Tyson Fury kept his WBC heavyweight crown on Saturday, stopping Dillian Whyte in round six of an all-British fight at a frenzied Wembley stadium before reiterating his suggestion that he should now retire. The victory for the self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’, who fought on British soil for the first time in four years, was attended by 94,000 fans in London – a post-war British record crowd. Undefeated Fury, 33, had said this would be his last fight and immediately afterwards announced, “This could be the last curtain for the Gypsy King. And what a way to go out.”
After a cautious opening, the defending champion took the initiative, controlled the fight and dealt some telling blows to his opponent’s head and body.
Whyte could have had few complaints when he was called out with just one second to go before the fight was halfway through, as he was clearly unsteady on his feet after the first significant attack of the match, a brutal right uppercut from Fury.
The 6 foot 9 inch (206 centimeters tall) Fury was able to use his considerable height and advantage to keep Whyte at bay, while making the challenger look clumsy and cumbersome.
Whyte, who cut his right eye after an accidental head-on collision, was first installed as the WBC’s number one contender nearly four years ago, but he was unable to impose himself.
“I’m overwhelmed with the support,” Fury said. “I can’t believe my 94,000 compatriots came here tonight to see me perform.
“I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, ‘Thank you so much to everyone who bought a ticket here tonight or stayed up late watching it on TV’.”
If Fury goes through with his plan to quit, he would turn down the chance to face Oleksandr Usyk — the current WBA, IBF and WBO champions — or fellow British fighter Anthony Joshua for the undisputed crown.
No boxer has held all the major heavyweight titles since Britain’s Lennox Lewis, who became the undisputed champion in 1999.
But Fury, now undefeated in 33 fights, seems to be holding on to his guns.
“I promised my lovely wife Paris, 14, that after de Wilder three fights, that would be it,” he said.
“And I meant it. We had a war. It was a great trilogy. And I meant it. But I got the offer to fight at home at Wembley, and I believe I deserved it – that I owed it to the fans .”
Jamaican-born Whyte, 34, was greeted with booing as he entered the cavernous stadium dressed in black.
Tension peaked when Fury entered the sounds of Don McLean’s “American Pie,” which was accompanied by a video montage of his career.
Fury, dressed in a white and red robe and gloves bearing the cross of St. George – the flag of England – sat on a golden throne as fireworks rocketed into the sky before jogging to the ring.
After delighting the audience with his win, he led them in another rendition of “American Pie.”
Fury hailed Whyte as a “warrior”, predicting he would one day become world champion, but said his opponent had met a “big one” in the sport.
“I am one of the greatest heavyweights of all time,” he said. “And unfortunately for Dillian Whyte, he had to face me here tonight. There is no shame.”
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