Tyson Fury knocked out Dillian Whyte in the final second of the sixth round with a brutal uppercut to cement his status as the best heavyweight on the planet.
Fury had had much the better of a scrappy and at times dirty fight at Wembley before he detonated his right hand as the bout neared the halfway stage. Whyte attempted to beat the count but stumbled across the ring to leave the referee with no option but to wave off the fight.
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Fury was making the second defence of the heavyweight world title he won from Deontay Wilder in 2020 . He brought a concussive conclusion to their rivalry last October to cement his status as the best of the big men before turning his attention to his mandatory challenger.
Whyte, who earned a career-high purse of £6million, was roundly booed by the 94,000-strong crowd as he marched to the ring with little fanfare. Fury, fighting at home for the first time in almost four years, left his opponent waiting in the ring with an elaborate entrance which began with a rendition of Don McLean’s American Pie, segued into mocked-up photos of Fury as Jesus and ended with the champion jogging to the 20-foot squared circle.
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The rivals exchanged words in an impromptu face-off in the centre of the ring even before the first note of God Save The Queen had been belted out. When the first bell rang, Fury opted to stick with his orthodox stance – but Whyte surprised his opponent by switching to southpaw. He looked to land his right hand to the champion’s fleshy middle while Fury patiently pawed with his jab.
Whyte reverted back to orthodox for the second session while Fury briefly switched his own stance. And he began to find his range from the midpoint of the round, forcing Whyte to swing wildly in attempted retaliation. And Fury continued to push home his advantage in the third round as his languid and awkward style left Whyte chasing shadows.
Both men were lectured by referee Mark Lyson for using their heads which left Whyte with a cut around his right eye. The rivals then defied the official when he attempted to intervene for a second time as the heavyweights continued to land blows.
Order was restored in round five as Fury continued to showcase his judgement of distance, landing his jab while staying agonisingly out of range. A whipping right hand to Whyte’s body briefly rallied the crowd – as did the challenger’s swing and miss in response.
Whyte was struggling to close his distance to his elusive countryman and his face was beginning to mark up as Fury pieced together his attacks with unerring accuracy. And he dropped Whyte at the end of the sixth round with the challenger still on wobbly leg as he rose – forcing the referee to wave off the fight.
On the undercard, Tyson’s brother Tommy laboured to victory over Daniel Bocianski after six uninspiring rounds. Fury was fighting for the first time since August – and for the first time since his fight with Jake Paul was cancelled. But he failed to produce the statement stoppage which might have caught the YouTuber’s attention and must now wait to see if he has done enough to convince Paul to reschedule.
Nick Ball took full advantage of his opportunity on the biggest of stages as he stopped Isaac Lowe to extend his unbeaten record to 15 fights, while Ekow Essuman retained his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles with a hard-fought points win over Darren Tetley.
Photo Credit: Getty