At the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Tyson Fury retained his WBC heavyweight title by sending Deontay Wilder to the ground for the third time with a vicious right hand to the head in the 11th round.
The thrilling slugfest was more competitive than many expected, but it still concluded with the British boxer outboxing the American to retain his undefeated lineal title.
Wilder was the aggressor early, utilizing his jab to back up the larger Fury while snatching every opportunity to unleash his powerful right hand, which he lost to Fury in a one-sided contest 20 months earlier.
Fury weathered the early storm and knocked Wilder out in the third round with a short uppercut, but the American came back in the fourth round and knocked Fury out twice with close-range head smashes.
But, much as he did when he was knocked out in the 12th round of their first fight, Fury absorbed the blow and got back up.
Fury then grabbed charge and bludgeoned Wilder, taking him off his feet in the tenth round before finishing the fight with a straight right hand to the side of his head that knocked Wilder face-first to the mat.
Despite being behind on the scorecards, the fight never felt fully out of reach for Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) because of his right hand, which Fury generally avoided.
After the first bout finished in a draw and Fury dominating the second, Fury (31-0-1) has now won two of the three meetings between the adversaries.
On Saturday, Fury remarked, “It was a magnificent bout tonight, it was worthy of any trilogy in the history of the sport.”
“Deontay Wilder is a great fighter who gave me a good battle. I’ve always maintained that I’m the finest in the world, and he’s a distant second.”
After the fight, Fury serenaded the fans with a performance of “Walking in Memphis.”
After the bout, the battered Wilder reportedly went to the hospital.