The WBC has ordered Tyson Fury to defend his heavyweight belt against mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte.

WBC champion Fury (31-0-1) and WBC interim holder Whyte (28-2) are on track to meet in the ring next year after the World Boxing Council forced negotiations for the mandatory bout on Tuesday.

Whyte moved in line for the fight after the 30-day period granted by the WBC for Fury and IBF, WBA and WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk to arrange an undisputed showdown passed without negotiations.

"Fury has been mandated to fight me twice. He asked for the WBC 'Diamond' belt to fight me, but ran away when they agreed. He just keeps making excuses," Whyte told Sky Sports last month.

"Hopefully now he's got no choice. What's he going to do? Throw the belt in the bin and run away from more money than he got to fight [Deontay] Wilder?

"Obviously he says he's a fighting man and a man of his word, but we all know he talks a lot of s***, so let's see. He said he was going to fight me after he beat Wilder, then he ran away. Let's see what he does."

Fury defended his belt with a devastating 11th-round knockout of Deontay Wilder in October.

British star Fury stayed undefeated thanks to his 11th-round KO against Wilder in their blockbuster trilogy in Las Vegas.

In an all-time epic bout, Fury was dropped twice but got the better of Wilder (42-2-1), who showed incredible courage to make it to the penultimate round having appeared out on his feet.

Fellow Brit Whyte avenged his loss to Alexander Povetkin with a fourth-round TKO in March earlier this year, reclaim the WBC interim title.

The 33-year-old has scored wins over Joseph Parker and Derek Chisora in his career, while he lost to Anthony Joshua via TKO in 2015.

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.

But his opponent remains unclear as uncertainty lingers whether he will face Dillian Whyte, who wants to be sanctioned as the mandatory challenger for the heavyweight title.

Fury also has his eyes on a bout against Oleksandr Usyk, who claimed the WBA, WBO and IBF titles from Anthony Joshua in September.

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."

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

Joshua is set for a second bout in early 2022 with Usyk, who claimed the WBA, WBO and IBF titles on a unanimous points decision at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

The Briton has since hinted he would step out the way for WBC champion Tyson Fury, who is awaiting a decision as to whether he has to face mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte, to challenge Usyk to crown an undisputed champion.

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.

"The Fury-Joshua would be a good fight," Briggs, who held a world heavyweight title twice, told Stats Perform. 

"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. 

"I think that if Joshua steps aside and lets Fury fight Usyk, it might not be a bad idea. I really think it might not be a bad idea, and Anthony fights the winner. 

"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."

Anthony Joshua says he would consider stepping aside from his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk to allow the Ukrainian to fight Tyson Fury.

Joshua is set to fight Usyk for a second time in early 2022 after losing to the 34-year-old, who claimed the WBA, WBO and IBF belts on a unanimous points decision at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

WBC Champion Tyson Fury, after defeating Deontay Wilder in the final bout of a gruelling trilogy, is waiting on a decision whether a title fight will be ordered with Dillian Whyte, who wants to be sanctioned as the mandatory challenger.

However, Fury's ambition is to fight Usyk in a battle to become the undisputed champion, leading to calls from the 'Gypsy King' for his fellow Englishman Joshua to step aside.

For the first time a Fury-Usyk bout seems a possibility, with Joshua conceding he would consider skipping the sequel temporarily for both respect in boxing and financial gain.

"I think people know not to approach me with that rubbish," Joshua told IFL TV when asked if he had been offered a deal to skip the rematch. "That is bulls***. It may have come to my team, but they know not to bring that to me.

"Let me be real, it's not about the money, it's about the respect. What I want out of this game, number one is respect. You don't have to like me, but you will respect me. 

"Second thing is to go down as a throwback fighter, somebody who was willing to fight the best in their division so people know me as a true fighter.

"In terms of [stepping] aside, I don't know if that goes in line with what I morally stand for. But let me be real, I want to be known as one of the smartest businessmen as well.

