In the most grueling test of his unbeaten career, Tyson Fury rose from the canvas twice in a disastrous Round 4 to co-author one of the most thrilling heavyweight title bouts in boxing history.
In the third and final bout of their memorable trilogy, Fury shook off the early damage to drop Deontay Wilder twice before finishing him via violent knockout punch in Round 11 to defend his WBC and lineal titles inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs), who led on all three scorecards (95-91, 94-92, 95-92) at the time of the stoppage, was forced to overcome an almost inhumane amount of resiliency shown by Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) in the first fight for both since Fury’s TKO win in their 2020 rematch.
“Like the great John Wayne said, I’m made of pig iron and steel, baby!” Fury said. “I took some big shots but my lord and savior helped me up and kept me going. It was a great fight tonight and it’s worthy of any trilogy in the history of the sport.”
Wilder, 35, rebounded from being dropped in Round 3 to surge ahead the following round with clean right hands and an aggressive style built off of a focus to the body. But Fury used his nearly 40-pound weight advantage, along with two inches in both height and reach, to slowly wear Wilder down by smartly holding and leaning on him against the ropes.
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The more Fury closed the distance and prevented Wilder from extending his long arms to produce power, the more success he had by mauling on the inside and making things constantly difficult for referee Russell Mora to separate the two.
Suddenly, a fatigued Wilder looked endlessly on the verge of being stopped. His incredible will to keep fighting somehow kept him on his feet and Wilder flurried at key times just enough to keep Fury honest.
Mora asked the ringside physician to examine Wilder before Round 9. Then, in Round 10, Fury dropped the 6-foot-7 slugger for the second time when he caught him off balanced with a short right hand.
True to the script, however, Wilder got back to his feet and closed Round 10 with a big flurry that briefly wobbled Fury. But the comeback was short-lived. Fury entered the championship rounds on the offensive and cornered Wilder with ease.
A big right hand early in Round 11 shook Wilder against the ropes. A two-punch combo followed, finishing with a short and brutal right hand that sent Wilder down for the third time and appeared to briefly knock him out cold.
Mora jumped in at 1:10 to stop the fight without a count just as Wilder began to stir and attempt to rise once more.
“October 9, 2021, will go down in history as a great fight,” Fury said. “Don’t ever doubt me. When the chips are down, I can always deliver.”
Fury outlanded Wilder by a margin of 150 to 72, according to CompuBox. He also held a 36 to 9 edge in jabs.
After the fight, a weary Wilder sat in his corner on the stool with blood flowing from his left ear. Fury attempted to congratulate his wounded foe following a typically combative promotional build that saw the promoter refuse to allow them to face off during fight week.
“Deontay Wilder is so tough but he has no love for me because I beat him three times,” Fury said. “I am a sportsman, I went over to show love and respect but he didn’t want to give it back.”
Both fighters said before the bout that the third fight would be the last in their rivalry. Fury settled for a disputed draw in their 2018 first meeting before scoring consecutive knockouts.
Meanwhile, the undercard also delivered in its own way. Another rematch at heavyweight saw a similar result play out as Robert Helenius stopped Adam Kownacki in the sixth round to move closer to a title shot. The veteran shockingly stopped Kowancki back in March 2020 and needed to repeat the feat on Saturday to be considered a legitimate threat. Helenius battered Kownacki early and often, leading the Polish powerhouse to utilize dirty tactics, which he was eventually deducted a point for after multiple low blows.
CBS Sports was with you throughout the entire way on Saturday, so be sure to follow along with the live results and highlights below.
Fury vs. Wilder 3 fight card, odds
- Tyson Fury (c) def. Deontay Wilder via 11th-round TKO
- Frank Sanchez def. Efe Ajagba via unanimous decision (97-92, 98-91, 98-91)
- Robert Helenius def. Adam Kownacki via sixth-round TKO
- Jared Anderson def. Vladimir Tereshkin via second-round TKO
- Edgar Berlanga def. Marcelo Coceres via unanimous decision (96-93, 96-93, 96-93)
- Vladimir Hernandez def. Julian Williams via split decision (94-96, 96-94, 97-93)
Fury vs. Wilder 3 scorecard, live coverage