In the third and presumably final bout between Lineal and WBC Heavyweight champion, Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury (32-0-1) and Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (42-2-1), Fury put the proverbial nail in the coffin on the rivalry with a gutsy, back-and-forth fight that ended with the ultimate destruction of the former champion.
In their first meeting, Fury entered the ring as the underdog challenger taking on the ever dangerous, oft avoided, and longtime reigning champion, Deontay Wilder. Many expected Wilder, a man who in many folks’ estimation owns the most powerful single shot in boxing history by way of his right hand, to do yet again what he had done against every other opponent who ever entered the ring with him as a professional–knock him out.
In that bout, Fury did taste his power. Twice.
Yet, both times Fury returned to his feet and did something no one else had done; he remained upright. Weathering Wilder’s storm, Fury recovered fully and slickly boxed his way to a widely disputed draw in which he controlled the action besides the pair of knockdowns.
Many expected their follow up bout to be an exaggerated version of the first, Fury would win a decision by outboxing the power puncher, or Wilder would catch Fury again, only this time Fury wouldn’t recover.
Instead, Fury moved to America, joined the legendary Kronk Boxing Gym, gained 20 pounds and TKO’d Wilder using a bullying, pressure fighting style.
The second bout left little to be disputed (yes, there was a lot of dispute), but contractually, a third bout was set to be made. Thankfully, the third fight was made, as it delivered what was a modern day Heavyweight classic.
Ultimately, Saturday’s bout proved many things we believed in both fighters. Wilder proved yet again to be an all-time dangerous power puncher with tremendous heart, unwilling to bow out under immense pressure.
Fury, on the other hand, once again proved his grit in returning to his feet twice following thunderous blows from the power puncher to ultimately best the former champion and cement his place alone at the top of the Heavyweight division and alongside the all-time greats of the sport.
However, the realizations and resolutions weren’t received easily, as both men battled through hell on Saturday night in Las Vegas, en-route to unearthing the truth of their rivalry.
Early in the bout, Wilder sported an improved work rate, even incorporating effective body work which landed with relative regularity in what was an improved approach overall.
However, seemingly in an instance, Fury landed a thunderous right hand followed by an uppercut that sent Wilder to the canvas. The Bronze Bomber returned to his feet, but lacked any bearing on the situation. He stood on unsteady legs, his back on the ropes with unfocussed eyes as the round ended with Fury pounding him with mostly unanswered shots.
To all appearances, Tyson Fury had done it again. The fourth round looked to be a formality in which Fury would remove Wilder from consciousness and end their series of fights.
Instead, Wilder inexplicably recovered to score two knockdowns in what was by far his best moment of the time the two shared in the ring.
The Gypsy King, a man who seemed unbeatable and untouchable following their second meeting, ate the canvas twice, with the second coming moments before the rounds end. The bell, as it was for Deontay Wilder a round before, acted as Fury’s saving grace.
Following that moment, Fury again differentiated himself from the rest of the Heavyweight pack with his display of heart, chin and exceptional endurance for a man of his stature. As the brutal bout progressed, Wilder’s energy depleted. By the eighth round, it appeared that the former champion’s legs were barely under him.
The 10th round saw the definitive end of the trilogy in a way that cannot be disputed by anyone who was in the ring, alongside the ring, or watching from home. Fury, a man who would not be denied the title of greatest Heavyweight in the world sent Wilder, a man who refused to go out on anything but his own terms, flying limply to the floor with a thunderous overhand right.
Finally, after three years and three titan-clashing battles, a fitting conclusion proved what many knew leading into the fight: Tyson Fury is the world’s best Heavyweight.