Tyson Fury stops Deontay Wilder with brutal 11th-round knockout to retain WBC heavyweight title

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·5-min read
Tyson Fury stops Deontay Wilder with brutal 11th-round knockout to retain WBC heavyweight title
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Tyson Fury bounced back from two knockdowns in one round to brutally stop a brave Deontay Wilder and retain his WBC world heavyweight title in a dramatic trilogy fight in Las Vegas.

Fury - who is also still The Ring and lineal heavyweight champion - put Wilder down in round three of a thrilling contest that will go down as an instant classic, but the ‘Bronze Bomber’ fought back admirably to secure two knockdowns in the fourth at T-Mobile Arena as momentum swung wildly.

However, Fury took control of a thrilling bout from there with his superior boxing skills, sending an exhausted but courageous Wilder - who still carried that one-punch threat - to the floor again in round 10 before delivering a shuddering finish with a big right hand to the side of the head in the 11th that left his opponent sprawled across the canvas.

It was an incredible end to a remarkable heavyweight trilogy, with Fury having also emphatically stopped Wilder in February 2020 following an entertaining but controversial split-decision draw back in December 2018.

However, there remains no love lost between the two rivals, with the self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ left furious with his opponent’s lack of sportsmanship during a terse post-fight exchange.

“It was a great fight tonight, worthy of the best trilogies,” Fury said afterwards, before serenading the crowd with a rendition of ‘Walking in Memphis’.

“I will not make any excuses, Wilder is a top fighter, he gave me a run for my money. I always say I am the best fighter in the world and he is the second best.

“Don’t ever doubt me. When the chips are down I can always deliver.”

Both men entered the contest at career-heaviest weights, but Wilder’s extra muscle did not look to slow him down early on during a fast, positive start to proceedings as he smartly teed up his dangerous right hand with effective left jabs.

However, Fury produced a strong right of his own before the bell and shaded a combative second round, with Wilder quickly forgetting his early tactics and gambling in search of that knockout blow, but leaving himself open in the process as he was floored by a huge right with 30 seconds left in the third, just about making the bell as Fury went for the finish.

Fury looked confident as he looked to drive home that advantage in round four, only to be sent down by one of Wilder’s sledgehammer right hands with 40 seconds to go.

One knockdown quickly became two in a remarkable fourth, with Fury caught massively again after both men traded heavy blows.

There was a pulsating sense that the fight really could go either way with both boxers clearly hurt, though Fury rocked Wilder at the start of the fifth, with the former champion later responding in kind in a close round.

But Fury was beginning to settle back into a rhythm and fought on the front foot and smartly on the inside, using his near three-stone weight advantage to lean on Wilder up close and sap his energy at every opportunity and also boxing well from the outside.

Wilder looked exhausted and continued to desperately try and land a knockout punch, but suddenly those right hands had lost their snap and Fury capitalised further, hurting him in the seventh and eight rounds as he asserted his dominance, with Wilder somehow staying upright.

Wilder looked out on his feet by now and was assessed by the ringside doctor before the start of round nine, but was allowed to continue.

He was down again with over a minute left in the 10th, absorbing further gruelling punishment but somehow mustering the strength to end the round on the offensive.

But he was no longer able to hurt Fury and the end came in the 11th, when the champion perfectly set up a devastating right hand that sent him crashing to the canvas for the final time.

In an underwhelming chief support act, Cuba’s Frank Sanchez maintained his unbeaten record and kept the WBC Continental Americas and WBO-NABO heavyweight titles with a dominant unanimous decision win over the big-punching Efe Ajagba, who suffered his first professional loss.

In a rematch of one of the biggest upsets of 2020, two-time European heavyweight champion Robert Helenius followed up his shock knockout of Adam Kownacki with a relentless one-sided beatdown that was ended in round six after the latter - who dealt with a horribly swollen left eye from early in round one - was disqualified for repeated low blows.

Two-time US national champion Jared ‘Big Baby’ Anderson also produced an emphatic second-round stoppage of Russia’s Vladimir Tereshkin to collect the junior NABF heavyweight title.

In the prelims, highly-rated super-middleweight Edgar Berlanga withstood a shock knockdown to outpoint the experienced Marcelo Esteban Coceres and claim the vacant NABO belt in his toughest test to date.

However, there was a big upset early on as former unified light-middleweight world champion Julian Williams lost a decision after a gruelling bout with Mexico’s Vladimir Hernandez.

The earliest portion of the fight card brought a victory for two-time Olympic champion Robeisy Ramirez against Orlando Gonzalez, while Bruce Carrington won on his professional debut against Cesar Cantu and Viktor Vykhryst also stopped Mike Marshall.

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