New York: Unbeaten Deontay Wilder kept his share of the world heavyweight crown on Saturday with his 35th knockout in 36 fights, then traded verbal sparring with unbeaten British rival champion Tyson Fury in the ring.
USA's Deontay Wilder knocks out Polish boxer Artur Szpilka during the Heavyweight C’ship bout in New York on Saturday. Pics/AFP
A sledgehammer right hand to the chin left Polish opponent Artur Szpilka unconscious and flat on his back at 2:24 of the ninth round at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, the southpaw taken off on a stretcher to a hospital as a precaution.
That enabled Wilder to keep his World Boxing Council title and set the stage for a potential shot at an undisputed title later this year against Fury, who beat Wladimir Klitschko for the World Boxing Association crown and climbed into the ring to taunt Wilder moments after the fight ended.
WBA title holder Tyson Fury challenges Deontay Wilder in New York on Saturday
"There's only one Tyson Fury," the Briton yelled as they moved into a staredown. "What've you got to say about that Deontay?" "You're just a phony," Wilder replied. "This is just an act. You know where I am. You know what time, what place. I ain't scared of nobody, I'll come to your backyard, baby."
Fury, 25-0 with 18 knockouts, made the same offer, adding: "Any time, any place, anywhere. I'll beat you," as the crowd booed.