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Sports Sidelines: Boxing, Soccer and Ultimate Fighting: Tyson Fury, James Forrest (Celtic) and Conor McGregor

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury react as promoter Frank Warren (centre) keeps them apart during a press conference at BT Sport Studio, London 

I KNOW WHEN A MAN'S SCARED - AND WILDER'S TERRIFIED, CLAIMS FURY

Tyson Fury has accused Deontay Wilder of running scared and even claimed the WBC heavyweight champion is an awe of him.

The 30-year-old challenges Wilder for the one world heavyweight title he has never held at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on December 1, and they had to be separated at the conclusion of an increasingly tense press conference in London.

They will also visit New York and LA to continue promoting their fight before the end of the week - following Wilder flying to Belfast for Fury's victory over Francesco Pianeta in August - and Fury has insisted that in their more private moments together Wilder retreats into his shell.

In public both fighters consistently cut brash and confident figures, but Fury said: "He hasn't got what he says he's got. I see fear in Deontay Wilder, I could sense his heartbeat through his suit.

"I know when a man's scared - Wilder's terrified of me. He's timid when he's around me - looks at the floor, doesn't make eye contact, all that sort of stuff. Even when he's around me, off-stage."

Fury has been accused of only taking such a dangerous fight, just the third of his comeback, for the significant purse he will be paid.

The powerful Wilder has stopped each of his previous 39 opponents, but Fury also believes that the American is wary that will not be enough.

"I don't need anymore fights," he said, having previously revealed he would have preferred a further warm-up before December, which could define his career.

"I don't need one more fight. If it's going to be his easiest fight then he should knock me out in one round, shouldn't he? With one punch.

"(Wladimir) Klitschko was a proven puncher who banged me right in the chin - it didn't do anything. He was catching me throughout the fight with big shots - it didn't do a thing.

"Everyone who's a massive puncher can't take one back, because they load up with everything, leave themselves wide open, and wallop. All of a sudden they're looking up at the stars.

"If I say I'm ready to fight, I'm ready to fight. If I wasn't ready, I wouldn't take the fight."

Fury had a similarly-aggressive exchange with Klitschko at the first press conference to promote the fight he unexpectedly won in November 2015.

It was later largely felt that he had got under the then IBF, WBA and WBO champion's skin, but Wilder said: "Guys try to get into my head because my mind's so strong.

"He thinks that by talking like he did with Klitschko, and getting inside his head, it's going to be the same thing, but I'm a different person. You can't do that with me."

Asked about a rumoured rematch clause in his contract, in the event of a Fury victory, and if that meant a rematch could take place in the UK, he responded: "There's a lot of things in the contract. Anything could happen - I'm going to fight over here eventually, one day, whether it's Fury, whether it's (Anthony) Joshua, whether it's (Dillian) Whyte."

 

Celtic's James Forrest (left) Ranger's Lee Wallace battle for the ball during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow on Saturday September 10, 2016

 

 

JAMES FORREST INSISTS HE IS READY FOR SCOTLAND IF CALLED UPON

Celtic winger James Forrest has vowed not to read too much into his recent Scotland exclusion and be ready when called upon by Alex McLeish.

Forrest emerged as a key player under Gordon Strachan, starting in four World Cup qualifying wins last year, but did not feature at all in last month's games against Belgium and Albania.

McLeish did not start with wingers in those games, using his wing-backs for width instead, but he has picked Forrest in his latest squad for games against Israel and Portugal.

"He spoke to me after the Albania game and just said it wasn't to be for those two games but he said I was still in his plans," Forrest said.

"Every time you go away it's different formations and not always the same team so I just need to keep working hard, not look too much into it and be ready for the next two games coming up."

The 27-year-old added: "Obviously I was disappointed. If you ask any player, if they don't play, they'll say that. At the same time, I was glad we got the good win against Albania."

Forrest's immediate concern is Celtic's Europa League encounter at Salzburg as they look to build on their opening group win over Rosenborg.

"We've started with one out of one so far in the Europa League so we'll take confidence from that," Forrest said.

"But we definitely know they're going to be a difficult team and they got a good result in their first game as well.

"Every game in Europe, home and away, is always tough so we know we need to be ready right from the start and put in a good performance."

 

UFC star Conor McGregor 

 

 

WATCHING FROM OUTSIDE MADE ME HUNGRY; NOW I'M BACK TO SHOW WHO'S KING - McGREGOR

By David Charlesworth, Press Association Sport in Las Vegas

Conor McGregor admitted he "fell out of love with the game", but is now hungrier than ever to recapture former glories when he makes a long-awaited return to the UFC.

McGregor takes on bitter rival Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in Las Vegas this weekend, nearly two years since last stepping foot inside the octagon.

On that occasion in November 2016, the Irishman defeated Eddie Alvarez to add the lightweight title to his featherweight strap and become the only man to ever hold two UFC belts simultaneously.

However, he was stripped of his 145lb title in the same month he beat Alvarez, while his inactivity meant Nurmagomedov was installed as lightweight champion earlier this year.

Being relieved of the crowns still rankles with McGregor, who had a brief foray into boxing during his UFC hiatus, as he told TheMacLife.com: "I spent my entire life's work to win those two UFC titles.

"I sacrificed so much to gain those world titles and then as soon as I win the second world title - I hadn't even been offered a featherweight contest - and the featherweight title was taken off me.

"These kind of things irritated me, especially seeing what way it goes: who the belts are given to, who are the people who are challenging for the belts, who the person who has the belt is facing to get the belt.

"Many things irritated me in the game and just watching it all unfold, I just became a lot more hungry to come back and show who the real king is.

"I fell out of love with the game for a bit, went off and did my own thing, had many things going on and now I'm back. I'm hungry to compete and we're here right on the cusp of it."

Nurmagomedov will be making the first defence of the 155lb title he won by defeating late replacement Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 in April.

That Brooklyn event was overshadowed by McGregor gatecrashing a media day, with video footage appearing to show the Dubliner hurling a handtruck at a bus on which Nurmagomedov was a passenger.

The incident contributed to the ill-feeling between the fighters and McGregor was sentenced to five days of community service in the United States after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct.

Asked how he sees the fight against the Russian going, McGregor replied: "It's personal, but it's the same. It's always a little personal, but in there it's a blank face and a new body.

"I see him turning into a bobblehead when I hit him. I feel his brain is going to rattle when he gets a clatter off me. That's what I'm keeping in my head.

"But I am a veteran now. I will be prepared for five rounds. I will be prepared for any scenario. that's it. I'm well trained, I put in the work and we're confident wherever it goes."

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