Tyson Fury: The "Gypsy King" could be eyeing up retirement by 2023

Fury is just the second heavyweight fighter in the four-belt era to have held the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO world titles after Riddick Bowe.

Tyson Fury remains the man to beat in the heavyweight division after overcoming Deontay Wilder in an all-time classic at the T-Mobile Arena.

Las Vegas - famous for staging some of boxing's greatest fights - witnessed Fury bounce back from being on the brink in round four to stop Wilder in the 11th round.

The showdown included five knockdowns, and the result ends in a thrilling trilogy that saw Fury win two out of the three inside the distance.

Following on from the most recent fight, Fury - who also defeated Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 - labelled himself the greatest heavyweight of his generation.

Does Fury have a point?

The answer is yes.

In 2015, he changed the heavyweight landscape by defeating a Klitschko who had dominated the division for more than a decade. While he was a great champion - and had a number of impressive wins, including the dismantling of David Haye - he was not the most exciting to watch.

In fact, alongside Vitali Klitschko, the division belonged to Ukraine and it saw the United States in particular switch off from watching heavyweight fights. The unanimous decision win over Klitschko in Germany reinvented boxing.

Tyson Fury lands a right hand on Wladimir Klitschko

While Fury would not box again until 2018, it presented the opportunity of creating new champions in Anthony Joshua, Andy Ruiz Jr. and Oleksandr Usyk. In 2020, Fury finally got his hands on the only title in boxing to elude him - the WBC crown - following a devastating performance to beat Wilder inside seven rounds.

His latest win over the American puts him firmly at the top of the heavyweight rankings and while there are still challenges that await, his claim of being the best of his era is something nobody can argue with right now.

What next?

Fury's win was all the more impressive given a chaotic build-up to this fight, with the Briton catching Covid-19 to scupper a July date while his new-born daughter spent several days in an intensive care unit in August. It is little wonder that Fury on Saturday night had zero interest in discussing who is next on the agenda.

"I've just earned a well-earned break from everything. Before I start thinking about fighting other men, I'm going to bask in this victory because this was one of my greatest wins," Fury said.

Once he is ready to get back to business, the obvious choice is a showdown against Joshua's conqueror Usyk, the WBA, IBF and WBO champion.

How likely is that to happen?

Not until at least next summer. The WBC said last week whoever prevailed in this trilogy bout had 30 days to negotiate an undisputed fight against Usyk. But Eddie Hearn revealed hours before Fury-Wilder III that Joshua had invoked his rematch clause and will likely take on the Ukrainian again next March.

That means the WBC will almost certainly order Fury to face whoever prevails between Dillian Whyte and Otto Wallin later this month.

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So no Fury-Joshua then?

Fury admitted he was "wounded" by Joshua's unanimous decision loss to Usyk three weeks ago and cheekily made an offer to train his domestic rival for the return bout. There is still an appetite for Fury to take on Joshua, albeit it will be diminished if Joshua cannot avenge his latest setback.

A contest against Whyte, who has been waiting several years for a world title shot, would at least represent a welcome homecoming for Fury, with the 33-year-old indicating a desire to fight again in the UK after five successive clashes in the United States.

What is Wilder's next move?

Who knows?

The 35-year-old cast off the stink of his previous meeting with Fury 20 months ago, when he compounded his defeat by blaming the weight of his ring walk costume draining his legs to the fanciful claim Fury had loaded gloves.

This was a performance of heart and courage from Wilder, who at 238lbs was the heaviest he had ever weighed for a fight but still nearly 40lbs lighter than Fury.

Anyone who was watching on Saturday night would surely relish a fourth instalment but Fury has established he is the better fighter, so there is nothing left to prove.

Tyson Fury defeats Deontay Wilder in round 11

Is retirement an option for either fighter?

Fury would not rule anything out post-fight but it seems unlikely when there is at least one other fighter with a justifiable claim to his hegemony in Usyk. Assuming they do fight, Fury would have significant physical advantages.

But the former undisputed world cruiserweight champion showed that was of no consequence against Joshua, albeit a more limited boxer than Fury. You do have to question the number of challenges left for Fury, though.

Whyte, Usyk and Joshua are obvious opponents as mentioned and should they all happen by the end of 2022, then Fury may well ponder retiring with nothing left to prove.

As for Wilder, it is worth remembering fights such as Saturday can shorten careers significantly. There are still huge fights there for him, including the opponents mentioned for Fury, as well as Ruiz, but with no title, he presents too much of a risk in an era that fighters avoid each other.

Despite their bravado, neither fighter will want to be involved in a fight like that in a hurry.

Read more: Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson - Every WBC world heavyweight champion

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