Tyson Fury was put in the same breath as the great Muhammad Ali after his stunning display to stop Deontay Wilder and win the WBC world heavyweight title in Las Vegas.
Fury stopped Wilder in the seventh round of their rematch at the MGM Grand to inflict the first defeat of the American’s professional career – 14 months on from their controversial draw in Los Angeles.
The vast majority of observers believed Fury was the rightful winner of that first fight, but he underlined his dominance on Saturday night with a resounding display in which he twice knocked Wilder to the canvas before the towel came in during the seventh round.
British former world cruiserweight champion Glenn McCrory believes Fury is boxing his way towards being considered among the greatest of all time.
McCrory said in his role on talkSPORT: “A while ago I said, and I was laughed at, that in years to come Tyson Fury will be remembered in the same ilk as Muhammad Ali and he is on his way.
“People said I was stupid, but there is nothing like the Gypsy King.
“He does things differently, the same as Muhammad Ali did, he names rounds and says how he will win and he goes out and does it. Ali is the greatest of all time but Fury is doing some great things in the heavyweight division.
“He got the tactics exactly right. His jab was far sharper, he was pushing the jab hard into Wilder’s face.
“That was so conclusive, nobody will want to see a third fight and certainly Deontay Wilder does not want a third fight. Fury should have won the first fight, should have got it on points.
“Now he has gone out there and totally dominated, smashed Deontay Wilder from pillar to post. He will want none of that. There is one champion in the world, he is number one and his name is Tyson Fury.”
Fury’s former trainer Ben Davison took to Twitter to pay tribute to the new champion and labelled it the “best story in boxing history”.
He wrote: “Credit goes to the fighter I always say that but fantastic job sugar hill and @AndyLeeBoxing too. Also Tyson family, brothers, father, wife and kids. THE BEST STORY IN BOXING HISTORY.
“Nobody ever tell me Tyson isn’t in the all time heavyweight great list now.
“If Tyson doesn’t get a return parade this country needs to seriously take a long look at itself.”
Lennox Lewis produced what is considered to be among the finest fights by a British boxer when he beat Mike Tyson in Memphis in 2002.
Lewis tweeted: “Congrats to Tyson Fury on a huge win and bossing his way to the WBC & Ring Heavyweight straps. Once again you showed up big. @BronzeBomber (Deontay Wilder) keep your head up and learn from this.”
Thoughts will now turn to where next for both Fury and Wilder, with British rival Anthony Joshua – who holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles – a potential opponent for Fury in a unification fight.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is keen for that to happen, tweeting: “No need for a third let’s go straight to it in the Summer! #undisputed.”
Hearn also replied to a tweet suggesting he would not want to allow Joshua to step into the ring with Fury, saying: “Ofcourse I am! And AJ wants it bad..this fight is gonna and has to happen this year!”