Morecambe’s Tyson Fury will pull out of Saturday’s world heavyweight title clash with Wladimir Klitschko – and even joked he would fight the champion “bare knuckle” – if an agreement over gloves for the fight is breached.
Fury has revealed he may have to wait until the day before the fight before he is certain of challenging Klitschko at the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf.
Klitschko, the Ukrainian WBA/WBO/IBF champion, stipulated the type of gloves for Saturday’s bout.
But when the manufacturer, Paffen, sent Fury a test pair to train in, the Briton 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.
Fury said: “There’s a ruckus over the gloves. I mean this: If I don’t fight in the right gloves, then there’s no fight.
“I’m in Germany, in the town he picked, wearing the make of gloves he wanted, because I wouldn’t pick these.
“He’s had it all his own way in every single aspect and all I ask is that I’m treated fairly and to wear gloves which fit me, for the sake of my hands. Because this is not my last fight.
“After I knock him out, I’ll have other fights and I need my hands for my trade.
“I just want a normal glove. I either get the gloves I want or there’s no fight. Alternatively, we can do it bare-knuckle.”
Fury added: “They’re a German brand I think called Paffen.
“They sent me some gloves over which Wladimir had asked for and they had big giant thumbs which were about two or three inches bigger than normal so that the thumb is sticking out.
“Every time I was punching with them my thumb was nearly breaking.
“No matter how we tried breaking them in, it wasn’t working. I was hurting my hands all the time.
“We phoned the guys there and they said, ‘These are the gloves Klitschko has asked for and he won’t be happy if we give him any other gloves’.
“I said, ‘How can I box in gloves I’m not comfortable wearing?’ They sent me another style with normal thumbs which seemed to be okay.
“But then they said, ‘Oh it’s going to be a struggle to make these gloves in time’. They are still not made.
“Then Robert Smith (British Boxing Board of Control secretary) stepped in and said, ‘You need to make them on time because it’s not fair to have a fighter boxing in gloves he isn’t comfortable with in a world title fight’.”
Unbeaten Fury, 27, said: “You don’t get your gloves in advance so I won’t know until the rules meeting after the weigh-in whether they are ready.
“If I get the gloves with the big thumbs? It’s a no-go area. I’m not fighting in them because even if I throw a jab, I’m going to dislocate my thumb.
“Mind games won’t affect me at all.
“If there are no gloves there is no fight. It’s not rocket science.
“It’s like coming into a ring with no shoes on. It’s not going to be sanctioned. I would definitely not go back on this.”
Klitschko v Fury is live on Sky Sports Box Office on Saturday, November 28.