"I used to watch Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe, we all know the stories of NFL players, basketball players, they make bad decisions. I wanted to make sure I make the smart moves when it comes to this business. If the money is right, you have to look at it.

"You have to look at it. But respect to me has a lot more value than money. Respect first, what I'm known for when I leave this division, then being the smartest businessman in my career. 

"That step aside thing, it may not go with what I stand for in terms of bringing me respect, fighting the best, but it may make sense for business."

Promoter Bob Arum has revealed that Tyson Fury would 'prefer' to fight Oleksandr Usyk instead of Dillian Whyte if Anthony Joshua agrees to step aside.

Joshua activated his option for an immediate rematch after losing to Usyk, who is now the IBF, WBA and WBO champion, on September 25.

As a result, the 30-day period granted by the WBC for Fury and Usyk to arrange a fight passed without negotiations, with WBC interim champion Whyte in line to face Fury instead.

Fury is more interested in a clash with the Ukrainian, however, in an attempt to claim his belts and become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, according to Arum.

"If Joshua decides not to exercise his rematch against Usyk and decides to step aside, the fight we would like to make is between Usyk and Fury," Arum said to Sky Sports.

"That is a fight to unify the titles once and for all. Then Joshua can fight the winner of the undisputed fight. Whyte can stand in line and fight the winner ultimately.

"That's what Tyson would like. And I represent Tyson. That is his preference. If they want to fight each other, which I believe they do, I would facilitate it."

Arum also explained why the WBC did not name a mandatory challenger to Fury's title on Tuesday night, despite Whyte expecting to be given a first opportunity to fight for a world title.

"Whyte's people had brought an arbitration proceeding against the WBC," Arum continued. "The WBC said they would not grant Whyte a mandatory position while the arbitration is pending.

"That was appropriate. Fury may end up fighting Whyte, we'll see. But it won't be with the requirement of the WBC. Whyte is an excellent fighter."

Fury had been in discussions with Joshua last year over an undisputed title fight, but it never materialised and Arum believes Joshua's best chance of facing Fury is to walk away from his rematch with Usyk for now.

"If Joshua decides he wants the rematch [with Usyk] straight away, which I think would be a mistake because there is no way he will win unless he gets new trainers in and figures out how to fight a southpaw, then he has the absolute right to do it and nobody will interfere with that contract," Arum added.

"If he decides, which I think he should, to take another fight, Usyk can fight Fury for all the belts, Joshua can fight the winner. I think that's the way he should go. If he does that, everybody will accommodate him."

World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury required surgery on both elbows after sustaining an injury in the lead-up to last month's trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder, according to his father John Fury.

Fury won a battle of the ages against Wilder to retain his WBC heavyweight championship with a devastating knockout in the 11th round of the blockbuster fight.

The 33-year-old Briton was knocked down twice throughout the slugfest, before triumphing to preserve his unbeaten record.

The triumph is made more remarkable given Fury's father revealed that the 'Gypsy King' had to contend with elbow injuries prior to the Wilder bout, which he has since had surgery on.

"Tyson was very badly injured going into that fight," John Fury told BT Sport. "He was handicapped from the beginning. It wasn't a boxing match was it?"

He continued: "He had to have chromosome [sic, cortisone] injections into both elbows. He's since had an operation, six hours, all day in hospital having them sorted out. He had some bone spurs he had to get removed.

"He said to me afterwards 'I couldn't box, I couldn't work the jab. If I'd missed the jab it would've put me in limp mode and I wouldn't have been able to fight.

"'The pain when throwing the jab was unbearable so I was fighting two people - the pain in my own body and him. All we could do was make it a war and I wanted to win more than he did'."

John added that he told his son after the victory that it was time to retire but expected him to continue fighting until he is 40 years old. Tyson holds a 31-0-1 record, the only draw coming in the first bout against Wilder.

