Tyson Fury retains WBC heavyweight title with a killer uppercut
London, Wembley - Tyson Fury enjoyed a happy homecoming as he retained his WBC heavyweight title with a sensational sixth-round stoppage of British rival Dillian Whyte at a packed out Wembley Stadium in London.
In his first fight on British soil since August 2018, Fury was treated to a hero's welcome by a 94,000 capacity crowd and largely dictated the tempo before ending proceedings in devastating fashion.
A vicious uppercut caught Whyte flush on the chin before he was disdainfully pushed over on to his back, and while the mandatory challenger beat the count, referee Mark Lyson waved off the fight.
Whyte could have few complaints at a halt being called with just one second remaining before the fight reached the midway point as he was clearly on unsteady legs after the bout's first significant strike.
Fury (now 32-0-1, 23 KOs) was able to use his considerable height and reach advantage to keep Whyte at bay while the challenger was made to look clumsy and cumbersome in contrast to his opponent.
Whyte, cut over his right eye after an accidental clash of heads, was first installed as the WBC's number one contender nearly four years ago but he was unable to impose himself as he found himself tied up whenever he attempted to close the distance.
Fury hints at retirement
Fury has repeatedly suggested in recent weeks that he would end his glittering career and, after treating the crowd to a rendition of Don McLean's American Pie following his win, he said: "This might be the final curtain for the Gypsy King."
A cagey opening round was only notable for Whyte boxing southpaw, which Fury had suggested he may do in an attempt to nullify his mandatory challenger's powerful left hook, but it seemed to be early mind games from the Jamaica-born Londoner as the pair settled into orthodox stances in the second round.
Whyte, who in comparison to his opponent was booed to the ring, attempted to exploit Fury's fleshy midsection but missed the target by a long way with a wild right and had to soak up a couple of one-twos in the second round.
The busier Fury was starting to find his range into the third with another combination drawing gasps from those in attendance and a telling smirk from the fighter himself. While Whyte seemed unfazed, he was unable to mount much of a response.
Both fighters received warnings in a spiky fourth round, with the duo sharing words with Fury seemingly upset he had been hit on the break. Whyte, meanwhile, seemed to be frustrated at Fury's excessive holding.
Whyte landed a decent left hook in the fourth but could not force the issue as Fury started to look increasingly comfortable, popping off a ramrod jab to unsettle his adversary in the fifth round, six months on from knocking out Deontay Wilder in a memorable third fight between the pair in Las Vegas.
He closed the show in equally unforgettable fashion here, a punch that came from nowhere that brought deafening cheers, to bring an end to Whyte's first world title challenge. It was his third defeat of a 31-fight career but this was Fury's night.
Cover photo: Action Images via Reuters