NEW YORK – One fight over, Deontay Wilder nearly landed in another scrum with a furious heavyweight party crasher.
With Tyson Fury plotting a post-fight melee from ringside, Wilder retained his WBC heavyweight championship with a violent knockout of Artur Szpilka in the ninth round Saturday night at the Barclays Center.
“I’m a dangerous fighter,” Wilder said. “What made my name is knocking people out. My right hand is a monster.”
Wilder (36-0) left Szpilka out cold and flat on his back with a powerful right hand to the face. Szpilka (20-2) was out for several minutes and medics were called to the ring. He eventually slumped against the ring post as doctors tended to him.
Former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis sat ringside for Wilder’s 35th KO that silenced a Polish-flavored crowd that chanted and sang for Szpilka.
“I’m surprised it took that long, but we had 12 rounds and they can’t all can’t be pretty,” Wilder said.
Fury, the WBO and IBO heavyweight champ, also sat ringside until the fight was over — he then burst through the ropes and engaged in a trash-talking, head-to-head showdown that electrified the crowd.
The IBF stripped Fury of another one of his championship belts when he agreed to an immediate rematch against Wladimir Klitschko. Fury slammed down his jacket and could not be restrained by security, furiously issuing Wilder a challenge to unify the belts.
“Any time! Any place! Anywhere!” Fury said.
Wilder, who won his third title defense and was ahead on all three scorecards, was ready for another fight.
“Like I did Klitschko, I’ll beat you, ya bum, You’re a bum,” the showman Fury said.
“You can run around like you’re a preacher all you want but you step in the ring, I promise you I will baptize you,” Wilder said, as 12,668 fans roared. “This is an act. You’re not a real fighter. This is an act. I don’t play this. This ain’t wrestling.”
Like a heel wrestler, Fury stood on the corner turnbuckles, gestured toward the crowd and was about booed out of the building.
All that was missing was a steel chair to the back.
“Fury, I don’t take that guy serious at all,” Wilder said.