By News Team
18th February 2020
With the sheer number of larger-than-life characters now present in professional boxing, the build-up to the fights can often be as entertaining as the fights themselves.
With fighters and promoters alike trying to generate public interest in the bouts, fight-week press conferences and weigh-ins can go in all sorts of directions, from the brilliant to the downright bizarre.
Ahead of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury’s eagerly anticipated rematch on Saturday, which is sure to bring with it build-up just as exciting, we’ve taken a look at the craziest weigh-ins and press conferences in boxing history.
Mike Tyson vs Lennox Lewis – 2002
Having firmly established himself as the ‘baddest man on the planet’, Mike Tyson had somewhat of a reputation to uphold as he headed into his fight with Britain’s heavyweight hopeful Lennox Lewis. As soon as Lewis entered the stage, Tyson walked right towards him before being forced back by a bodyguard.
Tyson’s wild left hook may have missed Lewis’ protection, but it was more than enough to ignite a mass brawl on stage, with WBC president Jose Sulaiman knocked unconscious and Tyson, in what was becoming his trademark move, biting Lewis’ leg.
Lewis would get his revenge in the ring, however, flooring the former undisputed champion in the eighth round to retain his Ring Magazine heavyweight championship.
Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora – 2016
Social media is awash with conspiracy as to the legitimacy of the rivalry that was created between these two British heavyweights – Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora – before their first meeting in 2016, but it certainly made for some great pre-fight entertainment as their press conference turned into a disaster.
Chisora is no stranger to these situations, having been suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) in 2012 for a fight that broke out backstage between himself and now manager David Haye following Chisora’s fight with Vitali Klitschko.
After a fiery encounter on Sky Sports’ ‘The Gloves are Off’, the two came face to face in Manchester ahead of the fight, with both trying to get under their opponent’s skin. Chisora would take exception to some of Whyte’s comments about seeing him after the fight, lifting and then throwing a table at Whyte and his team.
Nobody was hurt in the incident and Chisora was quickly restrained, but promoter Eddie Hearn was forced to make the fighters weigh-in separately with no face-off and the BBBofC refused to sanction the bout, meaning the British title was not up for grabs when Whyte claimed a split-decision win.
Tyson Fury vs Wladimir Klitschko – 2015
To add a more bizarre entry to the list, enter Tyson Fury.
With world champion Wladimir Klitschko and all other participants in position, the challenger appeared to be running a little late when a bright yellow Lamborghini screeched to a halt outside the Brentford venue. Nobody was expecting a 6ft 9in Batman to emerge, run a lap of the venue and then take his seat on stage, and absolutely nobody was expecting Hughie Fury to enter soon after dressed as the Joker and to be tackled to the ground by a flying Fury.
Klitschko was visibly confused, and to add insult to injury, Fury would end his title reign with a surprise points victory in Dusseldorf.
Danny Williams vs Audley Harrison – 2006
This one is unique in the fact that it merged the bizarre and the violent into one beautiful package.
Nobody was quite sure why Danny Williams opted to kiss (or bite) Audley Harrison on the chin, but unsurprisingly the British heavyweight responded with a shove. The resulting brawl was fairly brief, but large enough to see members of the crowd scattered across the floor as security did their upmost to separate the two.
You could say Williams put the kiss of death on Harrison, who lost the fight on points.