Dillian Whyte has insisted he wasn't outclassed by Tyson Fury despite being brutally KO'd by 'The Gypsy King' in their world heavyweight title bout.
The pair went head-to-head in front of 94,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, as Whyte finally got the title shot he craved. It was WBC and The Ring champion Fury though, who wowed fans with a spectacular entrance before backing it up with a masterful display.
The Manchester man headed to the ring on a throne before climbing down and sprinting through the ropes. In the meantime, a remix of American Pie and Kings of Leon reverberated around the arena.
Once the bell sounded, Whyte surprised everyone, including his opponent, by starting off southpaw. But after a quiet first round, it was Fury who took first control.
He clearly won the four rounds that followed as 'The Body Snatcher' appeared to tire, employing some questionable tactics in the fourth. Then in round six came the decisive blow, with Fury landing a savage right uppercut and although the challenger did rise back to his feet, referee Mark Lyson immediately called an end to proceedings.
Afterwards, Fury immediately doubled down on his pre-bout pledge to retire whilst Whyte, despite the comprehensive nature of his defeat, remained defiant: "There wasn't a lot in it – it was a close fight and I didn't feel like I was outclassed in there," he told BBC Radio.
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"My game plan was to press him and start moving forward. I was trying to attack but one slip and I got caught with the shot. He's a big awkward guy – I was expecting that."
And Whyte insisted the experience would benefit his career as he continues his long held ambition to become a world champion: "It was always going to be an awkward fight, but I was trying to set up and be patient and land what I could early and from round three onwards start to press," he added.
"It was a good learning experience." Whyte needed oxygen after the bout and required stitches, although did not need to visit hospital. And Fury himself backed the man he conquered to bounce back.
"Dillian is a warrior and I believe he will be a world champion," he said in his post-fight interview. "One of the greatest and, unfortunately, he had to fight me tonight. You are not messing with a mediocre heavyweight, you are messing with the best man on the planet."
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