Tyson Fury had a lot to say after last night’s KO win over Dillian Whyte, yet most of what he had to say was about the fact that he will, absolutely retire from boxing now. Fury said he may well engage in some “fun exhibition bouts,” yet as far as getting punched in the head goes, he is “done.” I’m only the second heavyweight champion after Rocky Marciano to retire unbeaten,” Fury said. And, “I’m doing an Andre Ward, I’m going out at 32-0 (actually 32-0-1)”
Fury has of course spoken about retirement before but he sure does seem to mean it this time. “How much more blood can you get from a stone?” Fury demanded at the post-fight presser. Fury, as he said, has held all the major belts, he has fought all over the world, he has been knocked down and he has gotten back up, and he has broken all manner of records. Plenty of people say Fury has to fight the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua rematch winner, for the undisputed heavyweight crown, yet Fury doesn’t seem interested.
Who knows, maybe Fury, still only 33 years of age, will change his mind in a few weeks, a few months from now, maybe he won’t. But as of right now, Fury seems 100 percent serious about walking away. As he said last night, “Usyk, Wilder, Joshua, they can all punch the hell out of each other now.”
Fury has often said that it is his belief how Wilder KO’s any heavyweight he faces other than himself. And Fury told Behind The Ropes that he would like to see Wilder come back and fight the Usyk-Joshua II winner.
“I’d like to see Deontay Wilder fight whoever [wins the Usyk-Joshua rematch] for it again,” Fury said. “One thing, Deontay made 10 title defences, more than anybody else. He equalled Muhammad Ali’s record (from Ali’s first reign as champ), beat Vitali Klitschko’s record, [he] doesn’t get the credit he deserves. I do believe Deontay Wilder is still the second-best heavyweight in the world. And I believe he knocks everybody else out but me.”
But will Wilder – beaten only by Fury, with Deontay also getting a draw in their first fight – even fight again? It could be that we have seen the end of Fury and Wilder. If so, this is a shame. Both giants appear to have a lot left to offer, Fury in particular. But fighters very rarely go out on top, so Fury’s wishes to do so have to be both respected and supported; Wilder’s too (Wilder, if he is done, didn’t go out a winner but he sure went out in a glorious, memorable fight, one that saw him give his all).
If Fury has boxed his last, Wilder will go down as his defining opponent, no doubt about it.