By Clive Bernath: Promoter Frank Maloney has been forced to cancel today’s press conference in London to publicise Friday’s (Sept 11) English heavyweight title fight between John McDermott and Tyson Fury after the challenger refused to attend.
The pair clash at the Brentwood Leisure Centre in what is an intriguing battle between a highly touted but untested novice and a proven performer at British title level. The fight has attracted much publicity and intrigue amongst boxing fans but Maloney is still angered that Fury has refused to attend today’s head to head.
"I am very disappointed with the attitude of Fury and his promoter Mick Hennessy and I have lodged a complaint with the British Boxing Board of Control,” said Maloney.
"I paid a record purse for an English heavyweight title fight to stage the fight and expect co-operation with media activities.
"It is the only conference Tyson has been asked to attend to promote the fight so there has not been excessive press demands from me.
"I have offered to fly Tyson and his trainer down from Manchester on Monday morning, put a driver at his disposal and even offered use of a gym if he wanted to train before flying him back home."
"We’re in an era where promoters need to keep boxing in the mainstream media, but it is impossible with this attitude.
"If Hennessy Sports had won the purse bids I can assure you that McDermott would have attended press conferences."
To be fair to both Maloney and Fury, neither has held back in the war of words in the lead up to Friday’s clash, which is part of the reason the Sky Sports televised clash is arguably the most intriguing lower level domestic clash for a very long time.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror over the weekend Manchester based Gypsy, Fury let Maloney have it with both barrels, saying "Maloney has called me a rent-a-quote, which is amazing coming from him.
"Maloney was just a mouth in a Union Jack suit for all those years he was with Lennox Lewis.
"My pet dog could have done for Lewis what Maloney did, and he’s blind with only one leg.
"It does make me laugh but I can’t take him seriously. He said Lennox would never be remembered as a great fighter and now he claims he was a great fighter."
Maloney, equally, never one to hold back countered: "This kid is a good talker, but he is heading for a painful fall and when that happens he will realise the trouble that his big mouth has got him in.
"We still don’t know if he can fight. Hopefully, when Big Bad John hits him on the chin we will find out.
Despite taking part in just seven pro fights against smaller hand picked opponents Fury has constantly boasted that he is champion in the making. Friday night we will go some way to finding out if he has the potential back up his boasts or is just another one of those good talkers that fail to deliver were it matters most-in the boxing ring.
September 7, 2009