Tyson Fury dominated Deontay Wilder on the way to a seventh-round technical knockout, seizing the World Boxing Council heavyweight title as he handed the American his first defeat.
Fourteen months after their dramatic split-decision draw, Britain's Fury battered the American champion -- who had blood streaming from his left ear and leaking from his mouth when referee Kenny Bayless called a halt.
Fury had dropped Wilder in the third and fifth rounds and was landing blows at will -- Fury's corner finally throwing in the towel and Bayless stopping it at 1:39 of the round.
Fury even appeared to lick Wilder's neck and back as the Brittish slugger stuck out his tongue while jostling with the American.
— Kevin Gray Jr. (@CTSportsRadio) February 23, 2020
Fans on social media were left stunned:
Fury just licked Wilders blood? pic.twitter.com/ISqtnyVJPr — Stephen A. Smith Burner (@SASBurnerAcct) February 23, 2020
y’all seen fury lick wilder blood or jus me??? pic.twitter.com/8tr52mytlR — tyh (@txhler) February 23, 2020
yeah u not beating a guy who is willing to taste ur blood — Anthony (@OMGItsBirdman) February 23, 2020
Nah you not gon beat me up & lick my blood off me, no Sir — Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) February 23, 2020
What a m a s t e r c l a s s by @Tyson_Fury #tysonfurythegypsyking ?? Such a LEGEND #GypsyKing ..but still one question remains .. Why you gotta lick Deontay Wilder for? ???? #WildervsFury2 pic.twitter.com/ACywuLDx6t — Javier Urquieta ?? (@DeJesusUrquieta) February 23, 2020
"The best man won on the night," Wilder admitted after the end of the match.
"My coach threw in the towel but I'm ready to go out on my shield.
"I just wish my corner would have let me go out on my shield, I'm a warrior. But he [Fury] did what he did and there's no excuses."
Fury though announced that "The king has returned".
(With inputs from AFP)