Big mouth gypsy king Tyson Fury showed he could walk the walk as well as talk the talk when he stopped previously unbeaten WBC heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder in the seventh round at Las Vegas on Sunday.
With only one of the three judges awarding a round to knockout king Wilder, Fury was a convincing winner who carried the fight to the former champ and produced a sharp left jab and right cross Wilder couldn’t counter.
He put down his opponent twice before Fury’s corner threw in the towel in the seventh after their battered man had blood pouring out of his ear.
It was redemption for the 6ft 9in (205cm), 124kg Tyson who reckoned he was unlucky to have been given a drawn verdict in his previous crack at Wilder’s crown 14 months ago despite being knocked down twice.
The second in the final 12th round looked to be a knockout until Fury miraculously leapt to his feet and took the fight to his opponent.
Sunday’s win took the unbeaten Fury’s record to 30 wins, 21 by knockout and one draw.
For Wilder it was his first loss in 44 fights, all but two won by KO.
Having been the undisputed champion upon beating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 after the Ukranian giant had ruled for almost a decade, Tyson forfeited his fist-full of titles because of his addiction to drugs and alcohol.
That allowed Anthony Joshua, Wilder and Joseph Parker to divvy them up. Parker has since lost his and Joshua has regained his five after losing them to Andy Ruiz jnr. who turned up fat and unfit for the return.
Hopes that Joshua and Wilder would clash in a winner-take-all contest never eventuated, presumably because neither wanted to gamble his world championship status at the cost of millions.
However the super confident Tyson is likely to call Joshua out in an attempt to unify the heavyweight crown. That would make a pleasant change and give boxing back the credibility it lacks.
An enigma who talks like a crazy man but boxes smart and can be genuinely funny, Tyson deserves credit for overcoming his previous addictions and getting himself fit.
Having played the cocky clown by dropping his hands and inviting Wilder to hit him in their first fight, he kept his promise of taking the fight to the champ in the second. He also tired Wilder by applying headlocks in the clinches, a la Muhammad Ali when he stopped floating like a butterfly.
Having lost just one fight, Wilder is not a spent force and is still capable of lowering the boom on anybody with his right.
Ruiz Jnr is also a danger if he prepares properly and Joseph Parker will need to get stronger to complement his speed if he is to be a genuine contender.
Meanwhile full marks to 6ft 8in (203cm) Kyle Jamieson who took four wickets and scored 44, including four sixes, in his first crack with ball and bat in the Basin Reserve cricket test over the first three days.
His was a dream test debut after he was called in for Neil Wagner who stayed home to witness the birth of his first child.
It was also pleasing to see Colin de Grandhomme pace himself sensibly in reaching 41 before Trent Boult produced a sharp 38.
Ivan Agnew is an award-winning sports writer