"I said retire," John said. "He's won everything, nothing to prove and has millions of pounds in the bank, he's secure for life, there's more to life than getting your brains rattled.

"But he's his own man, he'll do what he's going to do but for me I said to call it. He's beaten the best man of his era three times, what more can he do?

"Tyson will spend two months at home and want the smell of sweat and leather. He'll be fighting when he is 40, he can't help himself, he's a human pitbull terrier."

Ricky Hatton has urged Tyson Fury to forget about a potential fight with Anthony Joshua and retire from the sport immediately.

Fury ended a thrilling trilogy against Deontay Wilder this month as he dropped the American in the 11th round in an all-time classic in Las Vegas.

The potential of an all-British showdown was on the cards next for the 'Gypsy King', however, those plans were put on hold when Joshua lost his WBA, WBO and IBF titles to Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua's manager Eddie Hearn confirmed there would be a subsequent rematch between the 32-year-old and the Ukrainian, set for early 2022 – further delaying a potential bout for Fury with either of the pair.

Meanwhile, Fury is likely to face Dillian Whyte – who pulled out of a clash with Otto Wallin in October – before meeting with the winner of the rematch between Joshua and Usyk.

However, former boxer Hatton has advised Fury to hang up his gloves as he implores the 33-year-old to stop waiting for Joshua.

"Tyson's proved himself," Hatton told Sportsmail. "He's had that trilogy with Wilder, he beat Wladimir Klitschko.

"Tyson's not like AJ; he's suffered from depression, drinks and drugs and all he now wants is the defining fights and to get out the game.

"Let's have it right, if Tyson wants to retire he's got nothing more to prove. The only thing that Tyson wants to know in his own mind, just like AJ does, is who the best out of he and AJ is.

"But Tyson can't wait another two years while he fights him and he fights him, he'll want to be in and out now.

"It's a shame if the AJ fight doesn't happen, and if it does it has to happen quickly, because Tyson's ready for hanging up his gloves now.

"As his friend, I want him to hang them up – he's got nothing left to prove."

Fury's promoters Frank Warren and Bob Arum had implored Joshua to step down to allow for an undisputed match-up between the division's top two, though Hearn quickly dismissed those claims.

Hatton, who retired in 2011 at the age of 32, agrees with Warren and Arum's plan while bemoaning that the two top fighters cannot face off yet.

"There's only one fight on Tyson's mind, which is the AJ fight," he continued. "But if I could rule boxing, I would let Tyson fight Usyk, because at the end of the day they’re the top two. I'd let AJ have a warm-up fight and then fight the winner.

"But this is what's ruining boxing: it should be Tyson, you fight your fight and AJ you fight yours and the winner will box each other.

"But no, you've then got to give a rematch, maybe even two rematches.

"It's ruining the game. Wilder should never have got a third fight; if he'd put in a fantastic performance in the second, then he gets the rematch. It should be based on performance.

"It puts the main fights we want on the back burner, just because of contract issues. It's a nonsense.

"All it needs, especially in heavyweight boxing, is one punch, one decision to change things and then fights won't get made for another three years."

Anthony Joshua says he would welcome Tyson Fury's offer to help him train for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk next spring.

Fury recently told Fox Sports Australia that Joshua would "definitely" beat Usyk with his assistance, going so far as to guarantee a win. 

Speaking with IFL TV, Joshua invited his longtime rival to come to his camp and even get in the ring with him, as long as he was willing to work for free. 

"He's more than welcome to come through the door," Joshua said. "He can even spar with me as well. I need a coach that's lived it, breathed it, so it would be perfect. That'd be the easiest way to get him in the ring."

The two British heavyweights have yet to square off after their agreement on a two-fight deal last summer fell by the wayside after both were obligated to fight different opponents first. 

While Fury completed his trilogy against Deontay Wilder with a win earlier this month, Joshua was upset by Usyk in September, prompting a rematch against the Ukrainian in 2022. 

