Is Wilder vs. Fury Racially Polarized? Fury Says “No”

Tyson Fury doesn’t think his heavyweight rematch is about race at all.

Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury nearly came to blows at a heated final press conference Thursday.

The unbeaten WBC Heavyweight Champion and undefeated lineal heavyweight champion exchanged words and shoves on stage, just two days before they reignite their rivalry.

However, when Sporting News journalist, Andreas Hale, asked Wilder about the fight happening during Black History Month, Fury wasn’t feeling it.

After Wilder answered the question, Fury was presented a question about going the distance but decided to address the prior question about race.

Hale: “Tyson, do you think there’s any chance that Deontay can win a decision against you in this fight that’s the only path to victory in this fight?”

Fury: “I’m not sure but I’m not really into all this racial thing with a black man versus a white man and Black History Month. I will refuse to go into any sort of thing about it. We are two human beings, two heavyweights on top of our game. This is not a racial war. This is two heavyweight boxers going toe-to-toe for all the jewels in heavyweight boxing. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Boxing’s History of Polarizing Race

Since the era of Jack Johnson, heavyweight boxing has been racially polarized. At first, Johnson’s wins were anĀ  affront to the supposed superiority of white athletes.

However, when promoters realized that this schtick sold tickets, more fights were promoted around a country’s patriotism or racial allegiance. To this day, Mexican vs. Puerto Rican fights or African-American vs. anyone non-black, have been staple selling points.

For Fury, the fight is simple: get Wilder’s coveted green WBC strap and keep it moving to Anthony Joshua. With the two relatively calm this go-round during the promotion, it is clear Fury is focused solely on boxing.

With a new trainer of color in tow in SugarHill Steward, Fury isn’t here for the shenanigans, just the check and the respect.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. RhettĀ hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.