Tyson Fury says he licked blood off rival Deontay Wilder during their rematch to “feel what my prey tasted like” – but has vented his frustrations over the apparently slow progress on arranging a showdown with Anthony Joshua.
Fury stopped the previously undefeated Wilder in the seventh round of the pair’s contest in Las Vegas 12 months ago, dominating the American throughout the fight on the way to winning the WBC title.
During one clinch in round six, Fury was seen appearing to lick blood on Wilder’s neck in a display of relish at how the fight was unfolding.
Unbeaten lineal king Fury, 32, has now revealed what was behind an act which at the time made waves across social media.
“Like a vampire. In the pre-fight interview, I said I wanted to taste Deontay Wilder’s blood this time,” the Brit fighter told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
“So I had an opportunity to do it there in round six, so I had to taste his blood just so I could get the feeling of what my prey tasted like.
“I was like a hunter that night, I was a lion and he was a gazelle. A large gazelle. And I took him down and that was it, game over…
“Animal instinct comes out inside the boxing ring and it’s either him or you.”
The Gypsy King admitted that the move had been “weird” – joking that there were also hygiene factors to think about.
“But it is weird because I’ve not noticed anyone lick anyone else’s blood before – I hope he didn’t have any germs or anything! Or else I’ve got his cooties now baby,” Fury said.
That fight saw Fury defeat a man whom he had fought to a draw in their thrilling previous match-up in December of 2018.
Much of 2020 had been spent wrangling over a trilogy fight, with Wilder trotting out a host of explanations for his defeat, from being hindered by his heavy walk-in outfit to Fury supposedly cheating by tampering with his gloves.
A third fight was touted for July and then later in the year, before appearing to fall through completely.
“As far as I’m concerned the chapter is done. I beat him twice. I absolutely smashed him to pieces the second time, it wasn’t even a contest,” Fury said.
“He had a full year to make another fight and I agreed to about seven dates, yet none of them materialized. And the contract expired and now nothing, there’s no fight between me and Deontay Wilder.
“But Deontay Wilder’s got more on his brain than fighting, I’ll tell you that. I think he’s lost his marbles. I think Deontay Wilder is struggling at the moment, mentally, physically and emotionally. That’s just me looking from the outside as a person who has already been there.
“Obviously the beating he took in the fight has really affected him because he obviously thought he couldn’t lose to anybody, and then when he’s been in there and been beaten like that, it’s clearly had a mental effect on him.”
Hopes for the top-end of the heavyweight ranks are now centered on a ‘Battle of Britain’ showdown between Fury and WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO title-holder Anthony Joshua.
Last year it was reported that the pair had agreed a blockbuster deal for a double-header of fights in 2021.
In recent days Joshua, 31, has stoked speculation that a deal could be close, tweeting “things are shaping up nicely. They will be sharing the update with Eddie and you’ll be hearing from me soon.”
Another positive meeting with @258mgt. They’ve informed me things are shaping up nicely. They will be sharing the update with Eddie and you’ll be hearing from me soon 👊🏾
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) February 23, 2021
Fury, though, put a dampener on that talk – telling ESPN that “they’ve had a full year to make something happen, and it hasn’t happened as of yet. We’re no further forward today than we were a year ago.
“The way [Covid-19] is at the moment, I don’t think [it has] got much to do with the fighters. It’s to do with the venue, date, place, site fees. It’s to do with everything but the fight itself.”
Fury added: “If that fight doesn’t happen this summer, it’s got to happen sooner or later but [promoter] Top Rank has to give me two fights this year. I don’t care who it is.
“If it’s not Joshua, we’re looking to fight in April or early May, and the end of the year. If it is Joshua, then June and the end of the year, so 2021 is looking bright.”
Taking to Twitter, Fury labelled Joshua a “chicken”, writing: “Come out and meet me for battle. Let me show what a boss is. Any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
Olympic gold medalist Joshua last fought mandatory Bulgarian IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev on December 12 in London, knocking him out in the ninth round.