In one of the most memorable heavyweight title fights in recent memory, Tyson Fury retained his WBC heavyweight world title with a pulsating eleventh round knockout of Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas that featured no less than five knockdowns.
After being controversially held to a draw in their original meeting, getting off the canvas twice along the way, Fury conclusively won a rematch by a devastating seventh round stoppage over Wilder in February 2020.
Fury was set to meet Anthony Joshua for all of the belts this year after a third fight didn’t materialise, but that fight had to bite the dust when Wilder won the right to a trilogy match with ‘The Gypsy King’.
Wilder went straight for his jab to Fury’s body, while Fury preferred to take a look at his opponent, in what was a tense opening round, with the Brit landing a clean right hand on the bell.
Tyson showed much more aggression to begin round two, and Wilder’s familiar raking right hands were falling just short, allowing Fury to reset, with plenty of holding and tentativeness.
Fury landed a decent body shot at the start of the third, and he was starting to get into a rhythm, which didn’t bode well for the former champion.
Wilder was being beaten to the punch, and putting plenty of energy into each punch thrown, and, as the two exchanged, Fury landed a peach of a right hand that had Wilder on the canvas and shaken.
’The Bronze Bomber’ just about beat the count, but another slashing right hand had him all at sea again, and he barely saw out the round.
The minute between rounds wasn’t enough, and Wilder’s legs were unsteady, and his energy looked drained, but from somewhere, a massive right hand dumped Fury, who dropped to the floor.
Fury beat the count, and walked straight into another short right hand that felled him for a second time.
Fury showed yet more resolve, landing a monster right hand in the fifth, but he was struggling to get out of the way of the right hand, that shook him seemingly each time it landed.
The pair were understandably tiring, and there was no way that the fight was going to last the distance, and the pair exchanged and held in a gruelling sixth frame.
Another big right had Wilder reeling, and his eyes rolling, but again he survived the session, to go one round further than the pair’s second meeting.
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The eighth saw more Fury pressure, and the snap was going from Wilder’s punches, allowing Fury to use his movement to slip inside.
The ringside doctor took a look at Wilder before the start of the ninth, but he was allowed to continue, and ate several superb jabs as Fury pushed for a finish, but the challenger finished the round with a flourish, landing with an uppercut.
He looked exhausted in his corner, and took several flush rights in round ten, and as Wilder missed with a right, Fury cuffed him with a right of his own on the counter, flooring Wilder for a second time.
Unbelievably, he beat the count, and ended the round by landing lefts and rights in an act of defiance.
Fury wouldn’t be denied though, as he poleaxed a worryingly drained Wilder with yet another sweeping clean right, and this time he was down and out with no way back as the fight was over as soon as he horizontally hit the canvas.
Fury then engaged in a rendition of Walking in Memphis to the delight of the crowd. He is now mandated to face Dillian Whyte, should he come through his meeting with Otto Wallin on October 30.
Sanchez beats Ajagba
In a very technical, tough to watch chief support bout, it was Frank Sanchez that retained his WBC Continental Americas and WBO NABO heavyweight titles with a dour unanimous points win over Efe Ajagba.
Sanchez scored a seventh round knockdown with a big right hand, but he followed up with a left hand as Ajagba was about to take a knee, leading to a warning from the referee.
The fight went to the cards, where Sanchez prevailed by two scores of 98-91, and a third at 97-92.
Helenius beats Kownacki again
Robert Helenius again got the better of Adam Kownacki, as he scored a sixth round win by disqualification in their rematch.
‘Nordic Nightmare’ Helenius halted Kownacki in four back in March 2020, and he blasted the New York-based Pole from pillar to post in a one-sided first round.
Although Kownacki shaded the second, it was one-way traffic from there, with Kownacki docked a point in the fifth for blatant low blows.
With Kownacki’s left eye nearly closed, the end wasn’t long in coming, but it came from another deliberate low blow that caused the referee to throw Kownacki out handing the Finn a disqualification win.
Anderson remains perfect
Jared Anderson took the vacant NABF heavyweight title, and made it ten early wins from as many contests, stopping the previously undefeated Vladimir Tereshkin in the second round of their scheduled eight rounder.
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Tereshkin was stunned by an Anderson right hand, and he never recovered.
With seconds remaining, ‘Big Baby’ Anderson landed a hurtful combination to the head that left the Russian almost asking referee Kenny Bayless to stop the fight, which he duly did.
Berlanga climbs off the canvas to beat Coceres
Edgar Berlanga has had things all his own way in his professional career to date, with 16 first round wins from his first 17 contests, but he was forced to dig deep in outscoring former world title challenger, Marcelo Esteban Coceres to claim the vacant WBO NABO super middleweight title.
A superb counter right hand dropped Berlanga towards the end of the ninth, and although he was annoyed at being floored, he rose and beat the count, but was wobbled again as Coceres went for the finish, which he ran out of time to achieve.
Three scores of 96-93 gave Berlanga the win, to the crowd’s disagreement.
Williams shocked by Hernandez
Former unified super welterweight champion, Julian Williams’ return after losing his titles in January 2020 ended in disaster, as he was defeated over ten rounds by unheralded Mexican, Vladimir Hernandez via split decision.
Robeisy Ramirez took the vacant NABF super bantamweight title with a unanimous decision win against the previously unbeaten Orlando Gonzalez Ruiz.
Ukrainian big man, Viktor Vykhryst scored a sixth knockout win from eight straight wins, as he halted Mike Marshall in the third round. Marshall was down twice during the contest.
At featherweight, Bruce Carrington made a successful winning debut, taking every round of four against Cesar Cantu.