carl’s got; if I can make it happen on Saturday night, my life changes.
“My life’s good now, but when I was growing up it wasn’t so good. I got involved in drugs, and had some mental health issues [in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder]. Life is good, but I want to make it better.”
Tyson Fury’s father John with Deontay Wilder at yesterday’s weigh-in at the Europa Hotel, Belfast yesterday.