Before the fight, the fans at the Staples Center wanted to find out where Tyson Fury was at this point of his career after an extended layoff and two fights against inferior competition. After twelve rounds against Deontay Wilder, those fans saw that he was okay at times but had a couple lapses.
Those lapses led to two knockdowns by Wilder which made the decision a draw, leaving people without a definitive winner in one of the biggest fights of the year. Judge Alejandro Rochin had Wilder ahead 115-111, judge Robert Tapper scored it for Fury 114-110, and Phil Edwards had them even at 113-113. Wilder, who came in as the defending WBC champion, now has a record of 42-0-1 and Fury becomes 27-0-1.
The fight was a tale of what Fury could do against a top heavyweight as he had been out of the ring from November 2015 when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko until earlier this year when he fought Sefer Seferi. Early into the fight he established his physical advantage against Wilder by staying out of range of Wilder’s jab. His head movement seemed to be a deterrent for Wilder as many of the punches that Wilder threw missed completely or were blocked by Fury. This had given the fighter from Manchester lots of confidence that he was going to win the fight fairly easily.
However, over the middle rounds Fury started to slow down which allowed Wilder to catch up to him and land a few punches and get back in the fight. The left hook was a key punch for Wilder as it started to land more, and it was that punch that landed after a right hand that put Fury on the canvas in the ninth round. After Fury got up he responded with right hands to stun Wilder and get back in the fight.
Fury picked up where he left off by having Wilder miss many of his punches in the tenth round and get some punches landed of his own. It seemed like Wilder had become very tired after getting the knockdown and didn’t throw much in the next two rounds. What followed in the last round was what had folks in attendance and those watching on TV on edge. In the middle of the round, Wilder landed a two punch combination while Fury attempted to duck that put Fury on the canvas once again. Wilder thought the fight was over and so did many on hand.
Referee Jack Reiss counted up to six before Fury started to get up and then beat the ten count. Fury was able to prevent himself from being knocked down again or be stopped, and the fight ended with both Wilder and Fury feeling that they won the fight. After the judgement was announced, both expressed their disappointment.
“I think with the two knockdowns I definitely won the fight,” Wilder said after the decision. “We’re both warriors, we both went head to head, but with those two drops, I think I won the fight.”
As far as what Wilder thought about why he wasn’t able to get the win, he pointed to his inaccuracies at the start of the fight. “I rushed my punches. I couldn’t sit still, and I started overthrowing my right hand.”
Fury looked more upset that he didn’t get the win because of his effort over twelve rounds. “Listen, I got knocked down twice, but I still believe I won the fight,” he stated. “The world knows the truth. I thought I won the fight.”
He talked about his refusal to give up in the last round as he was knocked down by the combination of punches by Wilder. “I am a fighting man. I was never going to be knocked out tonight. I got put down with some good shots, but I showed good heart to get back up.”
While the heavyweight division was looking for some clarity as to who would challenge Anthony Joshua for the undisputed championship, this result may likely have both Wilder and Fury be involved in a rematch. When that idea was brought up, they were welcome to it.
“I would love for it to be my next fight, why not?” Wilder asked. “Let’s get right back into it and give the fans what they want to see.”
Cover photo by Reuters