Joshua's banter around Fury's offer had a tongue-in-cheek quality to it, but he did strike a nostalgic note in looking back on the sport's glory days. 

"I see pictures with Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Archie Moore, Muhammad Ali all sitting together," Joshua said. "They'll be in each other's training camps. ... Mate, come into my training camp. Come and see what the heavyweight champion gets up to. It's great. 

"Heavyweight boxing is thriving. So for me, Tyson can come and watch me train, 100 per cent. Sparring ain't fighting, is it? Do you know what I mean?

"So he can definitely come in, he's more than welcome to step into the gym and give me some tips. I ain't fighting him next anyway, so he ain't got nothing to worry about."

Deontay Wilder has congratulated Tyson Fury for winning their trilogy fight, having declined to do so in the immediate aftermath of the bout in Las Vegas.

The WBC champion defended his belt and maintained his unbeaten record (31-0-1) with a devastating 11th-round knockout of Wilder (42-2-1) in a classic slugfest.

The American left the ring soon after the fight was over and, according to Fury, refused to show any respect before departing.

"I'm a sportsman; I went over to show some love and respect and he didn't want to show it back," Fury said. "I'll pray for him so God will soften his heart."

"I said, 'Well done'. And he said, 'I don't wanna show any sportsmanship or respect.' I said, 'No problem'."

"Very surprised [by] that," Fury added. "Sore loser, an idiot. Do you know what? To be a top fighting man, you've got to show guts and respect and he couldn't do it tonight. And that's it."

However, Wilder appears to have had a change of heart, using a post on his official Instagram account to congratulate his opponent after an epic trilogy came to an end.

"Wow, what a hell of a night! I would like to first and foremost thank God for allowing me to give the world another part of me that's driven with passion and determination," Wilder wrote.

"I would like to thank my team and my fans for sticking by my side through this long process. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't disappointed in the outcome but after reflecting on my journey, I now see that what God wanted me to experience is far greater than what I expected to happen.

"We didn't get the win but a wise man once said the victories are within the lessons. I've learned that sometimes you have to lose to win. Although, I wanted the win I enjoyed seeing the fans win even more.

"Hopefully, I proved that I am a true Warrior and a true King in this sport. Hopefully, WE proved that no matter how hard you get hit with trials and tribulations you can always pick yourself up to live and fight again for what you believe in.

"Last but not least I would like to congratulate [Tyson Fury] for his victory and thank you for the great historical memories that will last forever."

Deontay Wilder will not quit boxing despite losing against Tyson Fury for a second time, says the heavyweight's lead trainer Malik Scott.

Wilder was knocked out in the 11th round by Fury in a slugfest between the pair for the WBC world championship on Saturday in Las Vegas.

The 35-year-old American challenger did manage to drop the unbeaten British star twice in the fourth, but the fight was stopped in the penultimate round after Fury landed a series of brutal strikes to end Wilder's resistance.

It was the third meeting between the heavyweight rivals, following a contentious split-decision draw in the first clash in December 2018 and then Fury's dominant victory to end Wilder's unbeaten record in February 2020.

But despite losing the trilogy fight, trainer Scott assured Wilder would not hang up his boxing gloves yet.

"Deontay [Wilder] has set his family financially secure, so he doesn't have to fight to make a living," Scott told iFL TV.

"But retiring is not in his plans at all and not something we've discussed.

"He will be back in any form he wants to be. He's a big-time fighter, and he doesn't belong down there with the other guys, he needs to be in high-level fights and main events.

"Deontay Wilder was great on Saturday, but Tyson Fury was even greater – it was a great night of boxing for the heavyweight division.

"You have to give Fury credit for having a good chin and getting up. Fury is a legend and one of the best in the heavyweight division in any era, and it's the same about Deontay."

Scott was appointed by Wilder following the second bout with the 'Gypsy King' after his then-trainer Mark Breland threw the towel into the ring for a seventh-round stoppage.

