OUTRAGEOUS viral incidents have become commonplace in boxing. From flipping tables and lobbing water bottles to unsavoury slurs and downright acts of egregious violence. 

It’s hard to escape the glare of a camera when committing such atrocities. However, when it comes to gaining publicity, getting those misdemeanours in front of a screen is probably the point.

Even before the days of iPhones waving in the air, trying to capture every last scrap of footage, the likes of Riddick Bowe or Mike Tyson were causing mayhem and mischief at organised press events. David Haye and Derek Chisora created one of the most infamous tussles, following Chisora’s 2012 defeat to Vitali Klitschko, a fight Haye wasn’t even directly involved in.

One man who is often involved in incidents is John Fury. The father of the lineal heavyweight king, Tyson, was making his presence felt on Monday before anything formal had even started.

Going head-to-head with an unassuming member of Usyk’s team left Fury worse off, sporting a dripping cut after bumping heads with a confused Stanislav Stepchuk, who became embroiled in a media frenzy due to the impromptu confrontation.

“That’s not a lot of conflict as we think. We just shout in the name of Oleksandr Usyk and John Fury was mad about it and do what he do. We didn’t offend him,” Stepchuk explained to Boxing News through an interpreter.

“Because he’s nervous, he’s not stable, he’s emotional now. We think that he’s nervous and this is his weakness.”

With tension growing between the teams, hopefully, any verdicts rendered on Saturday evening will be received in good grace. The last thing the people of Ukraine need is John Fury rampaging through the hallways of the Kingdom Arena as the clock turns midnight.

Stepchuk said he would be on guard and ready to defend himself just in case matters take a turn for the worst. However, silly scuffles are at the back of Stanislav’s mind, with the overriding objective being a win for the main king of the camp.

 “We believe that Oleksandr will win this fight. We think that Usyk will knock out Tyson Fury in the championship rounds.”

Despite the fracas, Stepchuk had a cordial message to send to his unexpected adversary: “We would like to respect each other. We would like to respect everybody,” he stated.

Later, after seeing the footage, Oleksandr Usyk described Fury Sr’s actions as “bad behaviour,” referring to the size discrepancy between him and the young member of Team Usyk. 

Not that any reprimands deterred John, who was still discussing his Spartan mentality long after the incident, as his antics further publicised fight week ahead of the biggest night of his son’s career.

Denying that he was excessively fired up ahead of a week of action and activity in Riyadh, the former pro boxer, who ended his career in 1995 with an 8-4-1 (1 KO) record, stated that the version of Usyk who stepped in twice against Anthony Joshua could not defeat Tyson.

“He can’t be beat in this form,” said Fury Sr. “He’s got everything. He’s got too much. My son can beat him [Usyk], and I can beat any man on his team. There you go.”

Don’t expect to have heard the last of any Riyadh rumbles, as there are still a couple of days left to go until fight night. Even Fabio Wardley and David Adeleye’s respective teams engaged in a red carpet ruckus in the lead-up to their October 2023 clash. There’s always something bubbling under the surface when the big men and their entourages end up in close proximity.

Fast-forward to May 2024. Chairs remain ready, tables hopefully secured to the floor, and glass water jugs replaced by plastic containers as the temperature starts to build once more.