*Fury (right) damaged Wilder with heavy shots as the 35-year-old had his lip busted open while he was bleeding from the ear
By Jeff Powell
Tyson Fury pulled off the greatest victory for any English boxer abroad as he stopped America’s KO king Deontay Wilder with an utterly dominant, devastating performance. The Gypsy King as he is fondly called by fans arrived in the ring carried on a golden throne and ascended into the pantheon of all-time heavyweight greats on the wings of genius.
Fury has now completed a full set of the world heavyweight belts by adding Wilder’s WBC title and the Ring Magazine accolade to the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO prizes he held previously after defeating Wladimir Klitschko. But the manner of it enhanced the accomplishment. This was simply phenomenal. Fury not only battered around the most feared puncher in the ring but his aggressive tactics took away Wilder’s space in which to throw his Bronze Bombs.
Fury floored twice the man who had done the same to him twice in their epic draw 14 months. This was the rematch but, astonishingly, it was hardly a match at all. Fury praised Wilder’s courage for getting up just as he had before fulfilling his customary promise to sing in the ring if he won. The choice of song was a little less complimentary: American Pie. “I told you I would do this,” Fury roared. Yes, he did. I am one of many who wish I had listened.
Wilder’s corner threw in the towel in the seventh just as referee Kenny Bayless intervened to save him from further punishment. He said: “I wish my team had let me go out on my shield.” After this it will require a lot of thought before he decides to implement the contracted loser’s right to demand a third fight. A late surge of money at the Vegas sports books cemented Wilder as the betting favourite, a position Fury had held since the fight was announced. But Fury relished the role of the underdog.
Both men arrived early with the arena barely a third full for the preliminary bouts. So as the big screens picked them up walking to their dressing rooms there were muted cheers from the early birds for Fury, in one of his suits of many colours, and just isolated cries of ‘Bomber’ for Wilder in dark kit. Wilder’s party seemed to get lost en route from his penthouse suite in the MGM and they took him and his fiancée on a ten to 15 minute march from the bottom of the elevator, through the thronged hotel lobby and around the inner corridors of the Grand Garden to reach his billet.
Perhaps it was to continue keeping them at distance following the Nevada Commission’s prohibition on them staging a stare-down at the weigh-in following a shoving and slagging match at the final media conference. However, they looked pictures of tranquility as they made their separate ways to work. Fury was then shown lounging and smiling at the cameras. A majority of the 16,000 crowd were expected to be vociferous Fury followers but the man himself said beforehand: ‘I love my supporters but when it comes to the fight it makes no difference if there’s 50,000 of my fans. Once the bell goes it’s just a boxing match between two men.’
So did the roars for the Gypsy King – in his crown and robes and carried to the ring on a golden throne – from the Brits and travellers. They also drowned out the American welcome for Wilder, in one of his trademark masks and body armour to a powerful rap about black power. Fury, who has famously battled mental health issues, showed lovely humour by his choice of song for his entrance: ‘Crazy.’ Prior to that there was huge acclaim for ring appearances by Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and loudest of all Mike Tyson.
*Powell writes for The Daily Mail