Ahead of his undisputed clash with Oleksandr Usyk on May 18th, BoxingScene presents, from 10 to 1, Tyson Fury’s best performances. Some towards the bottom of the list are far from awe-inspiring, but those near the top indicate the extent of the challenge Usyk will face on Saturday.

10. John McDermott, TKO 9 (June 25, 2010)

Though a long way from the Tyson Fury he would become, this rematch is worthy of inclusion because it illustrated, one, his willingness to right an old wrong and, two, that he could come through some tough spots to win.

Fury was considered beyond fortunate to get the verdict over McDermott nine months previously when referee Terry O’Connor – a loser to Stan McDermott, John’s father, in his fighting days – somehow scored it 98-92 in Tyson’s favour. 

The rematch proved difficult for Fury, too, but he kept his head after being deducted a point in the seventh, dropped McDermott in the eighth and finished him in the ninth.

9. Steve Cunningham, KO 7 (April 20, 2013)

This fight occurred 11 years ago and is still rolled out as evidence by those trying to build a case against Fury when predicting the outcome of his fights. “He might be big,” they say, “but little Cunningham nearly knocked him out so imagine what Fighter X will do to him!”

Not one of those predictions has yet come true but Cunningham, a former cruiserweight champ and outweighed by 44lbs, certainly decked Fury in round two, he frustrated him and at times made him look ordinary. 

But in his American debut, Fury did what good fighters do and found a way to win – with a highlight reel finish in round seven – against a boxer perhaps always destined to be underrated.

8. Otto Wallin, UD 12 (September 14, 2019)

Another showing that nobody will confuse with the very best of Fury and one more example, should we need it, that he can emerge victorious in the face of adversity. 

Wallin, completely unfancied heading in, opened a cut over the right eye of the Briton that gaped to the tune of a 47-stitch repair job. The blood was so plentiful and the wound so deep, in fact, that there was a case for the fight to be stopped. Yet Fury stayed poised through not only a lake of blood around his eye, but getting rocked in the final round.

Fury was the worthy winner after 12 rounds but with his father back in Blighty, England voicing concerns about his weight (he weighed “just” 254.5lbs) and his approach, this would be the final fight with trainer Ben Davison. 

7. Tom Schwarz, TKO 2 (June 15, 2019)

That we’re already as high as number seven and Tom Schwarz gets a mention certainly exposes the lack of elite level opponents that Fury has faced. Even so, this demolition of then-unbeaten Schwarz remains one of Tyson’s more bombastic showings.

Enjoying every moment, from his Apollo Creed-style entrance inside Las Vegas’ MGM Grand to the violent bludgeoning dished out once in the ring, this was arguably the bout that underlined Fury’s arrival as a worldwide box office star. Fury produced arguably his finest defensive highlight reel along the way. 

Schwarz has since returned to beating subpar opposition but, on this night, he was outclassed by a Fury who was very much in the mood for destruction. 

6. Derek Chisora, RTD 10 (November 29, 2014)

This was the night when the sharp-shooting Fury warned the rest of the heavyweight division that he could gracefully coordinate his ginormous arms and legs, that he could punch with purpose and, better yet, approach his work with versatility and patience.

This was a rematch of a competitive 2011 encounter won on points by Fury, when a slight underdog, to claim Chisora’s British and Commonwealth titles. The rematch was one-sided in the extreme, however.

Fury spent a long time in the southpaw stance to draw blood, bruises and bewilderment from Chisora’s face. “Del Boy” never stood a chance and such was the extent of the thrashing that he could have been rescued long before the end of the 10th round.

5. Deontay Wilder, KO 11 (October 9, 2021)

Now we’re really cooking with gas. 

The third bout with Wilder is not only the most thrilling fight on this list, it should also take its place as one of the most rip-roaring rollercoasters in heavyweight history.  The only reason it’s not placed higher here is purely because of the carelessness from Fury that allowed Wilder to gain the mother of all footholds when it appeared the only way for him was down.

