What a night in Las Vegas. We’ll leave you with the full report of the fight, which you can read below:
Tyson Fury, the new champion, speaks
“A big shout out to Deontay Wilder. He came here tonight and he manned up and he really did show the heart of a champion. I hit him with a clean right that dropped him and he got back up. He is a warrior. He will be back. He will be champion again.
“But I will say, the king has returned to the top of the throne!”
Deontay Wilder speaks
The former champion is gracious in defeat:
“I’m doing good. Things like this happen. The best man won tonight, but my corner threw in the towel and I was ready to go out on my shield. I had a lot of things going on heading into this fight. It is what it is, but I make no excuses tonight. I just wish my corner would have let me go out on my shield. I’m a warrior. He had a great performance and we will be back stronger.
“Even the greatest have lost and came back, that is just part of it. You just take it for what it is. I can make no excuses tonight. I had a lot of complications. But we’ll come back stronger next time around. This is what big-time boxing is all about, the best must fight the best. I appreciate all the fans that came out and supported the show, and I hope that everyone gets home safely.”
Fury thanks Jesus and various sponsors as he addresses the crowd and then launches into a version of Don McLean’s American Pie – it’s not too shabby a vocal performance for a man who has just won the heavyweight title.
What next? Wilder has a rematch clause with Fury but he may not want to face the Briton again after the beating he just took. The obvious fight now is Anthony Joshua, but whether that happens is another question.
Fury was just too good for his opponent tonight. He was not only too good technically but he was too powerful too. He out-thought and outfought Wilder, and the American could not find his balance to unleash that legendary power. Fury just put in one of the great performances by a British fighter abroad.
Tyson Fury wins by seventh-round TKO!
The fight has been stopped as Wilder’s corner throws in the towel in round seven. Say it out loud: Tyson Fury is the new WBC heavyweight champion of the world!
Another dominant round from Fury, who spends about half of it leaning on Wilder in a neutral corner and in-fighting beautifully. He’s pounding away with hooks and uppercuts to the head and body. Wilder still bleeding from his left ear and in full retreat when he’s not up against the ropes.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Wilder 9-10 Fury (Wilder 52-60 Fury)
Wilder down in round five!
Fury is landing bombs. Wilder’s legs are gone. He looks ready to fall early in the fifth. He can’t defend himself. He lunges forward with a right hand that Fury swerves easily. Wilder goes down again, a clubbing left to the body from the challenger. Fury is picking him apart and you start to wonder when the referee will intervene. Fury lands a series of blows with Wilder trapped in a corner as the bell rings. This isn’t going to last much longer.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Wilder 9-10 Fury (Wilder 43-50 Fury)
Wilder is down early in the fourth but the referee rules it a slip, which it was. Wilder is looking for the right hand to the point of parody. Fury traps him against the ropes and opens up but Wilder clinches. Fury lands a big left. Wilder is bleeding from his left ear, which suggests a busted eardrum. He looks completely off. A very one-sided round for Fury and Wilder is in grave trouble.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Wilder 9-10 Fury (Wilder 35-40 Fury)
Wilder down in round three!
Fury lands a left followed by a left-right combo. Wilder tries to go over the top with a right hand but Fury sees it coming and easily moves out of the way. Fury doubles up the jab coming forward. The Gypsy King is starting to click here as Wilder’s output has grown more frugal. And down goes Wilder in the last minute of the third round! A right hand to the temple has dropped Wilder for the first time in the decade and the crowd is going bananas! Wilder beats the count and Fury comes in for the finish … and Wilder goes down again, only referee Kenny Bayless rules it a slip. There’s the bell. What a round!
Guardian’s unofficial score: Wilder 8-10 Fury (Wilder 26-30 Fury)
Wilder lands a lunging right hand early in the round but Fury takes it well. Chants of U-S-A! U-S-A! ring through the arena. Fury is coming forward now and Wilder is on the back foot but it’s mostly a lot of feinting as each side probes for an opening. Another burst forward by Wilder as he tries to close the distance but Fury eludes the punches. Fury lands a right hand upstairs, drawing big cheers and Wilder clinches along the ropes. And Fury catches an off-balance Wilder flush as the bell rings, sending the champion reeling backwards into a neutral corner. Wilder looks slower and the weight gain might not be to his benefit.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Wilder 9-10 Fury (Wilder 9-10 Fury)
And we’re off! Wilder immediately comes forward and fires a pair of left jabs. He’s circling to his left quickly and pumping the left to Fury’s head. Now Wilder attacks the body, something he didn’t do enough when they last met. Wilder already more active in the first minute than long stretches of the first meeting. Wilder springs forward with a combination but both shots miss. Now Fury, who hasn’t done much, opens up with a combo that misses the target. And Fury bursts forward again with a flurry of four punches that sends the largely pro-Fury crowd into hysterics even if none of the shots landed clearly. Wilder lands to the body but Fury lands a harder shot in return. A rip-roaring first round! Very close but I’ll give it to the Gypsy King.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Wilder 9-10 Fury (Wilder 9-10 Fury)
Now it’s Deontay Wilder, dressed in an elaborate black gladiatorial armor and flanked by the rapper D Smoke as he performs Black Habits. Like Fury’s, it’s a long and drawn-out march from the tunnel to the ring. And finally the WBC heavyweight champion reaches the ring and climbs through the ropes.
