Sports

King Tyson subjects Deontay Wilder to fist of Fury

British boxer downs American in a 7th-round TKO win to earn heavyweight title

Britain's Tyson Fury delivered a dominant performance in his heavyweight championship bout with Deontay Wilder yesterday, overwhelming his opponent to earn a seventh-round TKO (technical knockout) victory in Las Vegas.

In the highly anticipated rematch between the two titans, Fury took control late in the first round and never relinquished it, knocking down Wilder twice and bloodying him en route to the referee stopping the fight in the seventh, where Wilder's corner threw in the towel.

"I must say the king has returned to the top of the throne," said Fury, the self-styled Gypsy King.

Fury used his reach advantage to continually beat Wilder to the punch. He took total control in the third, where he landed a right hand to Wilder's left ear to drop him to the canvas.

Wilder, 34, never regained his legs or footing after that, wobbling through the rest of the match.

Fury, 31, again dropped Wilder in the fifth with a body punch and then caught him in the corner with a flurry of punches in the seventh, where it ended.

"I want to say (Wilder) came in and he manned up and really did show the heart of the champion," Fury said. "He is a warrior, he will be back and he will be the champion again."

Fury (30-0-1) retained his lineal crown and now takes the WBC crown from Wilder (42-1-1) and settles the score between the two. The first fight between the boxers in December 2018 was called a draw.

Wilder, known for his violent right-hand knockouts, never got the chance to truly unleash his power. He landed a few overhand rights early in the fight, but was constantly under attack.

"Things like this happen, the best man won tonight. My side threw the towel - I would rather go out on my shield," Wilder said.

"Even the greatest have lost and come back, you take it for what it is. This is what big-time boxing is all about. The best must fight the best."

PLENTY OF PAGEANTRY

One of the most anticipated heavyweight fights in years, the event started with plenty of pageantry.

Former champions Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson were all introduced in the ring.

Fury made his way to the ring while sitting on a throne. Wilder was dressed in full dark armour and helmet.

With new trainer Javan "Sugarhill" Steward in his corner, and, with more than 16 additional pounds (7.3kg) on his 273-pound frame, Fury was on the attack early, backing Wilder up with his jab and landing several hard shots in the opening round.

He didn't produce the second-round knockout he'd predicted, but he was clearly in control.

The fight, the biggest heavyweight collision since Lennox Lewis bludgeoned Mike Tyson into submission on the banks of the Mississippi River in 2002, drew a star-studded crowd.

Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes was ringside, so were retired NBA greats Magic Johnson and Jerry West and current Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green.

Fury punctuated his win with another vocal performance, singing Don McLean's "American Pie" to the crowd.

With the rematch in the books, fight fans will be hoping to see Fury take on compatriot Anthony Joshua - holder of the IBF, WBA and WBO belts - in a heavyweight unification bout. - REUTERS, AFP

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