But while the two boxers exchanged several knockdowns at the T-Mobile Arena in the final contest, Scott insisted there was never a moment he considered waving the white flag for Wilder.

"Over the years of me knowing Deontay, he has always said throwing the towel in with a knockout artist like him wouldn't be tolerated," he said.

"It's something I respected. The last knockdown was the worst knockdown and the ref called it off.

"Deontay and Mark [Breland] never had a relationship outside the gym, they never talked for more than five minutes on a phone call. 

"Me and Deontay would never fall out and not speak again – our bond is too tight."

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."

Tyson Fury labelled himself "the greatest heavyweight of my era" after the WBC champion defended his belt with a devastating knockout of Deontay Wilder.

Fury (31-0-1) stayed undefeated thanks to his 11th-round KO against Wilder in Saturday's blockbuster trilogy in Las Vegas.

In an all-time epic bout, Fury was dropped twice but the British star got the better of Wilder (42-2-1), who showed incredible courage to make it to the penultimate round having appeared out on his feet.

After the slugfest, Fury said: "Like the great John Wayne said, I'm made of pig iron and steel, baby!

"I took some big shots but my lord and saviour 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."

"I was down a couple of times, I was hurt, Wilder is a strong puncher," said Fury, who landed some thunderous blows to the head of the American.

"It was a great fight. I will not make any excuses, Wilder is a top fighter, he gave me a run for my money. I always say I am the best fighter in the world and he is the second best.

"Don't ever doubt me. When the chips are down I can always deliver."

Fury added: "I'm now the greatest heavyweight of my era, without a doubt. Number one, numero uno. Look what I've done.

"I've came to America my last six fights and fought the most devastating puncher in the history of our sport. Not once, not twice, but three times. Danger, danger man."

After a contentious split-decision draw in the first meeting back in December 2018, the rematch saw Fury take the judges out of the equation with a dominant performance, forcing a seventh-round stoppage that not only saw Wilder lose the WBC title but also his unbeaten record as a professional.

The pair put on an instant classic on Saturday but Wilder appeared unwilling to pay respect to Fury as he swiftly left the ring post-fight.

"I'm a sportsman; I went over to show some love and respect and he didn't want to show it back," Fury said. "I'll pray for him so God will soften his heart."

"I said, 'Well done'. And he said, 'I don't wanna show any sportsmanship or respect.' I said, 'No problem'."

"Very surprised [by] that," Fury continued. "Sore loser, an idiot. Do you know what? To be a top fighting man, you've got to show guts and respect and he couldn't do it tonight. And that's it."

Tyson Fury won a battle of the ages against Deontay Wilder, retaining his WBC heavyweight championship with a devastating knockout in the pair's blockbuster trilogy bout.

In a brutal slugfest in Las Vegas, unbeaten British star Fury dropped American challenger Wilder in the 11th round to successfully defend his belt on Saturday.

Fury (31-0-1) and Wilder (42-2-1) went toe-to-toe throughout the heavyweight showdown, though the latter was out on his feet and it appeared a matter of time before the 'Gypsy King' scored the telling blow.

After a contentious split-decision draw in the first meeting back in December 2018, the rematch saw Fury take the judges out of the equation with a dominant performance, forcing a seventh-round stoppage that not only saw Wilder lose the WBC title but also his unbeaten record as a professional.

The trilogy was not seemingly on the cards — or at least not this soon — until the outcome of an arbitration hearing, a judge ruling the reigning champion was contractually obliged to face his former foe again, ending the possibility of a unification showdown with Anthony Joshua.

In front of a star-studded crowd, Wilder made a bright start, though Fury moved around well and managed to land a strike to the head in an exchange before the end of the opening round.

Both men continued to go for some big shots as the referee repeatedly shouted to keep it clean, with clinching aplenty.

Fury scored a knockdown in the third round after sending Wilder to the canvas with a big shot to the head and the latter – on the ropes amid a flurry of big punches – barely made it to the bell.

