Boxing enthusiasts got a special treat this weekend as heavyweight champion Tyson Fury defended his WBC and The Ring magazine heavyweight titles against challenger Deontay Wilder, defeating the heavy-handed brawler in dominating fashion with a TKO in the 11th round of the bout.
The event, which was originally scheduled to take place on July 24 and postponed due to Fury testing positive for COVID-19, took place on Saturday (Oct. 9) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight ended the pair’s epic heavyweight trilogy and has been praised as the most entertaining match of the year, thus far, with multiple knockdowns by each fighter sending the crowd into a frenzy.
AND STILL ?
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) October 10, 2021
Heading into the fight, many experts believed Wilder, who weighed in at 238 lbs, needed to improve his technical boxing abilities and not rely strictly on his devastating right hand in order to have a chance at scoring a victory. Fury, who was forced to a rematch against Wilder due to a contractual agreement from their last bout, was widely believed to be the superior pure boxer.
Still, he appeared disinterested in the match after a fight with fellow Brit and former unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua fell through following a defeat to Oleksandr Usyk. In addition, the stamina of Fury, who weighed in at 277 lbs, was also questioned as a factor that could lead to an upset by Wilder, who was considered the underdog coming into the fight.
However, despite Wilder scoring some big shots, including two knockdowns of Fury in the 4th round, it was The Gypsy King that proved to be the better man in the ring when the gloves were touched and the opening bell rang. Using his prowess against Wilder to wear him down and score knockdowns in the 3rd, 10th, and 11th rounds of the bout, Fury retained his titles and entrenched himself as the best fighter in the heavyweight division.
THE GYPSY KING REIGNS SUPREME.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) October 10, 2021
With Joshua’s defeat to Usyk, who are expected to participate in a rematch, putting a temporary monkey-wrench in the possibility of a showdown between the two Brits at Wembley Stadium in the U.K., Fury’s quest to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion is close to coming to an end, as he is expected to fight the victor of Usyk vs. Joshua for all of the belts.
For Wilder, who fell to 42-2-1 and said, “I did my best, but it wasn’t good enough,” in a presser while conceding defeat, it’s unclear where his boxing career goes from here. However, his show of heart and gritty determination in the latter rounds gives fans hope that he can pick up the pieces and have an opportunity to compete for the heavyweight title in the future.
First facing off against one another in a 2018 bout for then-undefeated Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title that ended in a split draw, Fury and Wilder met once again in the ring in February 2020, with Wilder’s team throwing in the towel in the 7th round after the Alabama native took a severe beating, damaging his eardrum. That decision, which Wilder publicly disagreed with, led to the firing of trainer and former world champion boxer Mark Breland, who was replaced by trainer Malik Scott.
Wilder, who drew criticism for his explanations of the loss, including accusations of cheating by Fury and his camp, vowed to avenge his defeat, while Fury pegged Wilder as a sore loser among other slights, raising anticipation for a third and final clash between the two to determine who was the superior fighter once and for all.
And with the multiple fireworks that took place in the ring between the two this past Saturday, the showdown was one for the ages that will surely go down as one of the greatest boxing moments in modern history.
Check out highlights from the epic match below: