The world heavyweight champion, 33, picked up his second victory over Wilder, 36, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas back in October, retaining his WBC belt for the first time. But after a tumultuous training camp that included a coronavirus diagnosis and a near-death experience with his new-born daughter Athena, he struggled to dominate as clearly as he did in their first fight.
And in the fourth round, after flooring Wilder just minutes prior, Fury found himself on the canvas not once, but twice. He got up from both and went on to knock his long-time rival out in the 11th, but he insists that he has no recollection of being on the ground.
The fear of that realisation, he told fans at a recent speaking event, caused him to hang up the gloves following one last homecoming against Dillian Whyte. Many believe that he is bluffing about quitting the ring, including his own wife, but he has yet to indicate plans for a proper comeback, aside from an exhibition bout or two.
“I had lumps on the back of my head like fists,” he told fans about the aftermath of his second win over Wilder. “I was concussed, I didn’t remember anything. I was thinking, ‘Did I get put down four times?’ I thought, ‘I think it’s time to call it a day.'”
Fury came back once more to face Whyte at Wembley in a mandatory title defence that drew 94,000 fans to the national stadium. He hadn’t fought in the UK since prior to his first fight with Wilder in December 2018 and was welcomed back with a massive reception in his home country before confirming his plan to quit the sport for good.
However, his wife Paris fears that he will fight again, as well as many fans and experts. He is refusing to give up his WBC title after defending it twice within half a year, including finally giving Whyte his mandatory shot at the belt after years in the No.1 spot.
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“I’d like him to retire,” Paris told Piers Morgan on his Talk TV show last month. “But there’s something in the back of my mind saying he’s itching for another fight. It’s there – woman’s instinct, there’s something still calling him out there.
“As the wife, I just look and wonder ‘are you done?’ I hope he is. I hope he chooses another path but honestly, I think there is a question mark there.”
The Manchester native is undefeated in his 33 professional fights and at just 33-years-old still has a number of major offers available to him. He has been the unified WBA, IBF and WBO champion and currently holds the WBC belt, but would need to beat the winner of Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua ‘s rematch – taking place next month – to become undisputed.