Wilder appeared to seize the momentum in an incredible fourth round, with the slugfest moving in his favour having dropped Fury twice in a concerning sequence for the champion.

Neither fighter took a backward step in a stunning showdown between two powerful hitters – Fury landed a blow to Wilder's head late in the sixth round and continued where he left off in the seventh.

Wilder, who spent most of the fight on the ropes, looked out on his feet during the latter stages of the seventh after absorbing another brutal strike to the head as Fury sniffed blood.

Having somehow survived, Wilder was floored in the 10th and was on the receiving end of an uppercut during the final stages and while he ended the round swinging, he was finally stopped in the 11th.

Tyson Fury has vowed to "obliterate" Deontay Wilder when he puts his WBC world heavyweight title on the line in Saturday's trilogy fight at the T-Mobile Arena.

The 33-year-old looked in tremendous condition at Friday's weigh-in as he tipped the scales at 277 pounds — four pounds heavier than he was in his most recent meeting with Wilder 20 months ago.

Wilder is also at a career-high weight of 238, an increase of seven pounds, but Fury does not believe he will have any problems stopping his American opponent for a second time in a row.

Asked what the advantage is of coming in heavier this time around, Fury said: "It means total obliteration of a dosser! Total annihilation. That is what it means to me.

"Two-hunded-and-seventy-seven pounds... I am going to put him in the royal infirmary after the fight."

The 39-pound difference between the two is the closest across their three fights. 

"I wanted to look tasty and feel sexy," Wilder said of his physique. "I am bench pressing over 350 so I will be able to lift him. We just wanted to have fun in camp, we had a great time. The say you practice for perfect, we practiced for permanent.

"Calmness is the key to the storm. I know when I am not calm my mind is cloudy, when my mind is cloudy it allows you to make bad decisions. 

"When you are calm you are able to make great decisions. I have rejuvenated myself, redemption is upon us and I can't wait to show the world what I am all about." 

This will be the third chapter in a heavyweight rivalry that has produced plenty of drama in the past, both in and out of the ring.

After a contentious split-decision draw in the first meeting back in December 2018, the rematch saw Fury take the judges out of the equation with a dominant performance, forcing a seventh-round stoppage that not only saw Wilder lose the WBC title but also his unbeaten record as a pro.

The trilogy was not seemingly on the cards — or at least not this soon — until the outcome of an arbitration hearing, a judge ruling the reigning champion was contractually obliged to face his former foe again, ending the possibility of a unification showdown with Anthony Joshua.

Fury contracting COVID-19 led to a further delay, scuppering an original July fight date, but, finally, the stage is set in Las Vegas for the pair to meet again.

For Wilder, this is an opportunity to rebuild his reputation. He hopes a new man in his corner can help: Malik Scott once lost to his fellow American in the ring, now he is tasked with formulating a plan to get his old foe back on top.

Scott has certainly talked the talk in the build-up, even predicting his fighter gets the job done inside five rounds after working hard to refine his game.

"He got content with knocking people out with one weapon, which was the right hand," Scott said. 

"What I did was I went to his toolbox and pulled everything out that he does well. Deontay Wilder can do it all. I just pulled a lot of stuff out of him in training camp. I made sure we drilled him with intent."

The development of Wilder, a power hitter whose boxing skills have always been questioned, is just one of the intriguing plot lines going into a contest that should make for absorbing viewing, whatever the final outcome.

 

TALE OF THE TAPE

TYSON FURY

Age: 33
Height: 6ft 9ins (206cm)
Weight: 277lbs
Reach: 85ins
Professional record: 30-0-1 (21 KOs)
Major career titles: IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO heavyweight

DEONTAY WILDER

Age: 35
Height: 6ft 7ins (201cm)
Weight: 238lbs
Reach: 83ins 
Professional record: 42-1-1 (41 KOs)
Major career titles: WBC heavyweight

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