LAS VEGAS –- “The Gypsy King” still reigns.
In an incredible back-and-forth that included five knockdowns and countless exchanges, Tyson Fury retained his WBC Heavyweight World Title and lineal crown with an eleventh-round TKO win over former long-time champion Deontay Wilder in an ESPN+/FOX Sports pay-per-view live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The UK’s Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) scored three knockdowns in all, the final two in the eleventh frame, sending the raucous crowd of 15,820 into a frenzy.
Fury got off to a hot start in the first round, landing quick one-two’s while Wilder worked the jab to the body. A hard right toward the end of the round punctuated it for Fury, as did another in the second.
The action heated up in the third when a big Fury right sent Wilder tumbling to the canvas. The game slugger from Tuscaloosa, Alabama rose to his feet, surviving the follow-up until the bell rang moments later.
With Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) on unsteady legs in the fourth, Fury pounced, looking to finish him off. But just when it appeared that the fight was about to end, the “Bronze Bomber” uncorked a perfect short right followed by another, driving Fury to the mat.
Fury made it to his feet but was down again moments later when another Wilder flurry floored him. The bell rang seconds after he got up.
Wilder started strong in the fifth, blasting Fury with more rights. The “Gypsy King” maintained his composure, digging to the body in close quarters.
The inside work slowly wore Wilder down. He was dropped again in the tenth from another Fury right and then a third and final time in the eleventh via a crunching right cross. Referee Russell Mora mercifully rescued the brave warrior, ending the fight at 1:10 of the round.
In the co-main event battle between two unbeaten heavyweights, Frank Sánchez (19-0, 13 KOs) scored one knockdown on his way to a comfortable, 10-round unanimous decision win over Efe Ajagba.
Sánchez used his superior boxing skills to keep the hard-hitting Ajagba (15-1, 12 KOs) off-balance for the entire fight. The “Cuban Flash” displayed his power as well, flooring Ajagba with a hard right in the seventh. A follow-up left hook which landed a tick after Ajagba’s knee hit the canvas and caused referee Mike Ortega to warn Helenius.
Ajagba made it to his feet and survived the round but never seriously threatened on his way to the first defeat of his career.
Robert Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) was even better against Adam Kownacki (20-2, 15 KOs) this time. In a rematch of their March 2020 slugfest, which Helenius won via fourth-round TKO, Helenius battered Kownacki throughout to induce a stoppage at 2:38 of the sixth round of their scheduled 12-round heavyweight encounter.
Helenius used his height and length to box in the first, working the jab up and downstairs and briefly buckling Kownacki with a right toward the end of the stanza.
Kownacki came alive in the second and third, throwing punches in bunches, but earned a warning for two low blows that sank Helenius to his knees. The “Nordic Nightmare” took over from that point on, closing Kownacki’s left eye and bloodying his nose with thudding power shots.
The steady hammering continued until the sixth, when Kownacki landed another low blow. Referee Celestino Ruiz examined Kownacki as he warned him for the infraction and decided to halt the action.
Jared “Big Baby” Anderson (10-0, 10 KOs) continued his rapid rise up the heavyweight ranks, stopping veteran Vladimir Tereshkin (22-1-1, 12 KOs) at 2:51 of the second round.
Anderson dominated from the opening bell, landing at will. In the second, a series of well-placed power shots drove Tereshkin toward the ropes where Anderson unloaded on his defenseless opponent until referee Kenny Bayless stepped in.
Rising super middleweight Edgar Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) survived the first knockdown of his career to remain unbeaten, winning a 10-round unanimous decision over Marcelo Esteban Coceres (30-3-1, 16 KOs).
Berlanga controlled the first half of the bout, flashing his prodigious power, which ultimately closed Coceres’ right eye shut. Coceres began opening up in the sixth, catching Berlanga with a stiff left hook. He continued to enjoy pockets of success despite being outgunned.
Coceres’ best moment came in the ninth, when he countered a Berlanga left with a beautiful overhand right. Berlanga crashed to the canvas. The Brooklyn, New York product gamely rose to his feet, pressing the action until the final bell.
Rugged southpaw Vladimir Hernández (13-4, 6 KOs) registered the finest victory of his career, outworking former unified super welterweight world champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams (27-3-1, 16 KOs) to win a 10-round split decision.
Hernández won on two cards by scores of 97-93 and 96-94 respectively, while a third card read 96-94 for Williams.
Williams got off to a strong start, countering the aggressive Hernández with well-timed counters and opening a cut over his right eye. Hernández never stopped coming forward, utilizing a dedicated body attack to gradually wear Williams down.
The non-stop assault culminated in a big 10th round for Hernández, who rocked Williams with a straight left. The round was the margin of victory for Hernández.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy “El Tren” Ramirez (8-1, 4 KOs) picked up the most significant win of his young career, using his southpaw stance to befuddle the previously undefeated Orlando “Capu” González (17-1, 10 KOs) over 10 rounds in a featherweight contest. Scores were 99-91, 99-91 and 97-93.
Featherweight prospect Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington had a spotless professional debut, shutting out Texas native Cesar Cantu (3-2, 1 KO) by identical scores of 40-36.
Heavyweight upstart Viktor Faust (8-0, 6 KOs) knocked down Mike Marshall (6-2-1, 4 KOs) twice and finished off the Connecticut native in the third round.