Tyson Fury praised referee Mark Lyson for stopping him unloading more punishment on Dillian Whyte in last night’s heavyweight showdown at Wembley Stadium.
Brixton’s Whyte was stopped with a second remaining in the sixth round in north London.
A right uppercut toppled the South Londoner who did beat the count but looked extremely wobbly.
Lyson called it off as Fury retained his WBC world title in front of a crowd of 94,000.
He said: “I’ve thrown some good punches in my career but it was definitely a Wembley showstopper, wasn’t it? A big right uppercut. I was very happy with Mark Lyson, he did a fantastic job.
“If he had allowed it to continue and me to storm into him and hit him with two or three more then he may have been in some serious trouble. So big shout out to the ref. He made the right call there. I would have had to pile on to him again and hurt him, and I didn’t really want to do that.
“I spoke to Dillian after the fight – I gave him a kiss and a cuddle. I thanked him and told him: ‘You’ll be a world champion Dillian – but not tonight’. He come and did his best. There is no embarrassment losing to a better man on the night. At least you’ve got the guts to go in there and have a fight.
“People will say: ‘Oh, Dillian Whyte was s***’. I’ve seen them – they call professional boxers rubbish. Please get a glove on and have a fight yourself and then tell me whether they are s*** or not. Big shout out to Dillian and his team.
“We behaved like gentlemen, all the way through. Me and him. We diffused all the animosity and shook hands. I thought the weigh-in was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Never mind getting each other by the throat – we were dancing to the music. It was great.”
Whyte came out for the first round in the southpaw stance – leading with his right foot.
Asked for his reaction to that, Fury replied: “I didn’t think much of it, to be fair. Did it confuse me? No. Because I did it straight back to him in round two, did you notice that? He came out southpaw and I came out southpaw.
“It was different. I knew Dillian would never stay southpaw the whole fight because he doesn’t do that.
“Dillian took a lot of good punches to the body and head. The jab, breaking him down. A strong man. My range is very special – I can keep a man at range.”
PICTURES: TOP RANK