Fury seemed to be picking up from where he’d left off the previous February, when he stopped Wilder in their rematch, as he controlled the early going then dropped Wilder in the third.

But Wilder recovered and, with a typically brutal salvo, sent Fury to the mat in round four before repeating the feat moments later. From that point forth, the heavyweight rivals exchanged brutal bombs until Wilder, running low on reserves, was floored in the 10th

The end came in the 11th as Fury summoned the energy to plunge Wilder headfirst into dreamland. 

4. Dillian Whyte, TKO 6 (April 22, 2022)

It’s unfair on both Fury and Whyte to now review this contest and surmise, somewhat bluntly, that Dillian was past his best and this was an easy victory for the WBC champion.

Truth is, Fury made it look easy. Whyte, though he had recently gone 1-1 with Alexander Povetkin, had earned his shot with a series of wins over contenders but found Fury in sumptuous form.

In another contest that showcased Fury’s in-ring intelligence, the “Gypsy King” toyed with Whyte after the challenger made the ill-advised decision to open the contest in the southpaw stance.

By round six, with Whyte all but beaten and out of ideas, Fury uncorked a right uppercut that sent his rival crashing backwards and down for the count. A complaint from Whyte in the aftermath that the defining blow was in fact an illegal push is best left ignored. 

3. Deontay Wilder, D SD 12 (December 1, 2018)

Though Fury was claiming he was still the ‘lineal’ champion after a PED ban, ‘defenses’ against the likes of Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta (in rust-shedding 10-rounders in 2018) did little to convince anyone he was worthy of such a status.

Then came the announcement, mere months after his comeback began, that he was going to challenge unbeaten WBC boss Deontay Wilder and everyone started to take notice. 

What followed was one of Fury’s most complete showings as he danced into a lead by the middle rounds before being dropped, against the run of play, in the ninth. 

Wilder’s recovery looked complete in the 12th as he connected with three consecutive slugs that yanked Fury from consciousness.

Members of the ringside press got busy writing that Tyson had been knocked out only for the underdog to wake up, then get up, then take the fight to Wilder for the remainder.

Truly incredible scenes. 

2. Wladimir Klitschko, UD 12 (November 28, 2015)

Perhaps the result for which Fury doesn’t get enough credit. 

Though we’re stretching the truth to suggest that Klitschko had been the world heavyweight champion for 10 years, there’s no doubt that for large sections of that decade he was regarded as the best heavyweight titlist. Plus, he hadn’t lost a fight in what felt like a lifetime.

Fury, unbeaten but completely unproven (at world level, at least), was a sizable underdog for good reason. Away from home and with only a couple of wins over Chisora to really shout about, it looked like a step too far, too soon. 

Yet the clues to what lay ahead were piling up as the challenger rode his own nerves to visibly unsettle Klitschko, a proud fighter long used to getting his own way in pre-fight psychological warfare. 

The 12 rounds that followed lacked excitement but Fury, perhaps at his most disciplined, boxed the perfect fight to win comfortably against a heavyweight who has subsequently taken his deserved place in the Hall of Fame.

1. Deontay Wilder, TKO 7 (February 22, 2020)

Those wondering what happens when an elite six-foot-nine heavyweight boxer really loads up on his punches should watch this. It was the performance that showcased Fury at his most dangerous – and unbeatable.

There were doubts beforehand when Tyson started banging on about changing his style and going all out to KO Wilder. He’d switched trainers, from Davison to SugarHill Steward, but even so, the transition from boxer to out-and-out destroyer seemed a tad far-fetched.

Then, upon hearing the opening bell, Fury did everything that he’d promised. Wilder managed to land one blow but otherwise he found himself unable to escape, clinging to the ropes as if caught in a tarantula’s web. Knockdowns were scored in rounds three and five as Wilder’s legs buckled repeatedly, his senses wrecked.

It became increasingly painful for Wilder who, beforehand, was being anointed by some as the hardest hitting heavyweight in history. Afterwards, the only man being tipped for greatness was Fury.


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