LAS VEGAS -- Deontay Wilder just simply wouldn't go away. Not after a third-round knockdown. Not as Tyson Fury battered him around the ring, round after round.
But Fury wore down the challenger, scoring another knockdown in Round 10 before brutally finishing Wilder with a highlight-reel knockout in the 11th on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena to retain his WBC heavyweight title in one of the most action-packed title fights of all time.
The fight featured five combined knockdowns, with Wilder going down three times and Fury going down twice, both in Round 4.
"It was a great fight tonight," said Fury, 33. "It was worthy of any trilogy in the history of the sport. Wilder's a tough fighter. ... I always said I'm the best in the world and he's second best."
Round 11: Finally, Fury finishes Wilder with a brutal knockout. Wilder was dropped like a sack of bricks and this time he wasn't going to beat the count as the ref immediately stopped the fight. It's a 11th-round knockout for Fury, who retains his heavyweight title.
Round 10: Fury drops Wilder hard with another missile of a right hand, and again, somehow, someway, Wilder beats the count. On unsteady legs, Wilder landed a few big shots to end the round with Fury pinned in the corner. 10-8, Fury. 96-89, Fury.
Round 9: Wilder is showing unbelievable guts. He takes a beating for most of the round, and then seemed to stun Fury in the closing seconds with a short right uppercut on the inside. It's shocking we've made to the 10th round. 10-9, Fury. 86-81, Fury.
Round 8: Wilder is almost falling over when he throws, but he is still throwing, despite all the punishment and despite all the massive shots the 277-pound Fury lands. The end is seemingly near, but Wilder always has that big right hand. 10-9, Fury. 76-72, Fury.
Round 7: Wilder is completely out on his feet but he's incredibly game. He's pressing on and trying, but Fury is battering him with bomb after bomb. Referee appeared close to stopping it. 10-8, Fury. 66-63, Fury.
Round 6: Fury continues to press forward, but both fighters seem to be tired. Fury landed a few more big combinations and hurt Wilder again, but "The Bronze Bomber" responded with a right hand while laying on the ropes. 10-9, Fury. 56-55, Fury.
Round 5: Both fighters seemed to be tiring. Wilder landed a big combination early in the round, but Fury stormed back with a right-hand blast and a few more punches. Closest round of the fight. 10-9, Fury. 46-46.
Round 4: Wilder finally connects on that massive right hand and drops Fury hard. Fury beats the count and then Wilder unloads with another combination for another knockdown. 10-7, Wilder. 37-36, Wilder.
Round 3: Fury batters Wilder and then drops him hard with a tremendous right hand. Wilder beats the count on unsteady legs and, as Fury went in for the finish, the round ended. 10-8, Fury. 29-27, Fury.
Round 2: Fury with a clear round there. He landed a massive right hand and was far more aggressive. Wilder getting a little reckless trying to connect with that big right hand. 10-9, Fury. 19-19.
Round 1: Strong opening round from Wilder, who showed some dimensions in that first round. He feinted more, threw plenty of jabs to the body and was aggressive. Fury ended the round with a big 1-2, but Wilder takes it. 10-9, Wilder.
Sanchez outpoints Ajagba for decision win
A heavyweight matchup between Frank Sanchez and Efe Ajagba struggled to produce action, as the two combined to land just 110 punches over the course of 10 rounds. In the end, it was Sanchez (19-0, 13 KOs), 29, of Cuba, who kept his perfect record intact, via judges' scores of 98-91, 98-91 and 97-92.
There was really only one moment of drama in the bout, when Sanchez scored a knockdown in the seventh round. Ajagba (15-1, 12 KOs), 27, of Nigeria, took a knee after a Sanchez right hand. As Ajagba's knee was on the canvas, Sanchez landed an illegal left hand that knocked him completely to the floor. Sanchez was warned but not penalized.
Beyond that, the fight mostly consisted of Sanchez landing quick counters to Ajaba's power shot attempts. Ajagba took the center of the ring mostly and looked to assert his jab and right hand, but he was predictable with both and Sanchez did well avoiding damage.
Fans inside T-Mobile booed the lack of action from time to time, but it was nevertheless a clear win for Sanchez. He moves to 2-0 in 2021.
Helenius dominates, stops Kownacki again
For the second consecutive fight Robert Helenius pummeled Adam Kownacki and on Saturday night, Helenius scored a a TKO victory that will put their rivalry to rest.
Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) used his superior height and reach to connect with damaging blows at distance, closing Kownacki's left eye and causing tremendous swelling around the other.
Kownacki (20-2, 15 KOs) was in serious trouble in Round 6 as he continued to eat punches when he landed a second low blow. Referee Celestino Ruiz separated the boxers, then stopped the fight at 2:38, leading to confusion over whether the fight was a disqualification or stoppage. Kownacki was previously deducted one point for a low blow in Round 5.
With the victory, Helenius, 37, of Sweden, has new life in the heavyweight division, a weight class "The Nordic Nightmare" was considered a top prospect in many years ago.
When they met in March 2020, Kownacki was stopped in the fourth round in what was considered a major upset. The Polish fighter had been riding a wave of momentum with solid victories over Charles Martin and Chris Arreola before losing to Helenius the first time. The 32-year-old action fighter is a big attraction in Brooklyn, New York, with his legion of Polish fans. But after a second TKO loss, it's unclear where he goes from here.
