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Tyson Fury beat Deontay Wilder with an 11th-round TKO Saturday night in a classic fight that included five knockdowns in the third fight between the heavyweight boxers.
Fury went down twice and Wilder went down three times, getting floored the last time with a powerful right hand. The referee promptly waved off the fight.
“Wilder’s a tough fighter,'' Fury said after the fight. "He gave me a real run for my money tonight.''
The bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas completed the trilogy between Fury and Wilder, with the first fight having ended in a split draw and Fury having won the second fight by TKO in the seventh round.
The trilogy did not end with the combatants embracing, with Fury still insisting he won all three fights even though the first was scored a split draw..
“He’s got no love for me, Deontay Wilder,'' Fury said. "Because you know why? Because I beat him three times. And it’s like, I’m a sportsman, I went over to him to show some love and respect and he didn't want to give it back. So that's his problem.
"I’ll pray for him, so God will soften his heart.''
With the victory, Fury defended his WBC heavyweight world title belt and the heavyweight lineal championship. Fury improved to 31-0-1 and Wilder dropped to 42-2-1.
Fury will be eyeing a fight against the winner of the Anthony Joshua-Oleksandr Usyk rematch, expected to take place in the spring. But he might first have to fight Dillian Whyte, who on Oct. 30 fights Otto Wallin.
Celebrities at the fight Saturday night included Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal and retired NFL stars Charles Woodson and Michael Strahan.
FIRST ROUND: Wilder fires two jabs. Looking active early. Now a right. Working the body. Then to the head. A different Wilder, to be sure. More jabs. Fury not throwing, just watching. Fury looks caught by surprise. Now comes Fury. And Wilder responds with more jabs. Then a big right that a misses. Two hard rights to the body. Wilder in control. Fury lands a left hook – first good shot for him in the round. A 1-2 combo from Fury. A great right by Fury, but Wilder on his feet. Wilder 10, Fury 9.
SECOND ROUND: Fury lands two big punches! Now Wilder wobbly. Fury now looking comfortable. Wilder throwing the jab again, aiming for the belly. Fury looking more aggressive with an overhand right. Seesaw here. Back comes Wilder. Wilder throws big right that misses and back fires Fury – and lands. Getting tied up. Wilder 19, Fury 19.
THIRD ROUND: Now Fury ready to stalk. Right hand looks cocked and ready. Wilder still leading with jab. Playing part of boxer, not just KO king. Fury being warned against putting Wilder in a headlock. Big punched exchanged. Wilder throws BIG overhand right and grazes Fury. Comes with the right again. Unloading, but can’t land that punch flush. WILDER DOWN!! Fury connects with a right. Wilder makes the 10 count! Wants to fight. Fury nails Wilder again. Wilder barely on his feet, but survives the round. Fury 29, Wilder 27.
"Wilder is a strong puncher and he's a tough man... He gave me a real run for my money tonight, and I always said I'm the best in the world and he's the second best." — @Tyson_Fury
Buy #FuryWilder3 PPV: https://t.co/Oz3QzMA9pP pic.twitter.com/a8uFloF7D3
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) October 10, 2021
FOURTH ROUND: Wilder in trouble. Now much left in the tank it appears. Looks disoriented. Fury loading up. Wilder buying time. Fury unloads with a barrage of punches that land on Wilder’s face. Wilder back to the jab. DOWN GOES FURY!!! Wilder lands the surprise KO punch!! Fury back on his feet and rady to fight. But Wilder lining up another. BIG punches. Down goes Fury AGAIN!!! Fury up on his feet and indicates he is ready to fight. Survives the round. Wilder 37, Fury 36.
FIFTH ROUND: Fury looking pretty fresh. Throwing jabs. A 1-2 combo from Fury that rattles Wilder. Wilder looking fatigued. Wilder looking for the KO punch. Throwing huge punches. Some landing. Fury won’t fall. Fury lands stiff right. Fury looks surprising fresh and Wilder looking fatigued. And yet Wilder throws another big right hand. Wilder 47, Fury 45.
SIXTH ROUND: Wilder starts out working the body. A boxer with a strategy. Definitely a different Deontay Wilder. Now firing the big shots. And so counters Fury. Fury marching forward and landing big punches. Wilder takes a knee. Looks like he was forced to the ground. Fury uses punches and his weight advantage here. Both fighters tired but throwing dangerous punches. Wilder 56, Fury 55.
SEVENTH ROUND: Fury lands a big right. And just misses Wilder’s chin with another right. Fury looks strong. Looking combs here – to the body and head of Wilder. Wilder comes back with big right. Big straight right. Fury has Wilder wobbling again! Could be tough to make it to the bell. Fury looking for the KO shot. Wilder holding onto Fury, trying to make it to the bell. Survives! Fury 65, Wilder 65.
EIGHTH ROUND: Fury stalking. Looks sharp. Wilder happily backing away. Looks likes Wilder needs to buy time. Wilder big right! But Fury taking it. Fury lands a solid left. Fury landing hard and often. Wilder back up. And Fury seems content to see that. Fury lands with another BIG right. Again! But Wilder on his feet. Fury looking to line up Wilder. Wilder makes it to the bell – and maybe with a KO blow still in that right hand. Fury 75, Wilder 74.
NINTH ROUND: Wilder appears to have injured is right hand. Fury firing sharp punches here. Wilder now relying on jab to body again. Now it’s a slugfest again with Wilder landing the heavier blows. Back comes Fury, with an effective series of jabs. And another. Wilder looking hurt again as Fury used that jab to set up a flurry of punches. Wilder low on fuel here, but still that legendary right hand. Hug exchange here. Crowd looks spellbound. Wilder lands a big uppercut. Fury 85, Wilder 83.
TENTH ROUND: Fury lands a big right. Now looking in control again. Fury the far more aggressive and livelier fighter now. .Wilder doing his best to line up that big right hand. Might be a Hail Mary shot now. DOWN goes Wilder! But he’s up; and ready for more. Fury landing two big lefts and misses with a home run right. A courageous Wilder hanging in there. Wilder clearly lookin for the big shot. But Fury lands big shots. Wilder lands BIG SHOTS! A surprising development there in this slugfest. Fury remains on his feet. Fury 95, Wilder 91.
ELEVENTH ROUND: Fury on the offensive. Fury landing big blows. DOWN GOES WILDER.. And he's not getting up. The ref waved off the fight. Fury is the world champion after a classic fight!
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tyson Fury beats Deontay Wilder with a 11th-round TKO in classic fight