On his long and painful road back to the summit of the heavyweight division, Tyson Fury has survived sinking sixteen pints of Stella a day, a cocaine addiction, a doping scandal and an aborted attempt to kill himself. Add to that list, a pair of Deontay Wilder’s feared overhand rights, which twice relegated Fury to the canvas in a chaotic finish to this fight. But Fury picked himself up to draw this most chaotic of heavyweight fights, and in doing so climbed to impossible new heights.
This was a script so plainly implausible that even the well-heeled luvvies who had travelled down from Hollywood Hills turned for the exits scarcely able to comprehend what they had just witnessed. The end result: a split decision draw that sees Wilder retain his WBC heavyweight world title, after Fury dominated the early rounds only for Wilder to twice catch him late on — first in the ninth and then in the twelfth.
Neither man was happy with the outcome. A rematch is not just a formality — but a must.
“We are on away soil, I was knocked down twice but I still genuinely believe I won that fight,” Fury wildly cried in the ring afterwards. “I am going to remain professional. I wen to Germany and beat Klitschko, I came here and felt I beat Wilder. But God love America and the Gyspy King is back.”
Not once, but twice, Fury rolled away the stone to step into the light. For so long, this was yet another boxing masterclass to sit alongside that neon-bathed night Düsseldorf: an exhilarating carnival of movement, counter punching, ring craft and heart to which Wilder had no answer. Time and again the American strode forward in the early rounds looking to unlock that harpoon of a right hand, only to find himself flailing at thin air, like a man trying to catch the rain.
And yet, in the end, the law of statistics dictated that Wilder would land, as the painful realities of Fury’s extended period away from the sport closed in on him like a cold winter. First in the ninth, when Wilder pinned him cruelly into the corner before unleashing a huge overhand right that bypassed his defence and landed flush on his head. And again in a thrilling final round, from another mercilessly chopping right that sent Fury crashing perilously close to the end.
As Fury lay flat on his back, staring vaguely up at the ring lights like a daydreamer counting the clouds float past, the glorious fiction that he has so breathlessly proselytised as fact looked set to crumble into dust around him. Fury was but a nanosecond from allowing his wearing eyelids to close, but instead he somehow made it up at nine, saving his skin and salvaging this fight.
Wilder could not believe what he had witnessed. “I did feel I got it with the two knockdowns, but I suppose I was just rushing my punches tonight,” he said to loud cheers from the American audience whose unadulterated support he longs for. “When I rush them, they are never accurate. That’s what I was doing tonight. So the rematch will happen and I will get him in that.”
Before a finish so explosive it will live long in the memory, Fury had started this most seismic of fights encouragingly well. Wilder wasted no time in striding forward and swinging that huge spindly right arm of his, only for Fury to dextrously leant back with all the breezy leisure of a man reclining into a deck chair. He allowed that first untamed lunge to miss his leering face by a full 10 inches before balletically pivoting to ram home a stiff counter.
It was the shorter shots thrown by Wilder that seemed to cause Fury more trouble. Even Fury was unable to skirt his way around one such shot thrown at the start of the second, but he quickly regained his composure, opening up a cut above Wilder’s eye with a smart counter-right moments later. “You big dosser,” cried Fury’s travelling number, large in size and loud in voice.
Perhaps it was at that point, with his home crowd on his back and the blood trickling gently into his eye, that Wilder should have realised he was boxing not in the prize ring, but on a chessboard. But still he menacingly marched forward, exchanging stratospheric leading left hooks with Fury in the seventh, desperately attempting to lure his rival into the dogfight we all felt him too intelligent for. Wilder’s reward: a pair of ramrod rights landed on the break that kept the challenger on top.
But it did not last, as Fury’s time away from the ring caught up with him and Wilder landed with not one but two devastating shots. It was the second, in that dramatic final round, that demanded every last ounce of strength from a tiring Fury: a huge right-left combination which saw Fury’s head bounce off the canvas like a ping pong ball. Somehow he stood up.
The first judge gave it 115-111 to Wilder, the second 114-110 to Fury. It was Phil Edwards of England who saw it dead level at 113-113, meaning Wilder keeps that lurid green belt for the time being.
And so — still — there is no great clarity in the hall of mirrors that is the heavyweight division. Anthony Joshua is the WBA, IBF and WBO champion of the world. Wilder retains the fourth and final part of the hollow crown. And Fury is able to maintain his claim of lineal king, the man who beat the man.
At least there was one thing the two men who stood with mouths agape in the centre of the Staples Centre could agree upon. “One hundred per cent we will do the rematch,” Fury added before retreating to the sanctity of his dressing room. “We’re the best two heavyweights in the planet. There is another heavyweight who is a chicken. (Anthony) Joshua where are you?!”
- Tony Bellew wants Tyson Fury fight and vows to 'knock him out'
- Boxer Tyson Fury will be back in June to liven up the heavyweight ranks
- Tyson Fury speaks with ‘sexy’ husky voice after being punched in throat during training
- Tyson Fury announces opponent for comeback fight
- Bellew likely to face Andre Ward or Tyson Fury next
- Tony Bellew beats David Haye: Bellew eyes Tyson Fury and Andre Ward
- Tyson Fury will fight Sefer Seferi when he makes his boxing comeback on 9 June
- Tyson Fury brings snooker star Ronnie O'Sullivan into his support team
- Fury appoints snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan to get head right for ring return
- Pug Fury reveals O’Sullivan link-up
- Former Labour minister Dame Tessa Jowell dies after cancer battle aged 70
- David Haye no longer remains a dangerous heavyweight at the top level
Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder battle to controversial draw have 1156 words, post on www.independent.co.uk at December 1, 2018. This is cached page on VietNam Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.