LAS VEGAS – Deontay Wilder wouldn’t shake Tyson Fury’s hand following their brutal battle Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.

Wilder’s lack of respect for the winner didn’t prevent Fury from commending the former WBC heavyweight champion for improving between their second and third fights. The brash Brit acknowledged Wilder was a different fighter than the one he encountered during their first two bouts in December 2018 and February 2020.

“Yeah, he improved,” Fury said during his post-fight press conference late Saturday night. “He worked on his boxing and stuff. It was a different fight. You know, it was a much different fight from fight two and a much different fight from fight one. He came in real heavy tonight, like 238 pounds, and I believe that helped him. And he was definitely hitting solid.”

Wilder was especially solid during the fourth round, when he floored Fury twice. The 6-feet-7, 238-pound Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) appeared on the verge then of avenging his lopsided loss to Fury in their rematch, but his extremely resilient rival beat referee Russell Mora’s count both times.

Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) mostly controlled the action across the next six-plus rounds, until he tattooed an exhausted Wilder with a right hand to the side of his temple that finally finished his ever-dangerous opponent early in the 11th round. That shot sent Wilder down to his side, clearly unfit to continue in what was an epic conclusion to their trilogy.

Through 10 rounds, the 6-feet-9, 277-pound Fury was ahead according to judges Tim Cheatham (94-92), Dave Moretti (95-91) and Steve Weisfeld (95-92).

Fury’s trainer, Javan “Sugar Hill” Steward, praised his fearless fighter, but he also expressed respect for how Malik Scott better prepared Wilder for their third fight.

Scott replaced Wilder’s longtime chief second, Jay Deas, after Fury defeated Wilder by seventh-round TKO in their rematch. Steward replaced Ben Davison as Fury’s head trainer following their 12-round split draw nearly three years ago at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

“I describe this fight that just happened as probably, for me, like one of the most exciting fights in history, especially in the heavyweight division,” Steward said during the aforementioned press conference. “And you have the two biggest men in boxing go at it like that, put each other down, give it everything they got. And I have to, you know, give all the credit to Deontay Wilder and his team, Malik Scott, for stepping in and pushing him to what he was able to do today. And he showed a lot of heart, a lot of change, and you know, I give it up to them for that.

“And on the other hand, big dog Tyson Fury got off the porch, got out there, got the job done. And that’s what really matters. You know, it’s all about winning and, of course, I like knockouts. I get that from my uncle, [the late] Emanuel [Steward]. That’s everything that he taught me. I’ve been living with him like about 35 years of my life. So, I learned as much as I could with him. He was like a father to me, so I watched everything.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.