DEONTAY WILDER had left the ring and it wouldn’t be long before Tyson Fury burst into song, delivering his own rendition of ‘Walking in Memphis’ to the arena. A crowd of almost 16,000 people at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night had witnessed a heavyweight battle for the ages. Fury dug deep into his reserves to rise twice himself from heavy knockdowns and put Wilder down and out for the third and final time in the 11th round.

Both men went through a kind of hell. But it was Fury who was left standing at the finish. “I’m made of pig iron and steel, baby,” he declared. “I’d just like to say thank you to my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, I give Him the glory for the victory. He [Wilder] is a tough man. He took some big shots tonight. It was a great fight, as good as any trilogy in history.

“This was a great fight and October 9, 2021 will go down in history, I hope.”

Wilder said afterwards, “I did my best, but it wasn’t good enough tonight. I’m not sure what happened. I know that in training he did certain things, and I also knew that he didn’t come in at 277 pounds to be a ballet dancer. He came to lean on me, try to rough me up and he succeeded.”

Wilder went to University Medical Center afterwards for a precautionary evaluation.

“I beat him three times and I’m a sportsman and wanted to give him some love and respect,” Fury, the heavyweight champion and holder of the WBC belt, said. “And he didn’t want to give it back. That’s his problem and I pray for him.”

Fury paid a particular tribute to his trainer Sugar Hill. “And I want to say if it wasn’t for Sugar, America’s and Detroit’s own, I wouldn’t have gotten through that fight tonight,” Tyson said. “He told me, he said get your jab working, big guy, and throw that right hand down the middle. That’s how the big dogs do it.”

Succeed he did. “I always said I was the best in the world and he [Wilder] was the second best,” Fury declared. “Don’t ever doubt me. When the chips are down, I will always deliver.”