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Fury vs. Whyte, The Morning After: ‘Gypsy King’ retires on top

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Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte - Heavyweight Fight Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Tyson Fury did the nearly impossible last night.

Combat sports — be it boxing, MMA, kickboxing — is not kind to its veterans. Fighters build themselves up from nothing, reach unprecedented heights, and almost always return to nothing. Aging and wear dull reaction times and fitness, leaving formerly great fighters vulnerable to the next generation of hungry young athletes.

It’s a cycle, one that Fury understands well. After all, Fury was the harbinger of Wladimir Klitschko’s end, dethroning the long-time Heavyweight kingpin in 2015. Klitschko fought once more, lost in an epic battle, and left boxing on a two-fight losing streak. By most standards, that’s an excellent way to leave the the sport, losses aside.

“Gypsy King” wanted more, however.

After the Klitschko victory, it took three years for Fury to figure out his mental health and fitness enough to return to action. In doing so, he almost accidentally became a bigger inspiration for fans as a more relatable figure. His comeback tour proved to really elevate his star, largely thanks to his incredible — but ultimately one-sided — trilogy vs. Deontay Wilder. Time and time again, Fury overcame adversity on the world stage.

During that time, Fury also clearly established himself as the best Heavyweight on the world. There was once a debate, but that era came and went: Fury is the clear-cut king of his generation. There is no longer much of an argument.

Fury didn’t need to demolish Dillian Whyte to lock down that claim, but it helps. Against the established contender, Fury proved himself still at the height of his powers. He quickly started pummeling Whyte with the jab, touching up the body, and proving remarkably difficult to hit cleanly. He also engaged in a bit of mental warfare, resulting in some rule-bending from the two sluggers. That’s all classic Fury, and it led to the knockout punch, as perfectly timed an uppercut as you’ll ever see. More than 94,000 fans roared in approval and cemented an incredible cap to a legendary career.

Fury says he done, but we’re conditioned in MMA to immediately doubt retirements. It’s hard to be too confident that Fury will indeed walk away when two of the best possible match ups remain in Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua. Maybe a ridiculous sum of money or — more likely — the draw of proving himself the best (again) does indeed pull him back into the fray.

Until then, Fury walked away at the top, a rare accomplishment that deserves recognition.

Does the talk of a mixed rules bout vs. Francis Ngannou sully this accomplishment? That’s up for debate (details here). Ultimately, fighting Ngannou will have little affect on his boxing legacy unless the two lace ‘em up under Queensbury rules (not literally, but you get the point). Fury already wrote the ending to his story, consider the rest a fun side quest.

For complete Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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