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Tyson Fury retained his WBC world heavyweight title by defeating Deontay Wilder in an instant classic that saw both men knocked down.
TYSON FURY DEFENDS HIS TITLE!— SPORTbible (@sportbible) October 10, 2021
THE WBC WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION pic.twitter.com/lVNxJ44YWD
Fury finally ended the trilogy in the 11th round of the third fight, stopping Wilder who had been down three times before the ending.
It looked like things could be over as early as the third round, when the reigning champion caused the first knockdown of the fight.
In the fourth things turned on their head as Wilder scored two knockdowns of his own but in the final stretch it was only going one way.
A final flourish in the penultimate round left the referee with no choice but to call it off after a brutal right hand left Wilder face down on the mat.
The two men had first met in December 2018, which was just the third fight in Fury's return to action after two and a half years out, and Wilder was a huge favourite.
A 12th round knockdown by Wilder very nearly ended the fight, and potentially any rematches, but Fury did outbox the American for much of that first fight and his miraculous recovery led to a draw between the pair that neither was happy about.
The rematch took place in February 2020 and the British heavyweight shocked everyone with a very different performance, as he took the centre of the ring from the first bell and pummeled his opponent from first to last.
Wilder's litany of excuses, including claiming his opponent had knuckle dusters on, couldn't hide the face he'd been totally outclassed.
No one knew exactly how the third fight had gone, and if the American was capable of fighting any other way to stop Fury getting another victory, but Fury was a heavy favourite going into it.
This time it was Wilder who managed to take centre ring in the opening round and got straight on the front foot, throwing his jab, which he'd failed to do for much of the opening two fights.
Just as it looked like the American had all the running for the first three minutes, Fury landed a decent one-two combination as the final few seconds ticked away.
The second round was a closer one but Wilder arguably still did the better work, even if Fury did land some decent shots himself.
In the third the defending champ downed his opponent in the final minute of the round and looked to have rocked him again in the final seconds, but he was saved by the bell.
The American didn't look good on his feet at the start of the fourth and was trying to work his way back into it but exploded into life in the final minute.
A huge shot caused Fury to fall to his feet and the Bronze Bomber attempted to swarm him, landed his own big right hand, but was then knocked down again, and this time he was saved by the bell.
Wilder understandably came out swinging at the start of the fifth whilst Fury attempted to use his excellent foot movement to stay in it, before landing a brilliant combination of his own. For once the final minute was quiet, as both men showed the effects of the previous two rounds.
A quiet sixth was once again finished with a strong final third, as Fury was the one who landed the better shots and Wilder was down on one knee, though it was correctly ruled not a knockdown by the referee.
Fury again put pressure on his opponent at the start of the seventh, with the Bronze Bomber looking increasingly tired from his early exertions.
With just a minute to go, the Gypsy King once again rocked his opponent, with Wilder's legs looking like they were all but gone as he survived the bell again, leaning against the ropes.
The American looked completely gone still at the beginning of the eighth, after taking those heavy shots at the end of the previous round, with his legs still wobbling.
At that point his early successful jabs had almost completely disappeared, as Fury kept coming forward and landing more hard shots.
At the end of the round, the former champ missed two wild attempts that really showed how tired he was, before lifting his hand as the bell sounded, with commentators speculating that it could be injured. A theory made more possible with the doctor delaying the beginning of the ninth to ask Wilder if he was okay.
It was more of the same in the ninth and at times it looked like a miracle that the American was still on his feet considering how tired he looked, before landing a couple of good shots himself in the dying seconds of the three minutes.
A clubbing right mid way through the 10th led to the latest knockdown for Fury and he swarmed his opponent in an attempt to end it once again and an uppercut left Wilder wobbly again.
However, with just seconds left of the round, the American somehow rallied again to land a few good shots of his own, though it was nothing on his opponent's efforts.
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