Tyson Fury closes retirement after retaining world title against Dillian Whyte

Tyson Fury was adamant he would retire from boxing after retaining his WBC heavyweight title with a highlight stoppage of Dillian Whyte.

Fury has insisted for weeks that he would end his career regardless of the result against his British rivals at Wembley Stadium, although even those close to him have questioned that stance.

If this is to be the end, then the 33-year-old bowed out in supreme fashion, dictating the tempo to the delight of a post-war British record crowd of 94,000 before a vicious uppercut troubled the senses of Whyte.

Tyson Fury, left, stopped Dillian Whyte in the sixth round of their world heavyweight title fight (Nick Potts/PA)

Whyte bravely beat the count, but it was clear he was still on rubbery legs when he ran into referee Mark Lyson, who immediately ended proceedings with a second to go in round six.

Fury, who extended his undefeated record to 33 fights with 32 wins and a draw, celebrated by treating the crowd to a rendition of Don McLean’s “American Pie,” one of the songs played in his elaborate entrance.

But when asked if he might be tempted to face the winner of a rematch, scheduled for the summer between WBA, IBF and WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk and national foe Anthony Joshua, Fury was without equivocal.

“I’ve been on the road a lot, I’ve been away a long time,” he said. “I accomplished everything I ever wanted to accomplish.

“I will retire as the second heavyweight in history, after Rocky Marciano, to retire undefeated.”

Fury won British, Commonwealth and European titles before rocketing to the top of boxing’s blue ribbon division in November 2015 when he ended Wladimir Klitschko’s long reign as world champion.

A crippling battle with depression kept him out of the ring for the next two and a half years, and he ballooned to nearly 30 stone in weight, losing his IBF, WBA and WBO crowns along the way.

But he got back into shape, becoming one of the nation’s foremost mental health advocates, and within six months of his return Fury was once again a challenger for the world title.

Many believed he deserved the green light against Deontay Wilder and although a questionable draw was declared, Fury left no room for doubt in the second and third bouts of an all-time classic trilogy, beating his heavy-fisted opponent inside the distance twice as he cracked America.

There were controversies, with Fury making sexist and homophobic remarks shortly before his win over Klitschko, as he received a backdated two-year ban in December 2017 after testing positive for a banned steroid, which he accused of eating uncastrated wild boar meat.

Whyte, center, slipped to his third loss in 31 fights (Nick Potts/PA)
Whyte, center, slipped to his third loss in 31 fights (Nick Potts/PA)

Fury came under scrutiny last week for his links to Daniel Kinahan, who was recently sanctioned by the US Treasury amid allegations of drug smuggling and money laundering, which he denies. Fury was once advised by Kinahan, but says he has “absolutely no” business with the alleged crime boss.

There was speculation as to whether the issue would impact Fury’s state of mind in his first fight on British soil since August 2018 on a chilly night in London, but if it was the case, it wasn’t immediately apparent, with the 6-foot-9 Fury using his five-inch height. advantage and more at hand to keep Whyte largely under control.

Whenever the fight was ranged, Fury used his jab and combinations to choke his opponent and if Whyte, who was cut from an accidental clash of heads in the fourth round, tried to close the distance, the Jamaican-born Londoner was tied up and incapacitated. to get meaningful hits.

The WBC mandatory challenger sent no sustained punishment but often looked slow and cumbersome, and he had to ponder a third loss in 31 fights after a devastating right uppercut from Fury, who reveled in his victory.

“I’m happy with my performance,” Fury said. “And I hope he is. He didn’t just fight the world champion, I’m a legend in this game. And you can’t deny it, I’m the greatest heavyweight there ever was.

“There was never one that could beat me. I’m 6-foot-9, 270-pound, I can move like a middleweight, I can punch like a thunderstorm, and I can take a punch like anyone else.

“I have b***s like King Kong, heart of a lion, Wizard of Oz mindset. It was a special night, what a way to top it off.

Laura J. Boyer