Tyson Fury 30-0-1 (21) proved to be a man of his word as he outboxed and outpunched Deontay Wilder 42-1-1 (41) to claim the WBC heavyweight championship by seventh-round knockout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.
The 31-year-old Brit promised to knockout the reigning champion in the second round and while the end didn’t come as quickly as he predicted, he did have Wilder on the deck in the third round courtesy of a right hand and again in the fifth with a left hand to the body.
“The king has returned to his throne,” proclaimed Fury, whose previous run as WBA, IBF and WBO world champion was cut short by drugs, alcohol and depression.
Fury was deducted a point in round five for grabbing and pushing, but it was purely academic. Judges Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld gave him every round with identical scores of 59-52, while judge Glenn Feldman awarded Wilder the second for a score of 58-53.
Referee Kenny Bayless halted the carnage at 1:39 of the seventh frame when Wilder’s corner threw in the towel when the 34-year-old American was getting pummelled in a neutral corner.
“Even the greatest have lost and come back,” said Wilder, who weighed in at a career-high 231-pounds. “I make no excuses. This is what big-time boxing is all about.
“I wish my corner would have let me go out on my shield. He did what he did. There’s no excuses.”
Fury praised Wilder after the fight.
“He manned up and he really did show the heart of a champion,” Fury said. “He’s a warrior, he will be back, he will be a champion again. But the king has returned.”
With the win Fury has created a mandate to face fellow Brit and WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21) who regained his belts with a 12-round unanimous decision victory over conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in December.
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