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Fury beats Whyte to retain world heavyweight title

LONDON (AFP) – Tyson Fury retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight crown yesterday, stopping Dillian Whyte in round six of an all-British bout at a delirious Wembley Stadium before repeating his suggestion that he would now retire.

The win for the self-styled ‘Gypsy King’, fighting on United Kingdom (UK) soil for the first time in four years, was witnessed by 94,000 fans in London – a post-war British record crowd.

Unbeaten Fury, 33, had said this would be his last fight and announced immediately afterwards: “This might be the final curtain for the Gypsy King. And what a way to go out.”

After a cagey opening the defending champion took the initiative, controlling the fight and landing some telling blows to the head and body of his opponent.

Whyte could have few complaints at a halt being called with just one second remaining before the fight reached the midway point as he was clearly on unsteady legs after the first significant strike of the bout, a brutal right uppercut from Fury.

The 206-centimetre-tall Fury was able to use his considerable height and reach advantage to keep Whyte at bay while the challenger was made to look clumsy and cumbersome.

Whyte, cut over his right eye after an accidental clash of heads, was first installed as the WBC’s number one contender nearly four years ago but he was unable to impose himself.

“I’m overwhelmed with the support,” said Fury. “I can’t believe that my 94,000 countrymen and women have come here tonight to see me 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’.”

If Fury does follow through with his plan to quit, he would spurn the chance to face either Oleksandr Usyk – the current World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion – or fellow British fighter Anthony Joshua for the undisputed crown.

No boxer has held all the major world heavyweight belts since Britain’s Lennox Lewis, who became the undisputed champion in 1999.

Britain’s Tyson Fury celebrates after beating Britain’s Dillian Whyte to win their WBC heavyweight title boxing fight at Wembley Stadium in London. PHOTO: AP