If Saturday’s fight truly is the end for Tyson Fury, boxing’s lineal heavyweight champion, it would be tough to envision a more favorable scenario to call it quits with.
Fury Finishes Whyte in Round 6 to Retain World Titles
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Fury dominated the man in front of him on Saturday – countryman and former training partner Dillian Whyte – for the better part of six rounds before closing the show with a violent uppercut in the final moments of the sixth stanza to retain the WBC, The Ring Magazine and lineal heavyweight championships.
Whyte, a 28-3 veteran of the ring, had very little to offer Fury, lacking the length and explosiveness to hurt Fury that Deontay Wilder had and the technical ability to steal rounds from the champion that Wladimir Klitschko had. By the sixth round, Fury’s work to the body had begun to pay dividends and Whyte’s pace began to slow. When the opportunity presented itself, “The Gypsy King” struck the challenger with a vicious right uppercut that grazed off the top of his forehead that put him out on his feet before descending to the canvas. Whyte’s toughness cannot be discredited, however, as he managed to meet the referee’s count of 10, although stumbled into the ropes when asked to step forward, prompting the official in the ring to wave things off one second before the sixth round’s conclusion.
Still, the Jamaican-born Whyte took a beating from Fury in front of a capacity crowd of 94,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, and the reigning and defending champion may now have a case for being the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time in a weight class not short on them.
“[Dillian] didn’t fight the world champion tonight,” Fury told reporters after the fight. “I ain’t the world champion, I’m a legend in this game. You can’t deny it, I’m the best heavyweight there’s ever been.”
Whyte’s greatest moment of the fight may have come in the fourth round, when an accidental clash of heads threw Fury off-balance. He later landed a few right hands in the clinch prompting a stern warning from the referee. Though Whyte’s gamesmanship appeared the incense Fury, the champion continued to fight his fight, wearing down Whyte with a dynamic attack before landing the deciding blow. Fury unofficially out-struck Whyte at a near 3-1 clip, entertaining the local fans in a way that only he can while improving to 32-0-1 on his career with 23 KO’s.
The Gypsy King and The Predator
Many fans will naturally ask the question of what’s next for the Gypsy King after Fury teased retirement in the build-up to Saturday’s fight. Only Fury can know when the right time to hang up the gloves will be, but facts are facts: Saturday’s fight set an all-time record for the highest attendance at a boxing match ever contested in Europe and will go down as the highest-attended match of the current century. He’s clearly got plenty left in the tank, though he continues to tease a hybrid super fight with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
In fact, Ngannou paid Fury a visit during his post-fight interview, with niceties being exchanged between the two heavyweight champions.
“He’s a great champion,” Fury said of Ngannou in the ring. “He’s in great shape. Look at the muscles on him.”
“We’re going to find out who is the baddest mother fucker on the planet,” replied Ngannou.
Top Rank, Inc. promoter Bob Arum, who promotes Fury stateside, told reporters after the fight that a Fury-Ngannou super fight would be “easy” to put together, but if UFC President Dana White is to be believed, it seems less than likely that fans will get to see such a fight materialize in the octagon.
And he’s no fan of Arum’s. He’ll be the first to say so, having had a quote of his pulled and included in Terence Crawford‘s lawsuit against Arum.
“Well, they could have pulled a lot of fucking quotes from me about Bob Arum,” White said earlier this year. “They just chose that one. There’s got to be a 10-page list of quotes from me about Bob Arum.”
If Fury is open to continuing his boxing career, he does have options, as well as some incentive. The rest of the heavyweight boxing belts are currently in possession of Ukranian Oleksandr Usyk, pending a rematch with another fellow Brit in Anthony Joshua. The winner of that fight, as well as the prospect of becoming the undisputed champion could motivate Fury to extend his career if he chooses.
Then again, Fury was happy to tease anything but a return to the boxing ring after his dismantling of Whyte, and those close to him, namely training partner Joseph Parker have called his talk of retirement “very sincere,” though it remains to be seen if Fury will be able to resist the spotlight for a final time after the raucous reaction he received on his walk to and from the ring.