Fight referee Kenny Bayless was recognising a request from Wilder’s camp, who literally threw in the towel with their man pinned on the opposite corner and unable to defend himself against a combination from Fury.
After the fight, Wilder recognised that the better fighter won on the day but said he was ready to go out on shield rather than have the fight stopped early.
Both fighters were undefeated as professionals heading into the fight at the MGM Grand Casino but only Fury left the ring with that record still intact.
His career record is now sitting at 30 wins, zero losses and one draw; while Wilder has a 42/1/1 record.
Fury had sent Wilder to the canvas with a devastating shot in the third round, with the American wobbly on his feet once he did get back up after a six or seven count.
Wilder hit the mat again in the fourth, but he had merely slipped. That was not the case in the next round, when Fury landed a furious, left-handed head-body combination that sent Wilder down again.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reacted to the win:
That was a bell-to-bell beating that Tyson Fury put on Deontay Wilder. Two knockdowns. Wilder didn't win a round. Didn't win a minute. What a performance by Tyson Fury.
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) February 23, 2020
Many thought the powerful Wilder would win by stoppage after he knocked down Fury twice en route to a draw in December 2018, but it was Fury who forced referee Kenny Bayless and Wilder’s corner to put a stop to the fight. Fury knocked down Wilder in the third and fifth rounds, and a bloodied, shaky Wilder was unable to fight back in the decisive seventh.
ESPN broadcaster Ian Darke felt Bayless and Wilder’s corner did the right thing by stopping the punishment:
Sizzling performance from Tyson Fury. Dominated and totally outclassed Wilder from start to finish. Corner did the right thing saving their man from taking any more. Compassionate.
— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) February 23, 2020
For years, Fury clung to his unofficial status as the lineal champion after he was stripped of titles he won against Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015. Now, there’s no denying his merit.
Bad Left Hook called him the best heavyweight in the world:
I know AJ has three of the four belts and respect to him. But there is now zero real question about the best heavyweight in the game today. It's Tyson Fury. #WilderFury2
— Bad Left Hook (@badlefthook) February 23, 2020
It caps an incredible comeback for Fury, who battled drug and mental health issues for a couple of years following the Klitschko fight. The picture of joy, the Gypsy King serenaded the Las Vegas crowd after the win with a rendition of “American Pie,” via Fox Sports PBC:
🎶Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die🎶@Tyson_Fury serenades the crowd after his victory.
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) February 23, 2020
It was a complete turnaround from their previous fight in December 2018, when Wilder knocked Fury down and seemingly out cold, only for the man dubbed the Gypsy King to bounce back to his feet and salvage a draw.
That marked the first time Wilder who scored knockouts in 41 of his 43 fights since turning pro in 2008 did not notch a win, while Sunday marked the first time he did not have his arm raised by the referee after a fight.
Fury won his first world title with a shock win over Ukrainian great Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015 before mental health issues lead to drug and alcohol problems and he vacated the WBO, IBF, WBA an IBO world titles.
After taking down Wilder to claim the WBC belt, Fury declared “the king has returned to the throne”.
Wilder, for his part, said “even the greatest have lost and come back”.