Tyson Fury is “almost sure” Deontay Wilder will fight him for a third time despite destroying the champion inside seven rounds to claim the WBC heavyweight title.
The Briton produced a stunning performance to beat Wilder, 14 months on from their controversial draw in which the majority of observers believed Fury should have won on points.
Fury had vowed to take the fight to the American and did just that, flooring the champion twice and completely dominating the action before the towel came in from Wilder’s corner to confirm the 31-year-old as the winner.
The conclusive nature of the victory cast doubt over the value of Wilder’s rematch clause, with Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn immediately suggesting a unification fight against Fury needs to happen.
Fury believes he will step into the ring with Wilder once again.
“The spoils of war are fresh,” he said.
“I need to enjoy this victory and Deontay needs time to recover. But I’m almost sure he’ll take the rematch because he’s a dynamite puncher and he can take someone out at any time.
“With that level of danger, you can always win a fight. I’m sure we’ll do it again if he wants to.
“If he doesn’t want to, I’m happy with whatever my promoters say. Whoever’s next gets the same treatment, that’s for sure.”
A right hand which landed near Wilder’s left ear saw the champion go down heavily in the third and in the fifth, a right to the head and left hook to the body had a tired Wilder down again.
He was up quickly but tired as Fury looked to bring about a conclusive finish. Wilder was in a sorry state by the start of the seventh.
Another left hook had him hurt and all he could offer was his trademark, lazy, looping right hand. Fury pinned him in the corner and Wilder’s corner pulled their man out of the contest.
Fury, a former unified champion who defeated the great Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 before being hit by depression and addiction, was quick to pay tribute to Wilder after the MGM Grand showdown.
Wilder was taken to hospital after the fight for precautionary checks and did not attend the post-fight press conference.
The American also required a couple of stitches for a cut in his ear.
Fury said in the ring: “Big shout-out to Deontay Wilder, he came here tonight, he manned up and really did show the heart of a champion.
“I hit him with a clean right hand and dropped him and he got back up and battled on into round seven. He is a warrior, he will be back, he will be a champion again.
“But I will say, the king has returned to the top.”
Wilder’s defeat was the first of his 44-fight professional career.
The only other bout the 34-year-old has not won was the first meeting with Fury in 2018, which ended in a controversial draw after Wilder was out-boxed by his opponent.
Wilder said: “I make no excuses tonight, I got a lot of complications.
“I will come back and be stronger the next time around.
“This is what big-time boxing is all about, the best must fight the best. I appreciate all the fans that came out tonight and supported the show.”
Fury went into the fight a stone heavier than he had done the first time the pair met and issued an impressive response to his critics.
He told BT Sport: “Last time I was over-trained and I was too light. I’m a man of my word, I told the world I was going for a knockout – we trained for a knockout.
“People always write me off, they look at my belly and my bald head. I’ve had my problems, but he was fighting the real Gypsy King this time.”
Wilder was unhappy that the towel had come in when it did.
He told BT Sport: “I just wish my corner would have let me go out on my shield. I’m a warrior. Even the greatest have lost and came back, that is just part of it.”