The Greatest Comeback: Tyson Fury regaining the WBC title or Kauto Star winning the 2011 King George VI?
Two more great comebacks to choose from, which will you vote for?
As we continue our look at some of the greatest sporting comebacks, today we’re asking you to choose from the heavyweight boxer who lost it all and came back even stronger, to an 11-year-old chaser who defied the odds to break records.
But which of these comebacks will make it through to our last eight? Take a look and make your choice.
Tyson Fury beats Deontay Wilder to regain his WBC Heavyweight belt
Tyson Fury’s story is by now well documented, but that doesn’t make it any less astonishing. After beating Wladimir Klitschko by unanimous decision in 2015 and ending the Russian’s 10-year reign at the top of the heavy-weight boxing division, Fury had the world at his feet.
With a rematch on the cards, a second victory would have cemented his place in the best in the world and could have been the start of Fury’s own unstoppable reign.
Instead, injury delayed the fight on two occasions before it was ultimately cancelled. Fury cited mental health difficulties, vacating his remaining championship belts in the process.
After losing his titles, pictures surfaced in the tabloids of the ‘Gyspsy King’s’ ballooning weight, as he gained a reputation for partying. He later admitted that his mental health difficulties had led to a suicide attempt as he hit rock-bottom.
According to Fury, a mixture of love for his family, psychiatric help, faith in God and fitness training were able to pull him back from the brink. He returned to the ring in June 2018, beating Sefer Seferi, then Francesco Pianeta to set up a bout with WBC World Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas.
In that fight, Fury comprehensively out-boxed the American according to most commenters, but was rocked in the final round as Wilder floored the 6ft 9” Brit with a heavy combination. Most assumed that the fight was over. Instead, Fury rose to his feet to beat the count and continue the fight, to the disbelief of onlookers.
While the fight was scored as a draw by the judges, many felt Fury should have won, and the table was set for a rematch in February 2020.
That affair was much more straight-forward, with Fury perhaps looking a more complete fighter than ever before, knocking the American to the floor in the third and fifth rounds with his new-found stopping power. The fight was stopped in the seventh after Fury landed another big combination on Wilder, with the American’s corner throwing in the towel – much to his disgust.
The ‘Gypsy King’ celebrated his second coronation with a rousing in-ring rendition of Don McClean’s ‘American Pie’ and everyone stopped wondering about what could have been. Here was a fighter in his prime, a man who had recovered from hitting rock-bottom, now on top of the world. Talk about a comeback.
Kauto Star wins the King George VI for the fifth time in 2011
A horse whose longevity, spirit and racing excellence saw him become the first to ever regain the Cheltenham Gold Cup, as well as win the King George VI at Kempton a record-breaking five times – Kauto Star was one of a kind.
In 2010’s King George VI Chase, it looked like Kauto Star’s Grade 1-winning days were behind him as he was was beaten into third place by Long Run and Riverside Theatre. It was later reported that a burst blood vessel had hindered his run – a four-year winning reign ended by injury.
In May of 2011 at Punchestown, Kauto Star pulled up for the first time in his career. That made it three races in a row without victory. After 10 years at the top, was it all over for the hugely popular chaser?
In December 2011, mere days before his 12th birthday, Kauto Star and champion jockey Ruby Walsh took to the track at Kempton again for his final run at the King George VI. Despite a win one month prior at Haydock, odds of 3/1 reflected that perhaps he was past his prime by now, with Long Run the even-money favourite to retain the title.
But Kauto Star was far from done, silencing nay-sayers with a dominating run that saw him surge to the front of the pack with one mile left. Long Run in second gave everything, but could not match the ageing legend, losing by a length and a quarter.
It was to be Kauto Star’s penultimate race – 2012’s Gold Cup proved one race too many – and he retired at the end of the season, named the highest-rated chaser for the fourth time.
Kauto Star may not have an unbeaten record, with 23 wins across 41 races. But to see a horse win, lose and then come back stronger to win again is even more special. Kauto Star thrilled racing fans for almost a decade, with that determined spirit that meant you could never count him out.
Cast your vote
There are our latest two contenders for the Greatest Comeback in the history of sport. But which do you prefer? Head over to our Twitter page and let us know in our poll.
All odds and markets are correct as of date of publication.