Tyson Fury batters Deontay Wilder en route to 7th round TKO

Kevin Iole
Combat columnist

LAS VEGAS — Tyson Fury did everything he said he would do and more in a stunning battering of Deontay Wilder in their heavyweight title fight Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden.

Fury knocked Wilder down with a right in the third and a left to the body in the fifth and battered him around the ring for most of the night. Wilder’s corner threw in the towel to save their fighter after Fury landed a pair of right hands in the corner in the seventh round.

After fighting to a split draw in Los Angeles on Dec. 1, 2018, Fury said he’d change his style in the rematch. He replaced trainer Ben Davison with Javan “SugarHill” Steward because he said he wanted to throw a better right and move forward and go after Wilder.

Everything worked perfectly. Wilder never landed his fearsome right hand that led him to 41 knockouts and countless knockdowns in his first 43 professional fights. And once Fury hit him with a picture-perfect right in the third and dropped him, Wilder was never the same.

Tyson Fury celebrates after knocking down Deontay Wilder during their heavyweight bout for Wilder's WBC and Fury's lineal heavyweight title on Feb. 22, 2020 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Fury added Wilder’s WBC belt to the lineal championship he brought with him in the crowning performance of his career. He’d defeated Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 to first become champion, but it was an aging Klitschko. This was a prime Wilder who was being touted as the biggest puncher in boxing history, and who closed as a minus-135 favorite.

But it was Fury from the beginning to the painful end for Wilder, much to the delight of the British fans who filled the arena with a heavyweight record gate of over $17 million. They cheered as Fury’s jab broke down Wilder’s defenses and his right hand put Wilder into jeopardy.

It was Wilder’s first career loss, and he said, “Things like this happen,” in the ring immediately after the fight. For him, it was always happening to the other guy. But Fury was dominant in every second of the bout. In the sixth round, with blood pouring out of Wilder’s ear, Fury leaned over and licked blood off the soon-to-be-former champion’s neck.

The victory sets Fury up with a huge bout later in the year with unified champion Anthony Joshua in a mega-match that will fill a huge stadium in their native England.

Fury, who weighed 273 pounds, had the power and snap in his punches when he needed it, and he was wily enough to lean on Wilder during the few clinches. Fury, who fights depression, came to the ring on a throne and wearing a crown, and he fought like a king.

He said of Wilder, “He fought like a warrior,” but Fury fought like the sport’s newest superstar.

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