Wilder vs Fury II decides heavyweight champion

Tyson Fury declared king of heavyweights
"The Gypsy King" Tyson Fury wins heavyweight title. licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0, from SportsCenter.

On February 22, the much-anticipated bout between the “Bronze Bomber” Deontay Wilder and the “Gypsy King” Tyson Fury went toe-to-toe in MGM Grand Garden Arena. Amongst the fans, the fight was proclaimed as the “monster fight of the decade” or the true equalizer for the king of heavyweights. In December 2018, the two heavyweight division leaders fought, when it ended as a draw. This led to an explosion of debates on who was the better fighter. Two years later, as a result of a TKO in round seven, Fury now holds the WBC Heavyweight title alongside the title of Lineal Heavyweight champion of the world. “I just want to say a big shout out to Deontay Wilder… he showed the heart of a champion. He is a warrior, he will be back and he will be a champion again,” Fury said to his cheer-filled crowd. “But I will say, the king has returned to the top of the throne!”

At the weigh-in, Fury came in at 273 pounds, 16.5 pounds heavier than his last meeting with Wilder. “The weight is not a problem, 273 pounds of pure British beef,” Fury said to cheers from a supportive Las Vegas crowd. Wilder weighed in at 231 pounds, 17.5 pounds heavier than their last bout: “I’m not worried about his [Tyson Fury’s] weight. What I told him was, ‘don’t blink.’”

Before the fight, Deontay Wilder was undefeated as his record was 42-0-1, 41 of which were from knockouts. Putting his WBC Heavyweight title on the line for the eleventh time, Wilder could have amplified his infamous persona with a win against the lineal champ. However, Fury was not another obstacle that he could punch through. Tyson Fury’s record was 29-0-1, 23 of which were knockouts. Arguably the better fighter in their first fight, going into the rematch, Fury finished what he started.

As soon as the bell went off, Fury walked down Wilder with no hesitation. Due to the Gypsy King’s strategy, Wilder was forced to fight on the back foot throughout the entire fight. In Wilder’s previous wins, his knockouts were most prominent while pressuring his opponents; this time, it was different. Late in round three, Fury dropped Wilder to the canvas with a clean right hook to the left ear, leaving everyone in awe. The punch was so explosive that a river of blood began to flow through Wilder’s ear during the match. Then, in round five, the Gypsy King got another knockdown through a rib-shattering body shot. By far the most shocking aspect of the fight, Fury licked a bit of blood off of Wilder’s shoulder during a clench in the sixth round. In the seventh round, Wilder was a battered warrior fighting to retain his pride. Punch after punch, the Bronze Bomber was helpless and eventually found himself leaning on the ropes. This is where Fury continued his assault. Eventually, after seeing that their fighter was in no condition to fight, Wilder’s corner threw the towel in; ending the fight surprisingly.

“Things like this happen. The best man won,” Wilder said during a post-fight interview. “My coach threw in the towel and I was ready to go out on my shield… I just wish that my corner would’ve let me go out on my shield. I’m a warrior.” On Fury’s end, he closed the post-fight festivities inside the ring by presenting the crowd with his rendition of “American Pie” by Don McLean.

Due to the Gypsy King’s victory, fans are anticipating a fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. On December 7, Joshua beat Andy Ruiz to retrieve the IBF, IBO, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titles. The only heavyweight title that Joshua does not have is the WBC belt, now held by Fury. Although a fight between the two has not yet been confirmed, on February 24, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn had something to say: “For us, for AJ, the clear priority has always been undisputed,” Hearn said. “And if there’s a chance to fight Fury next, we will grab it with both hands.”