Tyson Fury declared “the king has returned to the top” after producing a devastating performance to beat Deontay Wilder and win the WBC world heavyweight title in Las Vegas.
The 31-year-old Briton twice knocked down reigning champion Wilder before finally claiming victory in the seventh round when the American’s corner threw in the towel.
Fury, a former unified champion who defeated the great Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 before being hit by depression and addiction, was quick to pay tribute to Wilder after the MGM Grand showdown.
He said in the ring: “Big shout-out to Deontay Wilder, he came here tonight, he manned up and really did show the heart of a champion.
“I hit him with a clean right hand and dropped him and he got back up and battled on into round seven. He is a warrior, he will be back, he will be a champion again.
“But I will say, the king has returned to the top.”
Wilder’s defeat was the first of his 42-fight professional career.
The only other bout the 34-year-old has not won was the first meeting with Fury in 2018, which ended in a controversial draw after Wilder was outboxed by his opponent.
Wilder said: “I make no excuses tonight, I got a lot of complications.
“I will come back and be stronger the next time around.
“This is what big-time boxing is all about, the best must fight the best. I appreciate all the fans that came out tonight and supported the show.”