First it’s Tyson Fury, the challenger. The Gypsy King makes his way to through the bowels of the MGM Grand Garden Arena as Gala’s rave classic Freed From Desire plays at ear-splitting levels. He’s wearing a crown and red robe befitting of royalty over black fighting robe. Now he climbs a parade float and emerges into the arena as Patsy Cline’s Crazy plays. The crowd is eating it up.
Jimmy Lennon Jr is in the ring and we’re just about ready to go. Now it’s time for the anthems: first Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline, followed by God Save the Queen and The Star-Spangled Banner. And, finally, the fighters are moments away from making their entrances. A positively electric atmosphere at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which is packed to the corners.
Tale of the tape
Here’s a look at how Wilder and Fury match up ahead of tonight’s main event. The Gypsy King will enjoy two-inch advantages in height and reach in addition to coming in 42lbs heavier, though it’s been debated whether the extra ballast will help or hurt him.
Charles Martin has knocked out Gerald Washington with a vicious left hand down the middle in the sixth-round of their IBF heavyweight title eliminator. Martin, who briefly held the IBF title vacated by Fury with a 2016 win over Vyacheslav Glazkov (only to give it over to Anthony Joshua) delivered a crowd-pleasing ending to a dull affair against the 37-year-old Washington, who has been stopped in four of his last six outings. Next up: Wilder and Fury in their long-anticipated rematch for the WBC heavyweight championship.
We’re inching through the scheduled 12 rounds of a stinker of a co-main event between Charles Martin and Gerald Washington. Meanwhile, Critters 3 co-star Leonardo DiCaprio has just walked into the MGM Grand Garden Arena, joining the who’s who at ringside including Michael J Fox, Steve Harvey, Magic Johnson, Gordon Ramsey and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.
Veteran referee Kenny Bayless will be the third man in the ring for tonight’s main event. The ringside judges are an American trio with heaps of experience in world championship fights: Dave Moretti (Nevada), Steve Weisfeld (New York) and the aforementioned Glenn Feldman (Connecticut).
Fury, who has been very public on his intent to end the fight inside the distance, said he took no objection to all three arbiters being from the United States, saying: “Kenny Bayless is a top referee. He has refereed me before and he did a good job. I have no objections with the referees and judges, whoever they are they are, they will do a good job.”
“It’s been no secret that I’m looking for a knockout. That’s why I hired (trainer SugarHill Steward) and went back to Kronk. He gets you to sit down on that big right hand, and that’s the game plan.”
Emanuel Navarrete has successfully defended his WBO super bantamweight title with an 11th-round stoppage of Jeo Tupas Santisima. Navarrete, a high-volume pressure fighter who won the title in a major upset of Isaac Dogboe and backed it up in the immediate rematch, battered the overmatched Santisima in a one-sided affair until his corner finally threw in the towel.
That leaves one more preliminary fight, a 12-round eliminator for the IBF heavyweight title between Charles Martin and Gerald Washington, before the main event.
“I think it was a fair decision and a good fight,” says Sebastian Fundora, the super welterweight prospect who outpointed Australia’s Daniel Lewis in tonight’s PPV opener. “There were a lot of hard punches. I knew he would be tough. When they told me I was fighting an Olympian, I knew it would be a tough fight. He probably had more experience than me, but we prepared the right way and got the win.”
The 6ft 6in southpaw from the Coachella valley improved to 14-0-1 in 15 professional outings after the judges handed down scores of 97-93, 98-92 and 99-91, which felt a bit wider than how the close, competitive fight played out.
“I always want to use my height and my physical gifts, but it just depends on the fight. If the situation changes, we have to be ready to adapt,” Fundora said. “Whether we’re fighting on the inside or the outside, I always want to be the busier fighter. The more punches you throw, the more you’re going to land. It’s the way I like to fight.”
