Tyson Fury has declared himself the “greatest heavyweight of my era” after retaining his WBC title with a knockout win over Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas, a classic contest in which the champion had to pick himself off the canvas twice.
The Briton weathered an early storm to knock Wilder down in the third round with a short uppercut but the American responded in the fourth, knocking Fury down twice with shots to the head.
But Fury absorbed the punishment and outboxed his American rival, landing the decisive knock-out in the 11th round to remain the undefeated lineal champion.
“I can only beat whoever’s in my era and I’ve done that all my life. I can only beat the best of my day and I’ve done that. I’m the greatest heavyweight of my era, without a doubt,” Fury told reporters.
“I’ve had three fights with the biggest puncher in the history of my sport, in my division. And he caught me twice in the fourth round. But I was never thinking, ‘This is over.’ I was thinking, ‘OK, good shot, but I will get you back in a minute.’ And I did.”
Fury (31-0-1) has now won two of the three fights between the two men after the first ended in a draw and the Briton dominated the second.
“It was a much different fight from fight two and a much different fight from fight one, he came in real heavy tonight… and he was definitely hitting solid,” Fury said.
“We fought like two warriors in there and I went over to shake his hand and say, ‘well done’. And he was like, ‘No, I don’t respect you’… He’s just a sore loser in boxing.
“It was just a great fight, all in all. You’ve got to take your hat off to Wilder’s team and him as well. He put up a good fight.
“I wasn’t here to blow someone over in one round. I travel the world for so many years to find challenges. And he gave me a real worthy challenge tonight, for sure.”