LAS VEGAS – Tyson Fury purposefully composed himself before he attempted to get up from each of the two fourth-round knockdowns he withstood Saturday night.
Never during either of those trips to the canvas, however, did Fury feel he was in jeopardy of getting stopped by Deontay Wilder. The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion instead demonstrated his trademark resilience again against the rival he has repeatedly touted as the most punishing puncher in boxing history.
Unlike their first fight, Fury didn’t merely make it to the final bell after suffering two knockdowns and settle for a 12-round split draw. The 6-feet-9, 277-pound Englishman regained control of their epically entertaining title fight by the fifth round, dropped his ever-dangerous opponent late in the 10th round and viciously finished off Wilder with a right hand early in the 11th round.
The former champion crashing to the canvas will be the lasting image from the thrilling third fight of this trilogy, but Fury reflected on overcoming those two knockdowns during his post-fight press conference at T-Mobile Arena.
“Not a great deal,” Fury told moderator Crystina Poncher when he was asked what went through his mind in the fourth round. “You go swimming, and you’re gonna get wet. You mess with fire long enough, you’ll get burned. You know, I’ve had three fights with the biggest puncher in the history of my sport, in my division. And he caught me, you know? You know, he caught me twice in the fourth round. But I was never like thinking like, ‘Oh, this is over.’ I was thinking, ‘OK, good shot. But I will get you back in a minute. And I did. I was very conscious. I saw the ref go, ‘Three, four,” and I was always there, you know? He shook me, he put me down, and that’s boxing.
“And it’s life as well. It’s not about how many times you get put down or how many times you lose or win. It’s about how you can come back and keep getting back up and keep moving forward. Like Rocky said, you’ve gotta keep moving forward in a positive manner and keep fighting. Not just in a boxing fight, but in life in general because nothing’s ever gonna be easy. If you want something that’s very hard to get, you’ve gotta sacrifice and dedicate and keep pushing, no matter what, and never let anybody tell you you can’t. Because tonight, again, time and time again, I showed that it’s very possible to achieve anything you ever want, as long as you believe it in here [points to his head].”
The 33-year-old Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) likely will take a lengthy break following his unforgettable brawl with Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs). The WBC could order him to fight the winner of an October 30 bout at O2 Arena in London between its interim champion, England’s Dillian Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs), and Sweden’s Otto Wallin (22-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC), who lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Fury in September 2019 at T-Mobile Arena.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.