Tyson Fury after Deontay Wilder knockout: 'I could beat any man in history'
In a breathtaking and bruising third contest between these combatants at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with five knockdowns in total, Fury showcased tremendous fortitude to come out on top and close the book on this rivalry.
Wilder hit the deck first in the third round and looked to be saved by the bell on unsteady legs and yet after just a minute's respite, he immediately turned the tables with his straight right hand to twice topple Fury.
Fury's unbeaten professional record appeared to be in jeopardy but he re-established control as Wilder tired in the middle rounds, perhaps fatigued by how much energy he had expended in trying to get the knockout.
He remained a live threat even as it became evident Fury was on top. Indeed after sinking to his knees in the 10th after Fury evened up the knockdowns, Wilder finished the round strongly and momentarily buzzed the Briton.
It was the final act of defiance from Wilder, though, as he was sent crashing face first to the floor for the third and final time in the penultimate round by a savage right to the temple.
Referee Russell Mora immediately called a halt to the contest to leave Fury (now 31-0-1, 22KOs) facing questions afterwards about where he sits in the pantheon of greats in boxing's blue-riband division.
He said at the post-fight press conference: "When it comes down to it, when I have to pull the chips out, every time I've delivered. I can only be the best of my day, I've done that: I'm the best fighter in my era.
"I actually feel sorry for all these guys who have had to fight me because I go in the dressing room and I'm not nervous, it's a boxing fight to me, but they're fighting the fighter of the generation, that's for sure.
"Without sounding too sharp and clever, I believe that I could beat any man in history, any man born I believe I've got a really good chance of beating him.
"There's always a way of beating Tyson Fury and I've always said it very, very clearly: you've just got to knock me spark out, and if you can't do that I'll win. I can only be the best of my era and I'm definitely that."
He may have contributed to one of the great heavyweight fights but Fury was left distinctly unimpressed by his foe's attitude afterwards, saying the Alabaman rejected the opportunity of a post-fight show of respect.
Fury said: "I thought we fought it all out there and all the allegations that they made towards me throughout the build-up of this fight, and we fought like two warriors in there.
"I went over to shake his hand and say well done and he was like 'No, I don't respect you'. How can you say I've cheated when you know in your own heart and full team knows that you just got beat fair and square.
"He's a sore loser, I'm sure he's not the first one and he won't be the last one."
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