In the immediate aftermath of his sixth round knockout of Dillian Whyte, WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, hinted that this may have been his final performance as a professional prizefighter.
"I promised my lovely wife Paris of 14 years that after the Wilder III fight, that would be it. And I meant it," insisted Fury, who fought in front of a crowd of more than 94,000 in his homeland.
"We had a war. It was a great trilogy. And I meant that. But I got offered to fight at Wembley at home, and I believe that I deserved -- that I owed it to the fans, I owed it to every person in the United Kingdom to come here and fight at Wembley," he continued. "Now it’s all done. And I have to be a man of my word. And I think this is it. This might be the final curtain for the Gypsy King. And what a way to go out! A big thank you to the United Kingdom!"
OK, let me just get this out of the way -- I don't believe him. Why? Well, Fury says a lot of things in jest. Remember what he said his secret training regimen was for boosting his testosterone level for the rematch with Deontay Wilder? I would tell you, but....this here is a family show.
Regardless, hard to believe that at age 33 that he will walk away from the sport after just 33 bouts.
Mikey Williams/Top Rank
And there is some very unfinished business when it comes to clearing up matters for the other three belts, which are currently around the waist of Oleksandr Usyk. Usyk will engage in a rematch with Anthony Joshua in the summer. The winner of this leaves Fury with two very appealing -- and lucrative -- options.
But lets take Fury and his words at face value, and say he does retire from the sport, where would he rank historically? This has certainly been the topic of discussion since the time his perfectly time uppercut sent Whyte sprawling out on the canvas.
From an all-time perspective, it's really difficult in my view to put him in the top 10 given his relatively low number of fights. Also, his victory over Whyte was just his second official defense of a major belt. Sorry, but I'm not counting his wins over Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta as 'linear' defenses. (Once you take more than two years off from the ring, you're claim to any type of title ends.)
Yet it has to be noted that at 6'9, 260-plus pounds, with deft footwork, and a high boxing IQ, he would pose a serious problem, both physically and stylistically, for heavyweights of any decade. But there has to be something said about the big men of yesteryear that went through a consistent gauntlet of hardened opponents.
Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Really, the only fair way of judging a boxer is against their peers within their era. Well, this is where Fury stacks up very well, given that he ended the long reign of Wladimir Klitschko and then went 2-0-1 in his trilogy versus Deontay Wilder. But again, his resume' will be incomplete without facing the winner of Usyk-Joshua II.
Then there is also the debate of where Fury ranks among British heavyweights. There is certainly a good deal of support for Lennox Lewis, who many put into their all-time top 10. Lewis, who retired with a record of 41-2-1 (32 KOs), was a fighter with solid fundamental skills and legitimate power in both hands. While many will automatically put Lewis above Fury, it has to be asked, how would Fury have dealt with Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman?
Will Fury continue to state his case to be among the all-time heavyweight greats?
Count on it.
THURSDAY NIGHT WAR
Not sure how many of you saw it, but the best pure fight of this past week was the 10 round battle between lightweights Mercito Gesta and Joel Diaz Jr. who slugged it out from the opening bell.
Gesta, who hadn't fought since 2019, came out of the block blazing hot, scoring two first round knockdowns, and rattling the cage of Diaz numerous times in the early rounds. But Diaz was able to steady himself and battled back gamely throughout much of the fight.
Golden Boy Promotions
When it was all said and done, it was the early work of Gesta that carried him to a hard-fought and well deserved unanimous decision by the scores of 96-92(twice) and 95-93.
This bout was a part of Golden Boy Promotions new 'Fight Night' series at Fantasy Springs Casino. Here's a link to the entire show:
By the way, is Wilder coming back to the ring, anytime soon?....Speaking of GBP, they announced late last week that Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez will face Dominic Boesel on May 14 in Ontario, CA. Which means that Southern California will have three cards that night from the Toyota Arena, the Forum and Dignity Health Sports Park....Under the direction of 'Sugar' Hill, Fury has had three consecutive knockout victories....Can't wait to see Keyshawn Davis live this Saturday night from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas....I can be reached at email@example.com......