Tyson Fury was denied a remarkable victory over Deontay Wilder in Los Angeles on Saturday night, after a controversial split decision draw at the Staples Center.
The heavyweight clash, which could well go down as one of the greatest of all time, went the full 12 rounds, with Fury being knocked down to the canvas twice.
Many fans and pundits believe that despite Wilder knocking Fury down twice, the Brit should have came out victorious and claimed the WBC title, however, the judges scored the bout 115-111 in Wilder’s favour, 114-112 (originally read out as 110) for Fury and 113-113.
The self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’, who weighed three stone heavier than the WBC champion, was stepping in the ring for just the third time since his lengthy lay off, but showed no signs of ring rust in the opening stages.
With a rematch the most likely next step for both fighters, we’ve decided to take a look back at just how the highly anticipated clash unfolded.
Fury began the contest by making his usual extravagant walk to the ring, accompanied by a plethora of songs. The Brit took his time on getting to the ring, but after a short delay, eventually made it in to the ring and was welcomed with a mixed reception.
Wilder's walk to the ring
The ‘Bronze Bomber’ shortly followed Fury, and with the help of American rapper Jay Rock, who performed ‘Win’ during Wilder’s entrance, the WBC champion calmly joined the Brit in the ring.
With Wilder’s WBC belt on show around the ring, referee Jack Reiss gave his final stern instructions, with the pair just about touching gloves before the bell.
Despite trying to press Fury from the bell, Wilder came out second best in the opening stages, with the ‘Gypsy King’ impressing in the first round with his speed.
Fury continued to taunt the American in the second round, however, with the pair both working each other out, Wilder landed a late combination just before the bell to boost his confidence.
An energetic Fury continued his good start at the Staples Center, feinting and landing numerous jabs on Wilder, with the ‘Bronze Bomber’ struggling to break down the lineal heavyweight champion in the third round.
Fury’s impressive defensive skills were once again on show in the fourth round and his quick reactions allowed him to dodge numerous right hands attempted from Wilder, increasing his advantage in the contest.
With the fascinating contest approaching the halfway stage, both Fury and Wilder looked tense. The Brit was on the end of an uppercut from the American just before the close, however, many had Fury up comfortably at the end of the fifth.
During a quiet sixth round in terms of action, Wilder’s right eye began to swell up, allowing Fury to land plenty of jabs on the American with no response.
With the LA crowd starting to jeer Fury, his speed on the ropes again proved pivotal, allowing him to miss any heavy blows the WBC champion was throwing his way.
As the bout entered its final stages, Wilder attempted to force proceedings, however, Fury landed a big right hand of his own and looked to be cruising the clash on the judges cards.
Wilder finally landed a heavy left on Fury, knocking him down, however, the Brit seemed to be unbalanced. Fury then recovered for the remainder of the round, hanging his tongue out in the process, which set up a frantic finish in Los Angeles.
A calmer round than the hectic ninth, with Fury regaining control. Wilder looked tired and landed just one of 31 attempted punches in the allotted three minutes.
The penultimate round was again tense, with Fury continuing to tighten his grip on the fight. The Brit landed several jabs, ducking and holding Wilder in the final stages and was closing in on a memorable victory.
Wilder definitely saved his best round for last, flooring Fury with a heavy right hand, catching him with a left on his way down. The Brit somehow managed to beat the count and see out the round. The bell then went with both Fury and Wilder celebrating the win, before the pair showed their respect to each other and embraced.
The result was announced as a split decision draw to the disappointment of the LA crowd. The three judges scored the bout 115-111 for Wilder, 114-112 for Fury and 113-113.
Despite plenty of bad blood before the fight, both Fury and Wilder showed their respect for each other in the immediate interviews inside the ring. The pair both admitted they would be open to a rematch, with Fury slamming fellow British heavyweight Anthony Joshua, labelling him as a ‘chicken’.