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Tyson Fury puts himself top of the list when it comes to all-time great heavyweights.
The Gypsy King may be getting ahead of himself there. Certainly for now at least.
But one thing is for sure and that this clash with Deontay Wilder would fit in any era and go down as an epic fight alongside the best ever.
There were five knockdowns and a brutal finish. It was empathic yet extremely entertaining.
It will go down as an all-time classic, one of the great heavyweight duels to settle what has turned out to be an amazing trilogy and rivalry between two forces in the glamour division.
Incredible to think that many didn’t even want to see Fury and Wilder share a ring again after the one-sided nature of their second fight back in February 2020.
Yet anyone who witnessed this will never forget it.
Fury, 33, had to pick himself up twice off the canvas in what almost turned into a career-changing fourth round.
But by the end, he had floored Wilder three times, the last one a brutal right hand which sent Wilder to the canvas head first in the 11th round and ensured the Brit would retain the WBC heavyweight title.
Who is the greatest heavyweight of all time? Let us know in the comments section
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This all happened in front of more than 15,000 fans amid a frenetic atmosphere inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The man to thank is Daniel Weinstein, the arbitrator who forced the trilogy fight by giving Wilder his contracted third fight with Fury.
We lost the all-British undisputed bout but this was some consolation.
The victory solidifies Fury’s position as the greatest heavyweight of this era.
But there is still more to achieve before he can be listed alongside the best of any time.
Beating Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua to become undisputed king would further enhance a remarkable CV that includes two wins and a draw with Wilder while also being the man to end Wladimir Klitschko’s reign as heavyweight ruler.
“There is a long, long line of great champions,” said Fury.
“They go right back to John L Sullivan, Jack Dempsey, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Ken Norton, the Klitschko brothers and so many.
“Even guys like today like Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk are good champions.
“Without sounding too sharp and clever, I place myself right at the top of the pile.
“I believe I can beat anyone in history, any man or I believe I have a great chance of beating them.
“I have always said there is a way to beat me, only one way and it is knock me spark out. If you can’t do that then I will win. I can only be the best of my era and I’m definitely that.”
When Fury had Wilder down in the third in the early hours of yesterday morning, it felt like this might be even easier than when he stopped him in seven rounds 20 months ago.
But the drama was only beginning. The fourth was chaos as it looked like Wilder was finished but Fury was rattled by a right hand and his fall was staggered.
Wilder went for the finish, caught Fury again and bundled him over. But Fury, just like he did twice in their first fight in December 2018, beat the count twice.
The Brit was back on top in the fifth, another right hand doing the damage.
Wilder had started the first going to the body but all he was doing now was looking to land a right and stay on his feet.
He, at times, was getting hammered by Fury but yet he stayed in the fight, and was always a threat.
New trainer Malik Scott was under strict instructions not to throw the towel in which meant there was a feeling of fear something bad could happen at any moment.
It was riveting stuff even if it, at times, resembled a bar brawl.
Wilder was put down in the 10th, a right spun him round before he hit the deck.
It was remarkable he beat the count, it was even more impressive that he somehow found something to hurt Fury with before the round was over.
Wilder’s bravery and heart can never be called into question. He is also an unmissable attraction as even when he’s getting beat like this, he is still a danger man.
But the end came in the 11th, the Bronze Bomber was defenceless on the ropes and a right hook put him down for the third and final time. Mora didn’t even bother with the count.
Fury’s trilogy with the American was finished.
There was no towel here, no long count and there simply can be no excuses as Wilder’s second career loss was confirmed in conclusive fashion.
The Gypsy King remains unbeaten in 32 fights and while he may not be the greatest ever, he’s the best of this era. For now.
- Tyson Fury
- The Inside Track
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