LAS VEGAS -- With one final punch, Tyson Fury ended his epic heavyweight rivalry against Deontay Wilder after three fights that featured nine knockdowns each.
Fury jumped twice on the ground in the fourth round. Wilder was stopped in the 11th by Fury with a devastating right-hand in the 11th round. This thrilling finale to an outstanding boxing trilogy saw Wilder retain his WBC title.
Wilder was defeated by Fury (31-0-1 and 22 KOs), but it was only after a back-and forth event that featured five combined knockdowns as well as several moments of danger for either man. Wilder was eventually knocked to the floor at 1:10 in the 11th round by Fury (6'9") after Fury had fired a chopping hook from high up in the air.
Fury, the sport’s former unified world champion and lineal heavyweight champion, said that "it was a great fight." It was worthy of any trilogy in the history the sport has ever seen. He is a top fighter and gave me a (test) tonight."
Wilder (42-2-1), who was knocked out in round three, appeared to be on his exit. But, he miraculously rallied to defeat Fury twice in the last minutes of the fourth. Although the British champion was shaken, he kept fighting.
Fury stated, "He caught me twice in round four, but I never thought, 'Oh! This is over.'" "He shook and put me down. But that's boxing. That's also life. It doesn't matter how many times you are knocked down. Keep fighting and moving forward.
Wilder was again knocked out by Fury with a concussive right-hand midway through the 10th. But Wilder recovered and stunned Fury in its final seconds.
Fury continued to persevere -- and after the referee waved it off in the 11th for Fury, Fury took his place on the ropes in weary celebration in front of a frenzy crowd of 15,820 at T-Mobile Arena in the south end.
Fury broke into "Walking in Memphis" to continue his post-fight tradition.
Fury stated, "I haven’t seen the actual knockout tonight but I felt it." I hit him with a strong, crunching right-hand hook to the temple. Shots like this end careers. We'll see how he does in the future.
Wilder took a lot of punishment and seemed to be physically exhausted for most of the bout. However, the veteran American champion showed his toughness while still throwing powerful shots on tired legs. Wilder landed 72 punches, while Fury managed 150. Wilder was able to land 52 in the last three rounds.
This fight probably ended one of the most memorable rivalries of recent boxing history -- a trio defined by two extraordinary displays of pugilistic tenacity. Fury stated that the rivalry was over and done with.
In late 2018, they met in Los Angeles. Wilder knocked Fury down twice in the final rounds of an excellent fight that Fury had otherwise controlled. Fury was left flat on his back, motionless after the second round's 12th round knockdown. Wilder celebrated but Fury improbably rose to the bell to end the bout in a split draw.
In February 2020, Fury won the second fight in Las Vegas. Wilder was beaten by the British champion until the seventh round when Wilder's side gave up on the victory. Fury won Wilder's WBC title.
Wilder proved to be even more tough in this crucial third meeting -- and he was repeatedly close to defeating Fury, a superior technician.
Wilder started the first round strong with a jab and a solid game plan. However, he seemed to be tired early because he didn’t hurt Fury very early. Fury shocked Wilder with a shot, then managed to escape a clinch to land two-punch combinations that brought Wilder to his knees. Wilder survived the assault by Fury, who threw Wilder to the ground with the crowd at his feet.
Fury seemed to be in control up until the fourth when Wilder struck a powerful right-hand directly to Fury's forehead. Fury fell to the ground, but he managed to stand up and was then thrown back to the ground by Wilder's powerful right hand.
Fury won the round and both fighters landed devastating shots in the fifth, sixth and sixth rounds. Wilder was hurt in round seven by Fury, who landed a series punches that sent Wilder crashing back against the ropes.
With two more big shots in the eighth, Fury again hurt Wilder. The ringside doctor checked Wilder and allowed the fight to continue into ninth.
Fury also used a damaging right hand to sweep Wilder's legs under his feet in the 10th. Wilder won the round and even injured Fury late.
The encounter ended with one more right-hand from close range. Wilder reached for his ropes, but fell facefirst with his eyes glazed.
Wilder lost the fight, but it was a confirmation of his impressive toughness and determination to win this third fight, despite the fact that their first meeting was so uneventful.
Wilder used the rematch clause of his contract to reclaim and reclaim his belt. An arbitrator ruled in Fury's favor after Fury tried to book a fight with Anthony Joshua, a British heavyweight. Fury agreed to end the trilogy but stated that he would not stop Wilder.
It did happen, but it was only after far more drama than Fury could have imagined.
Fury stated that he had defeated Fury three times. "I'm a sportman and I wanted him to feel some love and respect. He didn't want it back." He doesn't want to give it back.