Broadcaster Kate Abdo has expressed dismay at veteran promoter Bob Arum using “entirely inappropriate language” in attacking her handling of a Tyson Fury press conference.
Ahead of Saturday night’s fight in Las Vegas, when Fury will face American Deontay Wilder, Abdo was accused of bias as she attempted to calm a heated argument between the heavyweight pair.
Abdo attempted to persuade the fighters into the normal formality of a staredown.
But, with tensions still apparently at boiling point, Arum, Fury’s co-promoter, shouted loudly offstage that a face-off would not be happening. Arum later hit out at Abdo’s conduct, telling reporters: “They bring this woman in from the UK, and she’s slanting all the press conference to Wilder.
“I don’t give a damn, but it’s obvious that that’s what she was doing. And then she knew the understanding was no face-off.
“Tom Brown [Wilder’s promoter] argued with Fox for no face-off, we said no face-off and what does she say? ‘Now we’re gonna do a face-off’.
“F— her and f— them, there was no face-off and we saved the fight.”
Abdo, who fronts NBC’s Champions League coverage and has recently been at the forefront of DAZN’s boxing shows, responded in a post on her Instagram story, saying: “With regards to the face-off – I was doing what we, the broadcaster, believed was agreed upon.
“But I think that’s kind of unimportant now. I have nothing but respect for Bob Arum and the empire he has created.
“I understand what he means to boxing and what this sport owes him.
“I think the language in this interview was entirely inappropriate.
“Of course it’s disappointing to be disrespected by someone I respect.
“But that’s life, not everyone will give you the courtesy you deserve.”
Wilder had earlier doubled down on his assertion that Fury had only prevailed in their second fight 20 months ago because of underhand tactics.
And he insisted: “I don’t regret it, I will go to my grave believing in what I believe in.” But in his closing remarks at the press conference, Fury, who was accused without any evidence of tampering with his gloves last time out, asked why Wilder had brought in new trainer Malik Scott and overhauled his preparation for this trilogy contest.
The World Boxing Council champion said: “I ask the question, if I only won because I cheated, what was the point of changing everything and doing all this other work?
“Deep down in his soul, he knows that he lost and he’ll lose again.
“After this fight, he’ll be back working in that fast food chain that he was working at earlier on in his career. It’s retirement for him.”