One day, a movie about Tyson Fury's life is going to clean up at the Oscars. Fury captured the heavyweight championship of the world for a second time on Saturday, scoring a TKO win over rival Deontay Wilder in their highly anticipated rematch from Las Vegas. The win came in ways that seemed to defy logic with Fury, who has battled mental health struggles, failed drug tests, years out of the ring and constant scrutiny over his weight, putting on an all-time great performance that showcased all of his best qualities as a boxer.
The lineal heavyweight champion was the slight underdog heading into the fight after battling Wilder to a split draw in their December 2018 meeting. Fury is not unfamiliar to the role, however, having truly burst onto the world stage by ending the dominant reign of Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. But no performance in Fury's career has come under as big a spotlight -- or microscope -- as the rematch with Wilder.
What Fury delivered was a masterclass. A near-perfect showing against arguably the most dangerous heavyweight in history with the world watching. While the Klitschko fight seemed hard to surpass as the defining moment in Fury's story, "The Gypsy King" topped himself by battering Wilder for seven rounds.
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Let's take a look at four big takeaways from the action at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Tyson Fury is a madman: It's not exactly a groundbreaking statement that Fury is mad. I'll refrain from using the word "crazy," given his all-too-real struggles with mental health. Even "madman" feels a bit off in terms of political correctness. Then again, Fury's own ring walk came as he was carried to the ring by a cadre of women dressed in armor while lip syncing to Patsy Cline's "Crazy." By the time the fight ended, that moment seemed to fade from slightly absurd to perfectly in line with the new normal. That is the way Fury can seemingly bend reality to his will.
In the course of his dominant victory, Fury became the power puncher, scoring multiple knockdowns against the man with arguably the biggest punch in heavyweight history. He alsomid-fight and led the crowd in a .
While establishing himself as a truly great heavyweight, Fury has also managed to become an all-time personality in a sport with a long history of spotlight-commanding stars. But no one packs iconic moments together quite like Fury. In a single night, he accomplished a historic title win while peppering his pitch-perfect performance with meme-worthy moments that will only serve to make him a bigger star. Boxing is better off with Fury on the big stage.
Tyson Fury is a genius: Fury does and says a lot of things. He will even go so far as giving different answers to the same question in the span of a single interview. The one point on which he did not waiver in the build to the second fight with Wilder was that he was gunning for -- and would get -- a knockout win over Wilder, a historically proficient knockout artist. With Fury's tendency to say things for the general purpose of saying things, fans and media were left to wonder if he meant he was actually going to come out and force the issue offensively or if he was trying to use talk through the media to get in Wilder's head.
It was obvious from the opening bell that Fury was serious. He sat down hard on his punches and every shot he threw seemed to bother Wilder, leading to multiple knockdowns and throwing Wilder off his game from Round 1. It wasn't just that Fury went for the knockout, it was that he did so without becoming so reckless as to leave space for Wilder to unleash his lethal right hand. Fury also executed his trademark deceptively slick defense and used his weight gain, which many expected to hinder "The Gypsy King," to his advantage by leaning on Wilder every chance he got. Wilder was battered and off balance from Fury's punches and was exhausted early on from having to repeatedly carry Fury's weight. It was -- like the end of a twist-filled heist movie, all the pieces of the puzzle, every little thing that had been foreshadowed and every little seed planted ahead of time -- all snapping together in an iconic moment.
Deontay Wilder needs to take a minute: Wilder was upset with his corner for throwing in the towel in Round 7, saving their fighter from taking further punishment as Fury poured on more and more clean shots. He would, as he said in his post-fight interview, rather "go out on his shield" by suffering a clean knockout. It's a noble idea in boxing, but one that the sport has largely left in the past, to the benefit of every man who endures brain trauma for fun and fortune.
Ultimately, Wilder will come to appreciate what his corner did for him. But the now-former champion faces a career-defining choice. Built into the contracts for Saturday's fight was the ability for the loser of the rematch to initiate an immediate rematch while taking the short end of a 60-40 purse split. Wilder's pride, and his ever-present belief in his one-hit eraser of a right hand may lead him to want to jump back into the ring with Fury immediately. That's a championship mentality, but also one that may not benefit him in the long-term. Wilder can beat any man on any night because his punch is that powerful. But an immediate second loss to Fury would damage his brand and may shatter his confidence. Fury has made it clear that he is approaching the end of his in-ring career. Wilder may be well-served to sit back and let a foe with a nightmare stylistic match-up move along rather than throwing down a third time.
The time for Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua is now: A true heavyweight unification bout featuring two fighters from the United Kingdom? It seems like simple math to just make the fight happen without any delay -- so long as Wilder and his team don't initiate their contractually-obligated third fight. Boxing remains funny, though, in that what makes sense does not always make it to the ring. But Anthony Joshua's promoter, Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn, has said previously that their team was hoping for a Fury win because they thought getting the new WBC champion in the ring would be easier than making a fight with Wilder, which had failed to materialize in the past.
Joshua holds more titles, but Fury's profile places him as the "true" heavyweight champion in the eyes of much of the public. Boxing always benefits from a strong heavyweight division. Fury and Wilder was a massive fight and Joshua's rematch with Andy Ruiz got enough attention to brighten Joshua's star as he righted the wrong of a massive upset last year. It's time to make the fight that makes sense and give the world a true unified world champion at heavyweight. The business Joshua vs. Fury would do in the U.K. is hard to even imagine. It would border on becoming the kind of "country-stopping" event that Manny Pacquiao fights brought to the Philippines for years.
For all the wrongs boxing fans have had to endure, and all the fights that never happened or happened past their expiration date, the sport owes us this one. Doesn't it?