Deontay Wilder controversially taunted rival Tyson Fury about his mental health battles in a fiery press conference ahead of Saturday’s WBC heavyweight title rematch.
The pair kicked off their final media event with a shoving match ahead of Saturday’s contest.
When that eventually died down and the pair sat to discuss this weekend’s bout, Wilder wasted little time before mocking Fury’s well-documented issues with depression and suicide.
Fury previously claimed Wilder’s stock and profile was only thanks to his rivalry with him and as the slanging match continued, Wilder said: “He should not dare to say that he got me into big-time boxing. If he does, I’ll slap him.
“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, unsurprisingly, took Wilder to task over the taunts about suicide.
“I was the man who beat Wladimir Klitschko,” said the Briton.
“I gave you your biggest payday. You’re a bum – nobody even knows you in your own country.”
Responding to more goading about suicide, Fury said: “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.”
Earlier, as soon as the two men walked onto the stage, Briton Fury got right in Wilder’s face, singing and taunting the American champion. That included him dancing and gyrating his body up close, while also singing Chumbawamba’s 90s hit ‘I Get Knocked Down’ – in reference to his impressive resurrection after being floored heavily twice in their 2018 draw.
Wilder kept his composure well until finally losing his patience and pushing Fury away, with the challenger then replying in kind before security staff quickly waded in.