Tyson Fury defeats Deontay Wilder to retain WBC heavyweight title in Las Vegas

Tyson Fury delivered a thrilling 11th-round knockout of Deontay Wilder to retain his WBC heavyweight crown as their trilogy bout produced another classic on an electric night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Twenty months since Fury dethroned the American, the 33-year-old had to show all his resolve and resilience to extend his undefeated professional record to 32 fights after twice being floored in the fourth round.

Wilder was hanging on by the end of the seventh but was still in a gruelling fight come the 10th, when Fury knocked him down once more, before delivering the final blow in the 11th to bring this particular chapter of heavyweight boxing to a close.

“I was down a couple of times, I was hurt, Wilder is a strong puncher,” said Fury of his opponent, who was taken to hospital as a precaution after the fight.

“It was a great fight. I will not make any excuses, Wilder is a top fighter, he gave me a run for my money. I always say I am the best fighter in the world and he is the second best.

“Don’t ever doubt me. When the chips are down I can always deliver.”

‘I am the greatest heavyweight champion of my era’

Fury has passed every challenge thrown his way but to become the first undisputed heavyweight world champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000 he will need to take the titles held by Oleksandr Usyk.

The Ukrainian looks set to face Anthony Joshua in a rematch first to see if the Briton can win back his WBF, IBF and WBO crowns, but in Fury’s mind there is no doubt as to who is the greatest heavyweight of this enticing era.

“I have proved time and again that I can never be written off,” he added. “I didn’t have my best performance but I pulled it out of the bag when it needed to be done.

“He did keep getting up but it was that final right hand to the side of the head that finished him.

“I wasn’t hurt. You get hit, you wake up on the floor. I got up and was very conscious the whole time. I was one punch away from knocking him out in the whole fight.

“I am the greatest heavyweight champion of my era, without a doubt. Number one. If you play with fire long enough you will get burned.”