Credit: Contributed

Think back. When was the last time that there was so much interest in a heavyweight match, heavyweight fighters.

The DeAndre Wilder–Tyson Fury matches have captured the interest of fight fans. Fight No. 2 on Saturday night, a sellout of the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas had a completely different outcome than the first match in December 2018 which ended in a draw after 12 rounds.

There were those who bet Wilder. There were those who bet Fury. But there were very, very few bets on Wilder losing in a 7 round TKO.

Mark Breland, Wilder’s assistant trainer, a former WBA welterweight champion, an Olympic gold medalist and a five time New York Golden Gloves champion himself in the 1980s, familiar with the ills of boxing, threw in the towel to stop the fight as Wilder, with weakened legs, was getting rocked by a barrage of Fury’s punches. A no-no, no matter what according to Wilder who considers himself a warrior in the ring, and who’s stated that he’d rather die there.

“We’ve talked about this for years and years,” said Wilder who now has one loss on his record, his first along with a draw and 44 wins. 41 KO’s.

“My coach threw in the towel, and I was ready to go out on my shield. I make no excuses tonight. I just wish that my corner would’ve let me go out on my shield. I’m a warrior.”

Fury took control of the fight in the third round, flooring Wilder, also causing his left ear to bleed. It appeared as if Fury was licking the blood on Wilder’s neck when the two clinched.

Breland has been credited for saving Wilder, known for his punching power, from what could have been a brutal beating. Referee Kenny Bayliss stopped the fight at the 1:39 minute mark of the seventh round.

Fury, who outweighed Wilder, was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards after knocking the defending champion down two times.

Wilder announced his intention to activate the immediate rematch clause that’s stated in his contract. The fight, Wilder–Fury 3 will take place this summer in July or August.

“I just want to say a big shout out to Deontay Wilder. He came here tonight, he manned up, and he showed the heart of a champion. He is a warrior, he will be back and he will be a champion again,” said Fury, now 30-0-and-1, 23 KO’s and as complimentary as he was victorious.

Wilder outweighed Fury 273-to-231, 42 pounds and out landed 48 more punches, 82-to-34.

“I have no excuses tonight,” said Fury, planning to come back stronger next time.