Tyson Fury brutally knocked out Deontay Wilder to retain his heavyweight world title after a thrilling back-and-forth trilogy fight on Sunday morning.
Both men hit the canvas with Wilder down in the third and 10th rounds and Fury down twice in the fourth.
But it was the champion who recovered best from the setbacks to stop his opponent in the penultimate session and ensure a concussive end to this long-running feud.
“As the great John Wayne said, I’m made of pig, iron and steal,” Fury said. “It was a great fight and worthy of any great trilogy fight.
“He’s got no love for me because I’ve beaten him three times.
“I’m a sportsman, I went over to him show some love and respect and he didn’t want to show it back. So I pray for him.”
Fury was meeting Wilder for the third time in three years following a controversial draw and a concussive stoppage.
The rivals were due to clash last summer but the fight was repeatedly rescheduled until it appeared to be off the table altogether when Fury agreed to fight Anthony Joshua.
Last year the American blamed his defeat on his 40lb walk-on suit and he pared down his costume this time.
After a brief delay due to an issue with his gloves, Wilder marched in wearing a red and black fur robe.
Fury entered the arena to a mixed reception with only a couple of Union Flags on display given the travel ban which prevented his fans flying into Sin City.
The Brit donned a gladiator’s outfit complete with helmet as he slowly meandered his way towards his waiting foe.
The warring duo were separated by a string of security guards for the introductions but were soon released to resume their rivalry.
And it was Wilder who began on the front foot, throwing almost exclusively to the body for the opening minute.
Fury by contrast was slow out of the blocks but did land the best punch of the first round with a straight right hand in the dying seconds.
He repeated the trick at the start of the second round before repeatedly attempting to tie Wilder up on the inside using his three-stone weight advantage.
Fury was given a stern warning for doing just that in the third session before Wilder turned up the pressure.
But it was Fury who scored the first knockdown with a huge right hand, dropping Wilder with 20 seconds of the round remaining.
The bell interrupted Fury’s attempts to finish the job and Wilder turned the tide in the fourth, dropping Fury with a right hand with a minute remaining.
He did so again with 10 seconds to go but Fury managed to haul himself up and beat the count. (Mirror).