After not having fought in his native land for almost four years, Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) returned home with a spectacular sixth-round knockout in front of a record-breaking 94,000 fans Saturday evening at Wembley Stadium in London.
The WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion defended his crown against former training partner Dillian Whyte with a vicious right uppercut that immediately ended matters at 2:59 of the sixth row. Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) has now won four of his last five fights via stoppage.
To start the bout, both men attempted to engage in a bit of mind games, with Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) entering the first round by working from a southpaw stance. The roles reversed in the following round with Fury commencing his attack from a left-handed position. But by the third round, none of that even mattered as Fury, now orthodox again, began snapping his jab, finding his rhythm and even smiling at Whyte as he began lunging with shots in the fourth and fifth rounds.
By this point, Fury had seen what kind of openings could be made when leading with his left hand as Whyte often used a cross-armed defense to evade shots. That’s when the “Gypsy King” circled in on his target to touch Whyte with a left hand before landing a fight-finishing uppercut that knocked the “Body Snatcher” down and out.
Fury said, “I’m overwhelmed with the support. I can’t believe that my 94,000 countrymen and women have come here tonight to see my perform. I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much to every single person who bought a ticket here tonight or stayed up late to watch it on TV.
“Dillian Whyte is a warrior. And I believe that Dillian will be a world champion. But tonight, he met a great in the sport. I’m one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. And unfortunately for Dillian Whyte, he had to face me here tonight. There’s no disgrace. He’s a tough, game man. He’s as strong as a bull. He’s got the heart of a lion. But you’re not messing with a mediocre heavyweight. You’re messing with the best man on the planet. And you saw that tonight with what happened.
“I think Lennox Lewis could even be proud of the right uppercut tonight.”
Essuman Decisions Tetley
Undefeated welterweight Ekow Essuman (17-0, 7 KOs) retained his British, Commonwealth, and IBF European 147-pound titles with a 12-round unanimous decision win against Englishman Darren Tetley (21-3, 9 KOs) in the night’s co-feature. Two judges scored the fight 116-112 for Essuman, while a third had it 117-111.
In undercard action:
Featherweight: Liverpool’s Nick Ball (15-0, 8 KOs) captured the WBC Silver Featherweight Title with a stoppage win over Isaac Lowe (21-2-3, 6 KOs). Ball dropped Lowe in the second round, and he managed to survive. Lowe was then cut by an accidental headbutt over his left eye in the third round as he continued to receive punches in the following rounds. Ball eventually stopped his foe with fight-finishing flurry at 1:45 of the sixth round.
Heavyweight: London native David Adeleye (9-0, 8 KOs) battered fellow Englishman Chris Healey (9-9, 2 KOs) en route to a TKO win. The referee halted the action at :52 of the fourth round.
Light Heavyweight: Tommy Fury (8-0, 4 KOs), the 22-year-old younger brother of the “Gypsy King,” defeated Daniel Bocianski (10-2, 2 KOs) of Nowy Sacz, Poland, via decision. Score: 60-54.
Light Heavyweight: Karol Itauma (7-0, 5 KOs), a rising southpaw of Slovak origin who lives in the UK, scored a second-round technical knockout against Michael Ciach (2-12, 1 KO) of Poznan, Poland. Time of stoppage: 2:27.
Junior Lightweight: English prospect Royston Barney-Smith (2-0) scored a decision win against Romanian Constantin Radoi (0-11). Score: 40-36.