Anderson stops Tereshkin, keeps KO streak alive
Heavyweight Jared Anderson (10-0, 10 KOs), of Toledo, cruised to a second-round TKO over Russia's Vladimir Tereshkin (22-1-1, 12 KOs).
Anderson, a sparring partner of Tyson Fury ahead of Saturday's event, used an obvious speed advantage to just completely overwhelm Tereshkin with punches. Tereshkin tried to slow the fight down and make things ugly, but he couldn't keep up with Anderson's speed.
The finish came at 2:51 of the round, after Anderson walked him to a corner and landed a series of hard right hands to the chin. Tereshkin never went down, but referee Kenny Bayless did not hesitate to step in as Tereshkin's mouthpiece drooped out of his lower lip.
Anderson has recorded knockouts in all of his fights since turning pro in Oct. 2019.
Berlanga gets knocked down, but passes toughest test of his young career
Edgar Berlanga started his career with 16 first-round knockouts in his first 16 fights. Fight 18 raised the first legitimate questions regarding his potential and the ability to realize it.
Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) was dropped in the ninth round, the first knockdown of his career. It's also the first fight in which he scored no knockdowns. However, Berlanga still came through with the unanimous-decision victory over Marcelo Esteban Coceres via scores of 96-93, 96-93 and 96-93.
Berlanga's manager, Keith Connolly, tells ESPN the super middleweight prospect suffered a left arm injury in Round 3. The 24-year-old from Brooklyn, New York, will be examined for what's feared to be a left bicep tear.
Berlanga was slated to fight Steve Rolls on Dec. 11 in New York on the undercard of Vasiliy Lomachenko-Richard Commey. Berlanga first encountered trouble in Round 6, a frame in which Coceres (30-3-1, 16 KOs) landed a bundle of clean power shots. The 30-year-old Argentine suffered an 11th-round KO loss to Billy Joe Saunders in his lone title shot. In that November 2019 bout, Saunders was trailing on one scorecard at the time of the stoppage.
This was the first time Berglana went past eight rounds. His April victory over Demond Nicholson -- a fight in which Berlanga scored four knockdowns -- was an eight-round unanimous-decision win. In his last two fights, the untested Berlanga has now banked 18 rounds after logging just 16 rounds in his first 16 fights.
Hernandez upsets Williams in split-decision win
Stockton, California's Vladimir Hernandez (31-2-1, 16 KOs) pulled off a significant upset over Julian Williams (27-3-1, 16 KOs), spoiling Williams' return to the ring. Following 10 hard-fought rounds, two judges awarded the junior middleweight bout to Hernandez 97-93 and 96-94. A third had it 96-94 for Williams.
Fighting out of Philadelphia, Williams was heavily favored in the contest despite a 20-month layoff. This was William's first fight since losing the WBA and IBF titles to Jeison Rosario via fifth-round TKO in January 2020. He was supposed to fight twice in the last year, but his return was postponed due to injury and testing positive for Covid-19. With a win, Williams, 31, had his eye on IBF, WBA and WBC champ Jermell Charlo. Instead he fell to 0-2 in his last two.
According to Compubox, Williams outlanded Hernandez in punches 70 to 60 through the first five rounds. Hernandez went on to outland him 77-42 through the final five.
Hernandez picked up the win despite suffering a cut near his left eye in the very first round. The cut opened wider throughout the bout, but did not stop Hernandez from applying constant pressure. It was Hernandez's pace and pressure that turned the fight, as he dominated the later rounds as Williams slowed down.
Ramirez dominates Gonzalez for eighth consecutive victory
Robeisy Ramirez, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, went the 10-round distance for the first time with a unanimous-decision victory over Orlando Gonzalez in a featherweight bout.
Gonzalez (17-1, 10 KOs), a 26-year-old from Puerto Rico, suffered the first pro defeat of his career via scores of 99-91, 97-93 and 99-91. Ramirez (8-1, 4 KOs) boxed off the back foot and comfortably banked rounds against his best foe yet.
Ramirez, 27, of Cuba, lost his pro debut but has won every fight since.
Carrington scores unanimous decision in pro debut
Highly-touted amateur featherweight Bruce Carrington (1-0, 0 KOs) turned in a beauty of a pro debut, defeating Cesar Cantu (3-2, 1 KOs) via unanimous decision: 40-36, 40-36 and 40-36.
The 24-year-old from Brooklyn, New York, outclassed Cantu, 28, of Weslaco, Texas, in every facet of the bout. He hurt Cantu with an uppercut and right hand at the end of the third round. Carrington was an alternate on the U.S. Olympic boxing team in 2016. -- Okamoto
Faust dominates Marshall in TKO win
Viktor Faust scored a third-round TKO of Mike Marshall to kick off the undercard of Fury-Wilder 3.
The 29-year-old heavyweight dropped Marshall in the second round and then again in the third. Immediately after the second knockdown, referee Robert Hoyle stopped the bout (at 1:49 of the round).
The Ukrainian improved to 8-0 with 6 KOs. Marshall, a 33-year-old from Danbury, Connecticut, is now 6-2-1.