It was a finish to remember, an uppercut for the ages. Tyson Fury has never had a reputation as a big puncher, but he will never have thrown a sweeter punch than the one that left Dillian Whyte sprawling on the canvas in front of 94,000 people at Wembley Stadium. Never has Fury seemed such a dominant force
The finish was simplicity itself. He touched Whyte with a left jab, then landed a right uppercut that had a devastating effect of Whyte.
The punch was all technique, hardly any back lift yet Whyte walked onto it and landed perfectly. Fury finished with a push to make sure Whyte fell over backwards rather than falling onto him.
Jab, right uppercut, push.
After four rounds, Whyte would have been quite happy. Sure, he hadn’t won much, but deep in his heart he probably knew his chances of winning depended on knocking Fury out. And by the fourth round, Whyte was in the fight. At times his jab was landing, at one point a huge left hook, brushed past Fury’s chin and the champion was being forced to hold, a sign that Whyte was getting close.
It was descending into a brawl too. Fury was warned for holding, Whyte for using his elbow. They both used their heads.
But the fifth round was a bad one for Whyte. Fury landed three hard body shots on the Bodysnatcher. When Fury landed a one-two, Whyte stumbled, pointing to Fury’s feet to indicate he was tripped. But Whyte’s legs were slowing.
Fury had his eye on complete dominance. His performance at Tuesday’s workout pointed towards the idea that he might box southpaw. But it was Whyte who started left-handed, possibly an attempted double bluff on Fury. And when Whyte switched back at the start of the second round, It was Fury who switched briefly the other way.
By the sixth round Whyte suddenly seemed to have nothing left. Fury kept pestering away with jabs and one-twos, but he had spotted the opening. It was an uppercut that had seen Alexander Povetkin flatten Whyte in 2020, this was a right uppercut, maybe not thrown as hard, but with stunning precision.
Whyte crawled onto his front, then somehow found his way to his feet a seven, holding his guard back up to show he was able to continue. But if Whyte’s mind was thinking that, his legs had other ideas. As referee Mark Lyson asked him to walk forward, he fell over his feet, landing in Lyson’s arms. Fury landed one more blow – a kiss on the side of Whyte’s head.
With that Fury seemed to remove all doubts about what a wonderful all-round boxer he has become. You could crab Whyte’s ability to some extent, but he was a worthy challenger.
He also wasn’t Deontay Wilder, so any thoughts that Fury simply held an Indian sign over Wilder can be put away too. After a messy build-up and preparation for his final fight with Wilder he was still able to get the victory, this is what he can do off the back of a perfect camp. Who has a serious shot at beating Fury like this?
And yet there is still business to be done. Can this era of heavyweight boxing really conclude without Fury facing the winner of the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua rematch?
As much as Fury stayed adamant that this was the end in the post-fight press conference, he said the same things after his third win over Wilder, but had changed his mind before he got on the plane home. He’s a fighting man, as he constantly reminds us. Don’t read this as the end.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.