Box­ing big guns square off

Heavy­weight ti­tle ri­vals start the ver­bal spar­ring ahead of July bout

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

W orld heavy­weight cham­pion Tyson Fury launched a ver­bal as­sault on chal­lenger Wladimir Kl­itschko, la­belling the dec­o­rated for­mer ti­tle holder as “psy­cho­log­i­cally weak” and a “ner­vous wreck”.

Hav­ing de­feated Kl­itschko in Ger­many to land the WBA, WBO and IBF belts, Fury will now de­fend his ti­tles this July in Manch­ester.

And dur­ing a heated press con­fer­ence the un­de­feated cham­pion took aim at the 40-year-old Kl­itschko with a series of in­cen­di­ary lines.

“He’s a psy­cho­log­i­cally weak man and he is ner­vous,” said Fury.

“He is a wreck. He is men­tally un­sta­ble, and will be fright­ened. He will be quak­ing in his boots.”

Fury then poked fun at his own physique and crit­i­cised Kl­itschko for fall­ing to beat him last year de­spite his im­pres­sive record and ded­i­ca­tion to the sport.

“Peo­ple do these sports for dif­fer­ent rea­sons. It’s not al­ways a money thing, as Kl­itschko proves,” added Fury.

“It’s some­thing that he loves to do, and he’s ca­pa­ble of any­thing, even as a rich 40-year-old.

“He’s a dan­ger­ous op­po­nent, be­cause I don’t live like a cham­pion. I’m not an athlete. Don’t call me an athlete. I mean look at this, does this look like a fighter’s body?

“Look at this Kl­itschko. This beat you. Shame on you. You were beaten by a fat man.”

De­spite the ob­vi­ous barbs aimed in his di­rec­tion, Kl­itschko kept his cool for the most part.

How­ever, he did make it clear he has lit­tle re­spect for Fury thanks to his of­ten con­tro­ver­sial re­marks.

“Many peo­ple en­joy hav­ing a cham­pion that rep­re­sents the sport in a cer­tain way,” said Kl­itschko.

“I am not okay with how Fury rep­re­sents the sport. He makes a lot of state­ments that are dis­re­spect­ful.

“I’m in good shape, I’m in his back­yard and I’m look­ing for­ward to get­ting my re­venge. I will knock Tyson Fury out. Pe­riod.”

Fury will de­fend the WBA Su­per and WBO ti­tles, hav­ing been stripped of his IBF strap, against Kl­itschko on July 9.

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