Tony Bellew argued with Deontay Wilder in heated backstage clash ahead of Anthony Joshua’s weigh-in vs Wladimir Klitschko


Tony Bellew and Deontay Wilder clashed when they met ahead of Anthony Joshua’s weigh-in against Wladimir Klitschko in 2017.

After his surprise victory over David Haye in March of that year, Bellew found himself in the unexpected position of being tipped for a world heavyweight title.

Wilder was WBC heavyweight champion at the time
Getty Images – Getty

It turns out that he would run into the then-WBC champion.

Bellew was mid-interview when Wilder spotted him across the arena and shouted his trademark, “BOMB SQUAD.”

The Scouser replied, “I don’t need a team.”

Wilder then passed with only a small barrier between them.

Bellew told him, “I’ve dealt with the second most dangerous heavyweight in the world before, I don’t have to fear anyone.”

Wilder replied, “However, you’re not dealing with that power.”

To which Bellew said, “I’ve dealt with someone more powerful than you.”

Tony Bellew argued with Deontay Wilder in heated backstage clash ahead of Anthony Joshua's weigh-in vs Wladimir Klitschko
Bellew was a heavyweight at the time

Wilder leaned over the barrier and asked Bellew, “You know what separates me from all the heavyweights? How I knock out a motherfucker.

“Not only did I break eye sockets, not only did I break bones, but I had them grabbed on the floor.”

Bellew replied, “Are you trying to scare yourself or scare me?

“I don’t care what you did, you’re just a man with two arms, two legs. My boxing brain is much better than yours.

The couple continued to exchange heated words for another two minutes, but also showed respect and ended their spat with a handshake.

Tony Bellew argued with Deontay Wilder in heated backstage clash ahead of Anthony Joshua's weigh-in vs Wladimir Klitschko
The pair were on better terms the following night as they worked with Sky Sports for Joshua vs Klitschko

In the end, Bellew and Wilder never fought as the Brit had to face David Haye instead.

After beating Haye again, he dropped back down to cruising weight for his fight with Oleksandr Usyk.

Bellew later explained the exact moment he decided not to challenge Wilder. He told iFL TV: “We clapped hands, I hugged him and he hugged me, and his arm literally wrapped around my whole body…

“It was as if his arm had tickled her chin and in that moment I knew that would never happen…I would never come near you.”


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