Boxing: Nevada State Athletic Commission bans Wilder-Fury faceoff after weigh-in

Tyson Fury (pictured) and Deontay Wilder are scheduled to weigh in Friday. File Photo by James Atoa/UPI
Tyson Fury (pictured) and Deontay Wilder are scheduled to weigh in Friday. File Photo by James Atoa/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- After a heated press conference between the two boxers, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has barred heavyweight world titleholder Deontay Wilder and lineal champion Tyson Fury from taking part in a traditional faceoff during their weigh-in.

Wilder and Fury are scheduled to weigh in Friday at 6 p.m. EST ahead of their championship rematch Saturday in Las Vegas.


"The reason the decision was made, on behalf of the commission, is because the press conference [Wednesday] spoke for itself," NSAC executive director Bob Bennett told ESPN on Thursday.

During the final pre-fight press conference, Wilder and Fury got into each other's faces. The confrontation eventually erupted into pushing and shoving, prompting security to separate the two fighters.

"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 faceoff is not in the best interest in the health and safety of the fighters, the public and the event," Bennett said.

"And, 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."


According to ESPN, Bennett told commission chairman Anthony Marnell III on Wednesday night that he wanted to cancel the faceoff, a decision that Marnell supported. Bennett said he also spoke to Wilder promoter Tom Brown of TGB Promotions and Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum, Fury's co-promoter, and both "were OK" with the idea.

"I'm not going to put the public or the fighters or the event in harm's way, because everybody is looking forward to a spectacular event," Bennett said. "This decision is in the best interest of the fighters, the fans and the event."

Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) and Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) fought to a draw in their previous matchup in 2018.

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