By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Tyson Fury did everything he promised he would do Saturday night.
The undefeated Fury, heavier and more aggressive this time, beat up Deontay
Wilder, knocked him down twice and finally caused Wilder’s trainers to throw in the towel during the seventh round of their WBC heavyweight championship rematch at MGM Grand Garden Arena. England’s Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) knocked down Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) once apiece in the third and fifth rounds and was battering the former champion when a white towel came flying into the ring in the seventh round.
Wilder didn’t want to stop fighting, but Kenny Bayless stopped the bout at 1:39 of the seventh round because the towel was thrown into the ring. Wilder asked his co-trainers, Jay Deas and Mark Breland, why they stopped the bout when he went to the corner.
Fury’s victory Saturday night was a much more conclusive result than the controversial split draw for which they settled in their first fight 14 months ago in Los Angeles. The judges determined that outcome, but Fury made sure the scorecards of Glenn Feldman, Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld weren’t necessary this time.
Wilder floored Fury twice in their first fight, but Fury was the harder puncher and more physical fighter in their rematch.
The 6-feet-9, 273-pound Fury came in 16½ pounds heavier for their rematch than he weighed for their first fight. He repeatedly promised that the additional weight would help him go aggressively go after the hard-hitting Wilder and wear down his significantly lighter opponent by leaning on him.
The 6-feet-7, 231-pound Wilder, who was 18 pounds heavier for their rematch than their first encounter, appeared completely exhausted by the fourth round, one round after suffering the first of two knockdowns in the fight. Wilder also bled from his left ear early in the fight.
Fury, 31, won the WBC title from Wilder that the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native had owned for five years. Fury is contractually obligated to give Wilder a third fight that is supposed to take place by August, assuming Wilder exercises that right.
The 34-year-old Wilder was the longest-reigning champion in boxing before Saturday night. The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist had made 10 successful defenses of a title he won when beat Bermane Stiverne by unanimous decision in January 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.