Tyson Fury underlined his status as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers of his generation by defending his WBC heavyweight title on Saturday evening, in what appears to be his final fight in the sport.

In an enthralling all-British fight with Dillian Whyte, the Gypsy King delivered a thrilling sixth-round stoppage to extend his unbeaten record to 32 victories and one draw in front of 94,000 fans at Wembley.

Immediately after the fight, Fury confirmed his plans to retire from the sport as only the second-ever undefeated heavyweight champion after Rocky Marciano.

Despite his stated desire to hang up the gloves, Fury did promise an exhibition fight with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a joint-interview in the ring at Wembley leaving the door open for the Gypsy King to return.

Billed as the biggest British fight for over 20 years, the main event did not disappoint as Fury landed a sumptuous right uppercut to level Whyte after six rounds of action.

Fighting in the UK for the first time since 2018, the Morecambe-born brawler showed no signs of nerves as he took control of the fight from the outset.

Boasting a significant seven-inch reach advantage, Fury went out about peppering the pretender with jabs to control the pace of the contest.

The early rounds served as a scouting mission for both fighters as Whyte took the surprise decision to begin proceedings as a southpaw before switching back to an orthodox stance in the second.

After a cagey start to the bout, the war of words between the pair finally came to the fore as an accidental clash of heads saw the the one-time sparring partners trade verbal volleys in a fourth round that threatened to boil over.

But the incident was the spark the fight needed and both men pushed for the highlight-reel finish as the atmosphere reached fever pitch inside Wembley Stadium.

After a few rounds of watching and waiting, keeping Whyte at arm’s length, Fury unleashed a ferocious uppercut to floor Whyte with a stunning shot that few saw coming. 

Whyte was able to get to his feet before the ten-count but failed to recover, forcing referee Mark Lyson to call an end to the bout. 

It was a case of deja-vu for Whyte, having been been undone by an uppercut twice previously, against Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin.

Fury had repeatedly suggested in recent weeks that he would end his glittering career and, after treating the crowd to a rendition of Don McLean’s American Pie following his win, he said: “This might be the final curtain for the Gypsy King.”

Fury and his entourage celebrate another famous night

Speaking to BT Sport's Steve Bunce afterwards, Fury admitted he is likely to call time on his career with an unbeaten record of 33 wins and one draw. 

He said: “I promised my lovely wife Paris, after Wilder III, that it would be my last fight.

"But I got offered to fight at Wembley, at home, and I believe I owed my fans this... now that’s done, I think this could be the final curtain for the Gypsy King. And what a way to go out!”

“The world has seen him reach the pinnacle. He’s just proved it again, the top quality that he is," said Fury's wife, Paris.

“I don’t enjoy this one bit. This is great, the celebratory bit. But all the lead-up and actual fight is a horrible situation to be in. He’s got nothing else to prove in the whole world.”

Yet just minutes later, Fury vowed to return with a crossover exhibition fight with Francis Ngannou as the Cameroonian UFC heavyweight champion joined the boxer in the ring.

Talking up a potential bout with Ngannou, Fury said: "this is going to be one very special fight... it'll be something never before seen in the history of our sport."

If Fury does decide to hang up the gloves, the 33-year-old will miss out on the opportunity to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis.

Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk holds the WBA, IBF and WBO world titles after beating Anthony Joshua back in September 2020.

But, should Joshua beat Usyk in their yet-to-be-scheduled rematch, Fury may find it difficult to ignore the chance of unifying the heavyweight division against his compatriot and long-time verbal sparring partner.

The reaction

Tyson Fury

"I'm overwhelmed by the support. I cannot believe 94,000 countrymen and women came here to watch me. From the bottom of my heart thank you to everyone who bought a ticket and stayed up late to watch this fight.

"Dillian [Whyte] is a warrior and I believe he will be a world champion. One of the greatest but, unfortunately, he had to fight me tonight. You are not messing with a mediocre heavyweight, you are messing with the best man on the planet.

"This man, SugarHill [Steward], has made me the man I am. He has made me the biggest boxer in the heavyweight division."

On retirement: "I have to be a man of my word, I think this is it.

"This might be the final curtain for the Gypsy King. What a way to go out... I've fulfilled everything I wanted to achieve. I'm going to retire as only the second heavyweight champion to remain undefeated after Rocky Marciano.

"I promised my lovely wife Paris of 14 years that after the (Deontay) Wilder third fight, that would be it. And I meant it. We had a war. It was a great trilogy.

"But then I got offered to fight at Wembley at home, and I believe 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."

Undercard Results

Ekow Essuman defeated Darren Tetley to retain British and Commonwealth welterweight titles - light-middleweight

David Adeleye defeated Chris Healey via TKO - heavyweight

Tommy Fury defeated Daniel Bocianski on points - light-heavyweight

Nick Ball defeated Isaac Lowe via TKO - to win WBC silver featherweight title