Britain’s Tyson Fury says he respects Deontay Wilder’s knockout record, but insists no boxer can match his own “heart and determination”.
Fury, 31, will fight WBC heavyweight title holder Wilder in Las Vegas on 22 February; their previous bout in 2018 ended in a controversial draw.
American Wilder, 34, has won 41 of his 43 fights by knockout.
“Statistics don’t lie, he is much bigger puncher than me, a one-punch knockout artist, “said Fury.
Speaking at their second pre-fight news conference in Los Angeles, Fury added: “The thing is, I don’t believe anybody can match my heart and determination. I will put my iron will on Deontay Wilder and we will see.
“I am not afraid to go el mono-el mono (head-to-head) with the biggest puncher of heavyweight boxing.”
Wilder’s most recent victory over Luis Ortiz in November was his 10th title defence and his 42nd victory.
“Even if I hate this guy, I got to respect that,” added Fury. “He’s had 10 defences, beaten Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson and all these guys’ records defending the belt.
“He’s done a fantastic job here in the United States, holding his title and defending it regularly so congratulations to the guy.
“I’ve got nothing – I can’t take anything from him. He’s a great puncher and he gets the job done.”
‘The belt I am wearing is Gucci’
It was a subdued meeting, lacking atmosphere having begun with a tame face-off Wilder claimed to have won before walking to his seat.
“He says I lost but he walked away,” Fury shouted after him.
The pair then sat facing each other on stage, answering questions with one of the more interesting exchanges involving Fury’s claim to the lineal championship.
Fury claimed he is the lineal world heavyweight champion having never lost the belts he won in the ring from Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 – he instead had to relinquish them during his 32-month break from the sport.
Wilder: “I never even heard of the lineal title until he talked about it.”
Fury: “It’s a historic title, I do not expect you to understand it. I am a historian in boxing, it goes back a long way. Whether you want to admit it or not is really unimportant to me, your belt will be on the line so that’s up for grabs, if you do not want to win mine I will just win yours.”
Wilder: “The good thing is you can keep it, when I knock you out you can take it back with you. We ain’t seen it, where is it?”
Fury: “The belt I have got on is a Gucci not lineal. The lineal one I carry around in my presence, when you look at me, you are looking at the lineal champion.”
Wilder: “A 12-round championship fight for nothing we can see, nothing we can feel not even get emotional attached to it?”
Fury: “The thing is you don’t have to see something to believe it is real, we both know that don’t we.”
Wilder: “That’s true.”
Article courtesy of BBC Sport