Fury says Wilder saga 'done for good' as WBC champion plans to take a break

By Sports Desk October 10, 2021

Tyson Fury insisted his "saga" with Deontay Wilder is "done for good" after his stoppage win in Las Vegas, a result that has earned the undefeated WBC champion a well-earned break.

In the third meeting of the heavyweight rivals, Fury dropped his opponent in the third but was then down himself twice in the next round, the tables suddenly turned as the pair went toe to toe.

However, the Briton came on strong in the second half of the contest. After scoring a further knockdown in the previous round, he finished the job in the 11th thanks to a chopping right hand that finally ended Wilder's brave resistance.

"It was a great fight. Rarely do we see heavyweight trilogies. I think the last one was Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield, and those fights didn't disappoint," Fury said at his post-fight media duties.

"The saga with Wilder is done now. Done for good. It was definitely a historic trilogy, for sure.

"It swung both ways and both fighters had the opportunity to seize the moment, it was just that I showed the initiative, dug deeper and wanted it more.

"At the end of the day, when it comes down to that sort of fight, it's about who is willing to push further. I wasn't willing for it to go to the scorecards; I was definitely trying for a knockout.

"Wilder is a very tough guy and he's got heart, heart to keep going. He took a lot of punishment, and that puts a lot of mileage on the clock. So did I, I took a lot of punishment as well, some good shots, got put over but then got back up.

"It was just a great fight, all in all. You have to take your hat off to Wilder and his team: he put up a good fight. That's what I'm here for, I wasn't here to blow someone over in one round.

 "I've travelled the world for so many years to find challenges – he gave me a real worthy challenge tonight."

With another meeting with Wilder seemingly unlikely, Fury could instead target Oleksandr Usyk, the holder of the IBF, WBA and WBO titles after his shock triumph over Anthony Joshua, who has triggered a clause for a rematch with the Ukrainian.

For Fury, however, the immediate focus is celebrating his latest success.

When asked about a potential fight with Usyk, Fury replied: "We will see. I've just earned a well-earned break.

"I've been away from my family for six months in total. I've been home for two weeks in the last six months, so before I start thinking about fighting other men, I'm going to bask in this victory.

"This was one of my greatest wins. I got off the floor to do it. I'm the big dog in the division, probably one of the heaviest heavyweight champions in history: 277 pounds. I was fit, I was strong in there and felt good.

"We will just see what today and tomorrow brings."

On his plans, he added: "I'm going to go out, have a couple of drinks and relax.

"I'm not even thinking about boxing, I'm going to go out and bask in this glory. Last time, after the second fight, I just went back, went to bed, got up the next day and flew home. This has been a well-deserved victory, and I'm just going to enjoy it."

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    Tyson Fury needs to defeat more of the heavyweight division to "cement his greatness", so says Shannon Briggs.

    WBC champion Fury is eager to return to the ring by early 2022 following victory over Deontay Wilder in the trilogy fight between the pair in October.

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    Usyk and Joshua are set to meet again in the early months of 2022, though the latter could drop out to allow the undisputed fight and Briggs believes Fury needs to face top contenders to cement his legacy.

    "I think he'll make the decision to stick around and fight guys," Briggs, who was a two-time heavyweight champion, told Stats Perform. 

    "He's not very old, although he's accomplished a lot. He's had gaps in his career between lay-offs due to whatever circumstances he was dealing with. It hasn't been consistent. 

    "I think that for us to cement his greatness, we need to see consistency. I think we need to see at least three to six wins from the guys in the top 10. 

    "Clear out the top 10, clear out the heavyweight division, and then maybe we can say he's the greatest heavyweight of all time, due to size, due to his ability to move, his rhythm. For a big man, it's just unreal. 

    "His heart, his chin – he got off the ground against one of the hardest punchers that ever lived in [Deontay] Wilder."

    The undefeated Fury has 31 wins to his name, with the only blotch on his record a contentious split-decision draw against Wilder in their first clash.

    Briggs appreciates the talent of 'The Gypsy King', who he implored to become more consistent to further his standing within boxing's history.

    "He's shown us flashes of greatness, but we need to see one last thing," he added. 

    "What makes a champion is consistency, so we need six to 10 Larry Holmes style wins, Lennox Lewis style wins, staying busy. Lennox was a busy fighter. Lennox defended his title, he fought a lot.

    "We need three, four fights a year consistently for the next two years if not more. I think he's a great guy and a great fighter, but I just think we need to see consistency and consecutive wins."

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    Anthony Joshua stepping aside from his Oleksandr Usyk rematch would be a "great step for the heavyweight division", says former American boxer Shannon Briggs.

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    While believing a bout between the two British boxers, Joshua and Fury, would be an entertaining meeting, Briggs would like to see a bout to become the undisputed champion first.

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    "It's a very interesting fight to analyse and to think about which Joshua is going to show up. We've got to find out which Josh was going to show up. 

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    "I think it'd be a great step for the heavyweight division, uniting the belts, and then Joshua would get the winner. He was the champion, he was the guy. I don't want to say it was a fluke, but he was upset by a great guy, a tough guy to fight. 

    "I don't care who fought Usyk. Usyk is a machine. He's not like normal people. He's not like normal humans. This man can handstand on his arms for an hour. This is what I was told. This man is in phenomenal shape. 

    "As the rounds go on, he gets stronger. As you can see in the Joshua fight in the 12th round, he put his foot on the gas. I think that he's going to be a tough guy to beat for Fury, for anybody. 

    "Maybe not Fury because of the height and the size, but we're going to see. That's what makes it great, because the interest is there. If Joshua is to step aside and let him fight Usyk, it might not be bad. Just a thought, and then he fights the winner."

    Indeed, Usyk is a phenomenal machine, having held world champion status in two weight classes while he is one of only four boxers to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles.

    Briggs, who collected 53 of his 60 wins via knockout, appreciates the class of Usyk as he reiterated the 34-year-old's impressive abilities.

    "Again, like I said earlier, the fight with Usyk is a battle," he added. "It's not an easy fight, it's a tough fight. 

    "It's a 50-50 chance. [Actually], it's more like a 60-40 chance that you lose because he's in phenomenal shape, he's a freak of nature, and he's not normal. 

    "On top of all of that, he's a southpaw. It's awkward, it's coming from another way. You've got to have super conditioning and step to him. 

    "You've got to be able to punish him and knock him out, but you can't be boxing him from the outside. You've got to wear him down. He's slippery, he's moving, he's awkward. You've got to be in tip-top shape to beat a guy like that."

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