That Deontay Wilder rematch may be on hold until the new year, but former unified heavyweight champ Tyson Fury once again made sure he was the centre of attention.
Fury swapped the boxing world to make a fuss in the wrestling one, when he continued his so-called beef with WWE pro Braun Strowman, causing a mass barney at the most recent RAW event in Bakersfield, California.
It was the familiar story of all being eyes on Fury as, wearing his ‘You Big Dosser’ t-shirt, The Gypsy King interrupted proceedings at open-mic night. He refused to be cornered, taking out a whole posse of protectors and security with a plethora of punches to confront ‘The Monster Among Men’ Strowman.
Strowman's fellow wrestlers had to step in to split them up in classic sports entertainment style.
The "bad blood" between the pair stems from a storyline which started at Friday's SmackDown event.
Strowman called out the ringside Fury, who was in attendance with his family for his son’s eighth birthday. The Mancunian boxer had to be restrained by security as the wrestler goaded him on the canvas.
Fury said in the aftermath of that initial confrontation:
If Braun Strowman doesn’t behave himself he will get some of these hands, the big dosser!
Fury isn’t the first boxer to get in on the act, in the weird and wacky world of WWE. It turns out he’s in good company...
Evander Holyfield v Matt Hardy
In 2007, 44-year-old Evander Holyfield helped headline Saturday Night’s Main Event XXXV by strutting determinedly into the Madison Square Garden ring to take on Matt Hardy, one half of The Hardy Boyz. Introduced by legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer, ‘The Man Who Will Not Die’ got padded-up and took on the 218lb, four-time world heavyweight champion ‘Real Deal’ Holyfield. Hardy took the punches like a champ - or as the commentators stated ‘a lunatic’ - before hitting the canvas in the second round. Holyfield wasn’t done there however, and was sick of his trainer MVP running his mouth, so promptly made sure he knew by shutting that mouth up and hugging Hardy.
Hardy would later say about facing up to Holyfield: “[He's] one of the greatest boxers of all-time, and he's legitimately mad. If he wants to beat me up there's nothing I can do. It was intimidating, but it was an honour to be in the ring with him."
Ricky Hatton v Chavo Guerrero
November 9 2009 - Hitman enters the Sheffield Arena to the tune of Manchester City anthem ‘Blue Moon’, ready to put the gloves on again, a virtual recreation of his world junior welterweight bout against Carlos Maussa.
But on this occasion there was a black taxi, a red phone box, and a post box, just to make sure Stateside viewers were aware this bout was taking place in England. WWE’s Chavo Guerrero had earlier challenged Hatton - the guest host at the event - to a game of darts after spotting the boxer alongside Santino Marella in a mocked up ‘Ricky Fatton’ suit backstage. Hatton, to his credit, promptly hit a bullseye. Then it was fight night as boxer took on wrestler.
With a flurry of body blows, Hatton forced Chavo to exit the ring, before his re-entry allowed Hatton to show his best wrestling techniques, including taking a kick to the head. A right hook by Hatton eventually ended the show.
“I was a massive fan of wrestling in my younger days, I watch it on a regular basis with my little boy," Hatton said of the exhibition. "He’ll be very proud seeing his dad in the ring with all his heroes.
Floyd Mayweather v Big Show
It was “The Biggest v The Best’ at WWE WrestleMania 24, with an extremely game Mayweather taking on Big Show. From a distance, the fight looked liked a teacher trying to catch a disobedient child with the 7ft Big Show at one point hoisting Mayweather - a good 18 inches shorter - off the ground and over the corner, another time putting his full weight on the prone boxer. With Money taking too much damage his entourage dragged him off the stage in retreat, with a raging Big Show in hot pursuit and eventually thrusting Mayweather back into the ring.
Bad move Big Show!
After another interception by the Mayweather Promotions corner which distracted the wrestler, Mayweather took his chance, the chair came into action, a knuckle-duster even came on, and he soaked up the victory. What a classic.
Mike Tyson v Shawn Michaels
Iron Mike has such a long association with WWE that he has a page on the company’s Superstar Hall of Fame, being inducted in 2012. It was in the aftermath of his infamous bite on Evander Holyfield and subsequent rescinding of his boxing licence that Tyson first made his WWE debut in 1998. Wrestlemania XIV in Boston, Massachusetts was the setting for his unveiling, with the ostracised Tyson front and centre of the promotion for the event. Tyson was the hype man and assisted in Stone Cold Steve Austin’s knockout of ‘Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels, with an impeccable right thump to the jaw.