When Tyson Fury knocked out Deontay Wilder in February, he secured his reputation as one of the greatest heavyweights in boxing history. It marked the culmination of a professional journey that began in less auspicious circumstances in 2008.
In this article we will chronicle his rise to the top, from the Nottingham Ice Arena to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Fury’s progression has been truly remarkable – and he has regularly defied the odds on the big stage to take his place at the top table of the sport.
Beginnings and first tests
After winning his first seven fights by knock-out, Fury’s first big test came against John McDermott in 2009, with the English Heavyweight title on the line. McDermott was the first fighter to take the Gypsy King the distance, and Fury scraped through on a controversial points decision.
A rematch with McDermott would follow the next year, and this time he was dispatched within nine rounds. The victory laid the platform for Fury to take the next steps in his career, and a showdown with Dereck Chisora in July 2011 would mark his next major test.
Victory over Chisora, following a tenth-round retirement, saw Fury pick up the European, WBO, international and British heavyweight titles. It marked another move up a level for Fury, but bigger challenges would await.
Fury would head into his next challenge, a trip to Germany to face Wladimir Klitschko, as a massive underdog. On home turf, in particular, Klitschko had proven himself a formidable opponent and was unbeaten in 67 fights.
But the Gypsy King defied those odds to beat the Ukrainian heavyweight on points, winning the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring heavyweight belts. Fury had succeeded in shattering the status quo in the division.
Battles with Wilder
Following easy victories against Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta, Fury would face Wilder in the first of two epic battles. The first fight would deliver on the hype, with the Gypsy King recovering from a brutal knockdown in the final round to secure a draw.
It laid the platform for a rematch, which he prepared for with two tune-up matches in Vegas. The Gypsy King had been generous in offering opportunities to Pianeta and Seferi ahead of the first bout and many argue he took little from those encounters; things would be different this time.
By this point in his career, Fury had honed his reputation as a natural promoter and his schedule of fights in America had helped him expand his brand. And for the casinos of Las Vegas and online sportsbooks, it was difficult not to get swept up in the delirium. Fighters like Fury always draw interest, and with a range of betting offers alongside online casino incentives like at least 50 free spins being available to players, online platforms have always made themselves available to capitalize on the ability of lineal champions like Fury to captivate an audience.
The Vegas feel that Fury had longed for – having been quoted as saying America knows how to treats its champions – was real.
The Gypsy King dispatched of Tom Schwarz in two rounds in June, before earning a unanimous decision victory following an arduous battle against Otto Wallin three months later.
Swedish prospect Wallin succeeded in inflicting a serious cut to Fury that badly affected his vision and could easily have seen the fight stopped. But the Gypsy King battled through to keep his unbeaten record intact. Wilder II would await.
And this time there would be no controversy, as Fury out-boxed Wilder from start to finish, forcing a seventh-round stoppage after Wilder’s corner threw in the towel. The win took Fury out to 30 wins and 1 draw, and saw him shatter any lingering to doubt to secure his position at the very top of heavyweight boxing.