Tyson Fury knocks out Dillian Whyte, then announces retirement

Patrick McKendry
Source: 1News

Tyson Fury has defended his WBC world heavyweight title bout with a stunning knockout victory over Dillian Whyte – an all-English fight played out in front of a record 94,000 crowd at Wembley Stadium, after which the self-styled Gypsy King announced his retirement.

Tyson Fury celebrates after knocking down Dillian Whyte in the sixth round of their world title fight at Wembley Stadium.

If Fury stands by his statements in the ring after a perfect right uppercut sent Whyte sprawling to the canvas in the sixth round, he will be leaving the sport at a time when his popularity has never been higher.

“I promised my lovely wife Paris… that after the Wilder 3 fight that would be it,” Fury said. “But I meant it, and we had a war and it was a great trilogy and I meant that. But I got offered to fight at Wembley at home and I owed it to the fans… but now that it’s all done I have to be a man of my word – I think this is it, this might be the final curtain for the Gypsy King and what a way to go out."

The 33-year-old has transcended the sport following the Deontay Wilder trilogy and his return to English soil to demolish Whyte.

Fury made the long walk to the ring to a variety of songs, including his trademark Don McLean American Pie number – featuring an on-screen cameo by the artist himself – sat on a throne on a stage, and then, after jettisoning his robe, he jogged to the ring, chased by his entourage. The accompanying fireworks were matched by the quality of his finishing blow.

All the while Whyte, a mandatory challenger since 2017, waited patiently in the ring for the opportunity he has been craving for so long and yet was patently so unsuited for. The 34-year-old was always going to struggle to get close enough to hurt his giant opponent, and a lack of foot speed and agility added to his issues.

Fury was in control of the fight from the first bell, despite Whyte surprising many by switching to a southpaw stance in round one.

The challenger reverted to orthodox from round two onwards but couldn’t get close to Fury and although his rough-house tactics annoyed Fury at times – with both boxers warned by referee Mark Lyson for not stopping on his break call - Whyte came off the worst, a cut near his right eye opening up from a clash of heads in round four.

Fury, controlling the pace and distance, upped the tempo in round five and brought the evening to a close with a punch he admitted was one of the best he has thrown in his professional career. “I think Lennox Lewis would have been proud of that right uppercut,” Fury said.

Incidentally, New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker, whose next fight against Joe Joyce was announced during the event, predicted a round six knockout victory for his friend and training partner.

Whyte beat referee Lyson’s count but stumbled into the official and was in no fit state to continue. It was the third loss of Whyte’s career. His most recent loss was against Alexander Povetkin and it finished in a similar way; he is a tough and brave fighter but he has always been susceptible to the uppercut. Fury remains undefeated after 33 fights.

“Dillian Whyte is a warrior and I believe Dillian will be a world champion but tonight he met a great in the sport," Fury said. "I’m one of the greatest heavyweights of all time and unfortunately for Dillian Whyte he had to face me here tonight. There’s no disgrace, he’s a tough, game, man, he’s as strong as a bull and he’s got a heart of a lion, but you’re not messing with a mediocre heavyweight. You’re messing with the best man on the planet.

“I just want to say I’m overwhelmed with the support,” Fury said.

At the end of the interview, Fury was asked if he had a final word for his many fans. “I can do better than that,” he said, before launching into a potentially final performance of American Pie.

If that's the end, we're unlikely to see his like again.