Tyson Fury was cool and relaxed as he came face to face with Wladimir Klitschko for the first time this week ahead of Saturday’s highly-anticipated world heavyweight title clash in Germany.
Ukrainian veteran Klitschko, the WBA, WBO and IBF champion, defends his titles against unbeaten Englishman Fury at the 55,000-capacity Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf on Saturday.
The build-up to the fight has been colourful throughout and the two men met at a final press conference in the city on Tuesday with both men seeming calm and confident. Fury, who joked he was “nervous and shaken” ahead of the big night, even claimed Klitschko will not be his toughest opponent.
“I think this will be one of my easiest fights,” said the 27-year-old. “It might sound crazy because he’s a ‘super-champion’ and has been world champion for 11 years.
“But I see so many chinks in his armour and I’m going to expose them very quickly. If I could choose any champion to fight, I’d choose him.
“I can expose him and you’ll see what I mean on Saturday night.”
Fury joked that he was overly nervous ahead of his defining fight.
“It all crashes down to me as soon as I land in the town and I see the big posters everywhere and I actually feel like I’m involved in a fight now and guess what? I’m really nervous.
“I never felt this way before – ever.
“I feel really anxious and really nervous for this fight and all these people and cameras are actually making me shy and I’m forgetting what to say.
“I’m actually shaking right now and I hope this is giving Wlad some confidence...not really, there we have it.”
Late on Monday, Fury said he would pull out of the title clash and even joked he would fight the champion “bare knuckle” if an agreement over gloves for the fight was breached.
The Brit revealed he may have to wait until the day before the fight before he is certain of challenging Klitschko, who stipulated the type of gloves for the bout but – when the manufacturer, Paffen, sent Fury a test pair to train in – he found them dangerously uncomfortable.
A second, slightly different pair, were much better – but now he faces an anxious wait to see if they are ready in time.
The ever-cool Klitschko admitted he has to overcome the nerves that come before each fight and that he was looking forward to coming up against a “colourful” character.
The 39-year-old said: “There have been many fighters along the years that I have faced, that were different and this time I have a very colourful guy that is young and wants to have the real challenge.
“And of course, I heard what he said that he’s nervous. Which means he’s well prepared and alert – because it’s good to be nervous.
“I’m nervous before every fight. I have to confront it, this is a fact.
“I’ve been nervous before every fight and I always faced some challenges that I never thought in the training camp that I would be able to face in the ring later on.”
The men engaged in the traditional stare-down after the press conference, with Fury talking to Klitschko throughout, complimenting him on his appearance and fragrance before making ‘bunny ears’ in response to the champion telling him to hold his fist up for the cameras.