Tyson Fury climbed after two knockdowns in the fourth round and stopped Deontay Wilder in round 11 on Saturday night, retaining his WBC title in a thrilling conclusion to an excellent heavyweight trilogy.
Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) finished with Wilder for the second time in a row in his three fights, but only after a crazy night with five combined knockdowns.
“It was a great fight,” Fury said. “It was worthy of any trilogy in sports history. He’s the best fighter and he gave me a real test tonight. ”
– Sport (@eyesight_sports) October 10, 2021
Wilder was knocked down in the third round and looked like he was about to come out, but he incredibly pulled himself together to knock Fury twice in the final minutes of the fourth round.
Wilder (42-2-1) took a gruesome punishment and appeared to be physically exhausted for most of the fight, but the veteran champion showed his resilience by continuing to power punches to tired legs.
Fury knocked out Wilder again with a right hand midway through the 10th round, but Wilder knocked out Fury in the last seconds of the round.
Fury finally finished it in the 11th, sending Wilder face forward to the canvas with a chopping right hand released from above. Fury climbed the ropes in a weary party in front of a frantic crowd of 15,820 at the T-Mobile Arena on the southern tip of the Las Vegas Strip.
“Never doubt me when the chips are down,” Fury said. “I can always deliver.”
“I know you had your hearts in your mouth, but never doubt me when the chips run out!”
– Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) October 10, 2021
Fury then performed a rendition of Walking Memphis, in keeping with his post-combat tradition of serenading his crowds.
The fight likely ended one of the most memorable competitions in recent boxing history, a trilogy featuring nine combined knockdowns and two remarkable displays of boxing tenacity. A trilogy is a rarity in modern sports, but Fury and Wilder have brought out the best in each other over a series spanning nearly three calendar years.
They first met in late 2018 in downtown Los Angeles, where Wilder knocked out Fury twice in the final rounds of a great fight. A second knockdown in the 12th round left Fury lying on his back and immobile as Wilder celebrated, but Fury rose incredibly and reached the bell in a scrum that decided a split draw.
The second fight was in Las Vegas in February 2020, with Fury clearly dominating. The British champion defeated Wilder until the seventh round, when Wilder’s corner cast a shadow on a one-sided win and Fury took Wilder’s WBC title belt.
In this decisive third meeting, Wilder opened the first round with a strong jab and good game plan, but seemed to tire quickly when he didn’t hurt Fury.
In the last minute of the third minute, Fury stunned Wilder with a shot, then dodged a clinch and delivered a two-hitting combo that brought Wilder to his knees. Fury hit Wilder again, lifting the crowd to their feet, but Wilder made it to the bell.
Fury seemed to be in control for the rest of the fourth round when Wilder landed a powerful right hand right on top of Fury’s head. Fury staggered and eventually fell to the canvas, but immediately got up and after a few moments again fell to the ground under the stunned roar of the crowd.
Fury made it to the fourth round and both fighters hit incredibly strong punches without knocking down in the fifth and sixth rounds. Fury hit Wilder in seventh place with a series of punches that left Wilder stretched out on the ropes.
Fury again wounded a clearly exhausted Wilder in eighth place with two powerful shots, and the ringside doctor examined Wilder before continuing the fight to ninth.
Fury’s devastating right hand flew out from under Wilder’s feet in the 10th round, but Wilder ended the round, even hurting Fury late.
He ended with another right hand at close range. Descending, Wilder reached for the ropes, but landed facedown with glazed eyes.
The fight was another loss for Wilder, but a testament to the former American Olympian’s impressive resilience and determination to fight this third fight even after the one-sided nature of their second encounter.
Wilder bizarrely suffered his first defeat since the 2008 Beijing Olympics last year. He fired Mark Breland, his longtime trainer, who threw a towel, and then accused him of pouring muscle relaxant into his water bottle. Wilder also claimed that Fury had illegal gloves, amid many flimsy claims that Fury – no stranger to ridiculous behavior – made fun of Wilder for his lack of professionalism.
“I beat him three times,” Fury said after the final. “I tried to show him respect, but he didn’t give it up.”
But Wilder also applied the rematch clause in his contract to reclaim the belt, and the referee ruled in his favor after Fury tried to make an appointment with fellow British heavyweight Anthony Joshua. Fury meekly agreed to complete the trilogy, but made it clear that he expects to stop Wilder again.
It happened, but only after a drama much more dramatic than even Fury could have imagined.