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Tyson Fury defends WBC title as stunning uppercut stops Dillian Whyte in sixth round

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W

ith a right uppercut, Tyson Fury ended the challenge of Dillian Whyte and, if Fury is to be believed, his own boxing career with a sixth-round stoppage at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night.

Fury had been heavily fancied to defend his WBC heavyweight title, the one caveat that he might be undone by a single punch from the powerful Whyte.

But instead it was his London rival who got caught out, knocked to the canvas having been completely outboxed for the preceding five-and-a-half rounds. Whyte tried to persuade referee Mark Lyson he was ready to fight on, his jelly legs suggested otherwise and the referee had no option but to end the contest.

An anticipated 94,000, which would be a record for any boxing match on British soil if proven, wanted an explosive finish to the night and possibly the career of Fury.

Prior to that knock-out blow, he completely bossed the fight showing himself to have the better reach, better boxing brain and better versatility.

Whyte, meanwhile, went all out for the knock-out punch but increasingly found himself hitting clean air before he was finally reduced to a heap on the canvas.

The opening rounds were not in keeping with the razzamatazz of the ring walks as Fury entered to the delight of an expectant Saturday night crowd head to toe in red and white on what was St George’s Day and taking a seat on a golden throne on his way to the ring.

Whyte had warned he had the capacity to dethrone the Gypsy King, and threw in a surprise by beginning the fight in the southpaw stance. It meant Fury struggled to initially find his range with his jab.

But normal service was resumed by the second round as Whyte went back to the orthodox stance and threw a couple of wild punches which failed to land. With it the 34-year-old indicated his modus operandi to end the fight by knock-out punch rather than trying to outbox his opponent.

The problem from that singular approach was that Fury’s defence was too good, his movement too quick for anything of note to make its way through, Whyte increasingly breathless after a mere three rounds.

Action Images via Reuters

The fight promised to spark into life in round four when the referee spoke to both fighters on two occasions, once for a joint headbutt, with both fuming at the other’s antics. By that stage, Whyte had a cut above his right eye, which his corner did well to manage before his downfall two rounds later.

After a fight which was the richest purse in British boxing history in excess of £30million, Fury has insisted this will be his last time in the ring. For a fighter known for a litany of controversies, walking away at the peak of his powers could prove to be his most controversial.

Despite much being made of the 90,000-plus crowd, the pre-fight build-up was notable for a single absentee at Wembley in Daniel Kinahan, once heralded by Fury as his one-time kingmaker in the ring with a $5million bounty on his head from the US authorities.

Fury spent the week trying to distance himself from the Irish gangster and more questions look likely to be asked about Kinahan’s involvement in the sport.

But the questions will also continue about Fury’s own future. The dream would be a unification fight against the winner of the Anthony Joshua-Oleksandr Usyk rematch at the end of the year.

Fury had promised the third Deontay Wilder fight would be his last and he reneged on that. The boxing world will be hoping for a second U-turn.

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