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Boxing: Fury bows out on top

WBC champion Tyson Fury has vowed to retire from boxing after successfully defending his title against Dillian Whyte at Wembley on Saturday.

Fury rubber-stamped his spot as one of the all-time greats of heavyweight boxing following a dominant performance at the national stadium.

Saturday's triumph extended Fury's undefeated record to 33 fights, winning 32 and drawing one, while he boasts an incredible 23 knockouts.

Fury put on a show

The 33-year-old has never been one to shy away from the spotlight and he ensured fans weren't left short-changed this week.

Fury made the most of what could be his final ever ring walk, starting with Don McLean's 'American Pie, moving into 'Juicy' by Notorious B.I.G before finishing with Kings of Leon.

He even had time to sit on a throne as the pyrotechnics blasted out around him.

The entertainment continued once the first bell rang, using his trademark jab to fine effect before beginning to go to work on the body of Whyte.

The champion edged the opening two rounds and he started to assert his dominance from the third, using his height and reach advantage to keep Whyte at bay.

Things started to really heat up in the fourth after Whyte connected when asked to break and referee Mark Lyson twice had to speak with the two fighters.

It was all over in round six when Fury landed when many have suggested is the greatest punch of his career - swinging a brutal uppercut to connect with the chin of Whyte.

The challenger fell to the canvas and, despite climbing back to his feet to beat the count, he was in no shape to continue after stumbling across to the ropes.

What next for Fury?

The Gypsy King made clear his intention to retire ahead of the bout and, having stopped Whyte in stunning fashion with 94,000 fans in attendance, he maintained that line in his post-fight interviews.

Fury said: "I've spent a lot of time on the road. I've been away for a long time. I fulfilled everything I've ever wanted to fulfil.

"I will retire as only the second heavyweight in history, after Rocky Marciano, to retire undefeated. I was unbeatable at this game."

Many have taken Fury's comments with a pinch of salt and it would be a huge loss for boxing if he were to depart permanently.

In truth, there aren't many more challenges remaining for the WBC champion. Fellow Brit Anthony Joshua is one man that could possibly entice Fury back into the ring.

AJ is expected to rematch Ukraine's WBA, IBF and WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk this summer and, should he win, the chance to unify the belts could prove too tempting for Fury.

It's worth noting that Fury's contract with ESPN and Top Rank ended with Saturday's bout and he's free to explore avenues outside of boxing.

Cross-promotion could be on the cards

It was interesting to see UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who is also on the verge of being a free agent, stepped into the ring after Saturday's contest.

Fury and Ngannou suggested that they were ready to go toe-to-toe in a mixed rules, cross-promotion contest in the 2023.

Ngannou told BT Sport: "Definitely sometime next year. 2023. That fight will happen!

"Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou in Africa. The Rumble in the Jungle 2!"

Fury also hinted at a return to WWE, claiming "you might see me at SummerSlam" and revealing he needs to speak with "Vince [McMahon] and the boys".

The WWE is set to roll into Cardiff in September and there's every chance Fury, who fought Braun Strowman at WWE Crown Jewel in 2019, could be involved.

What next for Whyte?

Saturday's defeat will have been hard to take for Whyte. The 34-year-old has been the mandatory challenger for the WBC for all but a couple of months since 2017.

But he has previous for bouncing back from defeats. After suffering his first career loss against Joshua in 2015, Whyte went on to win 11 in a row.

His second career loss came against Alexander Povetkin but he won the rematch to seal his shot at Fury and it's likely he will come back fighting once again.

Whyte told Radio 5 Live: "My game plan was to press him and start moving forward. I was trying to attack but one slip and I got caught with the shot.

"It was a good learning experience."

A rematch with Joshua would undoubtedly appeal to the Body Snatcher if the former champion loses against Usyk and it would have plenty of appeal for UK boxing fans.

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