“This might be the final curtain”, said Fury after the devastating sixth-round knockout at Wembley Stadium
If the Gypsy King bows out, he will do so unbeaten after 33 fights as a professional, having ended Wladimir Klitschko’s decade-long reign as champion before a spiral into depression that saw him step away from the ring.
He returned in 2018 og, after two warm-up fights, embarked on a defining trilogy against then-unbeaten champion Deontay Wilder.
Fury rose from the canvas in the 12th round in a spectacular first bout that was controversially ruled a draw before twice stopping the American in emphatic style to cement himself as the leading heavyweight of this era.
Whyte posed another test of that status but Fury dominated at Wembley and produced a devastating uppercut in the sixth round that floored the challenger, who rose to feet but saw the fight waved off by the referee as he swayed alarmingly.
During the build-up to the fight, Fury had insisted he would retire from boxing and in his post-bout interview, he hinted at the same – although stopped short of fully committing.
“I promised my lovely wife of 14 år, Paris, that after the Wilder 3 slåss, that would be it. And I meant it. We had a war, it was a great trilogy. And I meant that,” explained Fury.
“But I got offered to fight at Wembley at home, and I believe that I deserved – that I owed it to the fans, I owed it to every person in the United Kingdom to come here and fight at Wembley.
“Now it’s all done, and I have to be a man of my word. And I think this is it, this might be the final curtain for the ‘Gypsy King’. And what a way to go out! A big thank you to the United Kingdom!”
While Fury suggested his next opponent will be the mundanity of retirement and a peaceful life away from boxing’s bloody spotlight, his words have never possessed the same conviction as his punches and there is hardly a guarantee he won’t renege on that decision when the carrot of an undisputed bout against either Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua is dangled.
I mellomtiden, he was also keen to reflect on the victory over Whyte.
“First of all, I want to say that as always I dedicate this to my lord and saviour Jesus Christ. He gave me the victory again tonight, and I give him the glory,” said Fury. “In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, I won this fight in this country tonight in my lovely, my own, my England!
“I’m overwhelmed with the support. I can’t believe that my 94,000 countrymen and women have come here tonight to see me perform. I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much to every single person who bought a ticket here tonight or stayed up late to watch it on TV.
“Dillan Whyte is a warrior. And I believe that Dillian will be a world champion, but tonight he met a great in the sport. I’m one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, and unfortunately for Dillian Whyte, he had to face me here tonight.
“There’s no disgrace. Han er en tøff, game man. He’s as strong as a bull, he’s got the heart of a lion, but you’re not messing with a mediocre heavyweight; you’re messing with the best man on the planet, and you saw that tonight with what happened.
“As a professional, it was an uppercut. I think Lennox Lewis could even be proud of the right uppercut tonight.”
He also reserved special praise for his trainer Sugarhill Steward – crediting the American for his transformation into the best heavyweight on the planet.
“I also want to say, this man here, Sugarhill Steward, he made a great fighter,” added Fury. “Years ago, used to jib and jab, touch and slide, but you’ve seen me here tonight.
“Sugar, what a legend you are, mate. You’ve made me the biggest puncher in the heavyweight division by a mile. This man is the best trainer in all of boxing. He’s better than anybody. We were unbelievable tonight.”