Tyson Fury thanked God after winning the WBC heavyweight championship in a decisive seventh-round technical knockout (TKO) on Saturday night — and praised his opponent, Deontay Wilder.
Draped in two championship belts — one for the WBC, and one for the lineal championship that he won in 2015 from then-champion Wladimir Klitschko — Fury delivered a memorable victory speech:
The King has class. https://t.co/atI0V0FX7O
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) February 23, 2020
Thank you to the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I said, those who bring evil against me will not prosper, I said those who stand in the dark can never come into the light. All praise be to the one and only true God, Jesus Christ.
Secondly, I just want to say, big shout-out, Deontay Wilder. You know, he came here tonight, he manned up, he really did show [the] heart of a champion. I hit him with a clean right hand and dropped him, and he got back up and battled on into round seven. He is a warrior, he will be back, he will be a champion again. But I will say: the King has returned to the top of the throne.
In their first meeting in December 2018, Fury (the “Gypsy King”) and Wilder (the “Bronze Bomber”) fought to a thrilling draw, in which the American knocked Fury down twice, and Fury rose from the canvas in the 12th round just in time to beat the count.
Wilder-Fury II was the most heavily anticipated boxing match in decades, driven by the personalities of two men who both rose from adversity to international success.
Fury decided to change trainers, and change strategies. Instead of trying to out-box Wilder, Fury tried to out-fight him, gaining weight and going for the knockout early.
The strategy worked: Wilder had looked confident going into the fight, but clearly did not anticipate a more aggressive Fury, who knocked Wilder down twice before the champion’s corner threw in the towel in round seven.
A rematch is likely, and many hope Fury will face Anthony Joshua, who holds the other heavyweight belts.
The fight took place against the backdrop of the Nevada caucuses, whose votes were being counted even as the boxers were touching gloves in the ring.
Boxing enthusiasts hope that the sheer class and skill displayed by Wilder and Fury this week in Las Vegas will mark a return to the sport’s glory days.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.