Tyson Fury's win over Deontay Wilder immediately hailed as classic on social media

·6 min read

The results of the second and third fights between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder were the same — a later-round finish for Fury — but the reception couldn't have been more different.

Few boxers in history have seen a fall in credibility like Wilder did when he lost his WBC heavyweight crown to Fury in February 2020. It wasn't just that Fury thoroughly exposed Wilder to a degree almost unthinkable among modern boxers. It was Wilder's own excuse-making, the bizarre shots and Fury's showmanship that turned one of the most feared punchers in boxing into something of a joke.

That changed Saturday night. Wilder immediately came out with a level of aggression and, well, strategy unseen in the second fight, then almost did the unthinkable. He knocked down Fury twice in the fourth round and appeared moments from a massive upset.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 09: Tyson Fury (L) punches Deontay Wilder during their WBC heavyweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena on October 09, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
What a fight. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Fury managed to gather himself and go back to work, laying into Wilder over the next several rounds. Wilder somehow stayed standing, however, and seemed to keep finding new reserves of energy when most other boxers would have gone down. Unlike the second fight, the suspense — between Fury's aggression and Wilder's home run shots — was there.

Fury finally put Wilder away in the 11th round with a TKO, but the perseverance from both men elevated the bout to "instant classic" status for many on Twitter:

Between this win and Anthony Joshua's second loss of his heavyweight titles, there seems to be little doubt Fury is on the top of the heavyweight mountain now. His next opponent figures to either be the winner of the Joshua-Oleksandr Usyk rematch, currently slated for early spring, or WBC No. 1 contender Dillian Whyte.

Plenty had praise for Fury for a well-executed fight:

There was, however, a large amount of reverence for what Wilder had accomplished, even in a loss.

The world knew that Fury was going to show up on Saturday. The question was if Wilder could make him sweat even a bit. The answer was multiple knockdowns and a ludicrous display of endurance even as Fury took control. 

There is some debate as to how much you can actually impress with just your chin in a fight (you're still the one getting pummeled), but Wilder appeared to hit that maximum:

And, of course, there was one inevitable call-out:

Let's be real, whom among us wouldn't pay to watch Fury do to Paul whatever it is he would do.

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