Tyson Fury reacts to commission banning face off with Deontay Wilder at weigh in on Friday
Fury understands why the decision was made to keep the men apart until fight night
LAS VEGAS -- Those anticipating potential fireworks when Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury go nose to nose for the final time at Friday's weigh-in will need to wait for fight night to see any action.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has banned the two unbeaten heavyweight champions from facing off, NSAC executive director Bob Bennett told ESPN on Thursday. Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) defends his WBC title against the lineal crown of Fury (29-0-1, 22 KOs) on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena when the two meet in a pay-per-view rematch of their disputed 2018 split draw (ESPN/Fox PPV, 9 p.m. ET).
"I think they are doing their job perfectly," Fury told CBS Sports on Thursday. "They know what they are doing and are very experienced so I have to respect and appreciate their decision."
The two fighters opened Wednesday's final press conference inside the arena by pushing each other and causing a near melee, which Bennett credits for the NSAC decision.
"The press conference spoke for itself," Bennett told ESPN. "The actions of the two fighters pushing each other -- which was not staged -- is not indicative of the image of our sport as a major league sport, thus having a face off is not in the best interest in the health and safety of the fighters, the public and the event.
"Quite frankly, that image, where you have two professional athletes pushing each other where somebody could get hurt is not keeping with the image of a major league sport and we're a major league sport."
Fury admitted that things were legitimately heated, saying, "we were almost at blows" as he and Wilder exchanged insults throughout the event.
"He shoved me and I shoved him. When a man raises his hand to you, it's an automatic instinct to defend yourself," Fury said. "If someone laid hands on me, I've got to protect myself."
Prior to Wednesday's antics, both fighters have been relatively reserved in the build to the rematch compared to their first meeting 14 months ago when Fury seemed hellbent on getting inside Wilder's head. Fury has spent most of training camp boldly declaring he would eschew his defensive style in favor of trying to knock Wilder out.
"This camp I wanted to get back to basics. Not all the antics and interviews and such, I wanted to concentrate on training," Fury said. "I outboxed him quite easy last time and got a draw. Everybody that knows boxing knows I beat him and I didn't get the decision so I took it upon myself to knock out the knockout artist and bully the bully.
"Big balls, big balls I have. Big balls like King Kong. I learned from the first time that Deontay Wilder's boxing ability is very limited. He's just a one-trick pony. I'm looking to tear him up and hit that body like a drum. I am prepared to go to hell and back for the victory. There is nothing I won't do to get the victory."
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