Tyson Fury praised Deontay Wilder but claimed he was the ‘best in the world’.
The WBC champion defended his belt successfully - his first world title defence after a troubled career - as he stopped the Bronze Bomber in the 11th round with a fierce right-hander.
The knockdown sent Wilder to hospital for checks, a final blow in a tough fight that saw both fighters sent to the canvas more than once.
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Speaking after the fight, Fury said: “You know, it was a great fight tonight.
“It was worthy of any trilogy in the history of the sport. You know, I’m not gonna make any excuses. Wilder’s a tough fighter. He gave me a real run for my money tonight. And I always said I’m the best in the world, and he’s the second-best.”
Despite lingering antipathy from Wilder even after the fight’s conclusion, Fury said he would pray for his defeated opponent.
“You know, he’s got no love for me, Deontay Wilder. Because you know why? Because I beat him three times. And it’s like, I’m a sportsman. I went over to show him support and respect, and he didn’t wanna give it back. So, that’s his problem. I’ll pray for him, so God will soften his heart.”