Here’s a look at the Fundora-Lewis cards. Let’s hope Glenn Feldman, who turned in the 99-91 score and will return to ringside to judge Wilder-Fury in roughly an hour, fares better in the main event.
Here’s a look at the odds for tonight’s fight at the MGM Grand sports book. At the moment Wilder is a -135 favorite (meaning a $135 bet would pay off $100), while Fury is a 115 underdog (meaning a $100 wager would return $115).
Although the highly pro-Fury turnout at Friday’s weigh-in suggest the Gypsy King will have the advantage in crowd support, the line shift indicates a majority of the action has been on Wilder. His price has shortened from -120 on Wednesday after opening at -110, while Fury’s has drifted from even on Wednesday after starting at -110.
Sebastian Fundora has won a unanimous decision over Australia’s Daniel Lewis in the pay-per-view opener. The action in the 10-round super welterweight tilt was far closer and competitive than the official scores of 97-93, 98-92 and 99-91 would suggest. Perhaps not the best sign the absurd 99-91 card was handed down by Glenn Feldman, who is one of the three judges for the main event, but we’re going to keep it positive tonight.
Here’s a look at tonight’s order of play. The pay-per-view undercard is kicking off at the moment with California’s Sebastian Fundora and Australia’s Daniel Lewis in the first round of their a 10-round super welterweight bout.
- Sebastian Fundora v Daniel Lewis, 10 rounds, super welterweights
- Emanuel Navarrete v Jeo Tupas Santisima, 12 rounds, for Navarrete’s WBO super bantamweight title
- Charles Martin v Gerald Washington, 12 rounds, IBF heavyweight title eliminator
- Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury, rematch, 12 rounds, for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title
And here’s a look at the preliminaries that are in the books. They have included a major upset in the last hour as Brooklyn’s Petros Ananyan (15-2-2, 7 KOs), who went off as an 18-1 underdog, outpointed Subriel Matias, the fancied super lightweight prospect from Puerto Rico, who had won all 15 of his professional fights by knockout.
- Rolando Romero TKO 2 Arturs Ahmetovs, eight rounds, lightweights
- Isaac Lowe UD 10 Alberto Guevara, 10 rounds, featherweights
- Vito Mielnicki Jr UD 10 Corey Champion, four rounds, super welterweights
- Gabriel Flores Jr UD 8 Matt Conway, eight rounds, lightweights
- Petros Ananyan UD 10 Subriel Matias, 10 rounds, super lightweights
- Javier Molina UD 8 Amir Imam, 10 rounds, super lightweights
Hello and welcome to the Las Vegas strip for tonight’s hotly anticipated rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury for the WBC heavyweight championship. We’re ringside at the MGM Grand Garden Arena where a capacity crowd of 17,000 is expected for a delicious matchup between two undefeated giants with 71 professional wins between them, the two best fighters today in boxing’s prestige division, that’s been called the most important heavyweight title fight since the return meeting between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield in 1999.
Tonight’s main event is a rematch of their epic split draw 15 months ago in downtown Los Angeles, where the 6ft 9in Fury spent most of the night racking up points and using every trick in the book to negate Wilder’s show-stopping right hand. The American finally broke through with a knockdown in the ninth round and an even heavier one in the 12th, which left Fury seemingly unconscious on the way down, but the Gypsy King somehow made it to his feet and to the final bell, where the ringside judges handed down the stalemate. Mexico’s Alejandro Rochin scored it 115-111 to Wilder, Canada’s Robert Tapper had it 114-112 for Fury and Phil Edwards of the United Kingdom called it even at 113-113. (The Guardian scored it 115-111 to Fury.)
Fury’s performance was all the more astonishing as it came on the heels of a very public bout with addiction and mental illness, when he surrendered all the belts he won from Wladimir Klitschko while swelling to nearly 400lb during a 31-month layoff.
Both Wilder and Fury have won two fights apiece since their Staples Center classic, staying on course for tonight’s blockbuster rematch even as Anthony Joshua, holder of the division’s other three belts which in another lifetime belonged to Fury (and which he never lost in the ring), surrendered and regained in a pair of outings with Andy Ruiz Jr.
It’s just after 6pm in Las Vegas and the pay-per-view undercard is about to get started. The main event is expected to begin in roughly two and a half hours’ time. Plenty to come between now and then.
Bryan will be here shortly. Here’s some essential pre-fight reading.