A great night for heavyweight boxing in the US ended with Brit Tyson Fury surviving the full 12 rounds against knockout machine Deontay Wilder in a split decision draw in LA.
Fury, who spent three years out of the ring battling drink and drugs – proved many wrong against Wilder, dominating most of the fight despite being knocked down to the canvas twice.
The ‘Bronze Bomber’ just couldn’t seem to work out the enigma that is Fury, as the ‘Gypsy King’ became one of just two men to survive 12 rounds with the knockout king.
Looking switched on from the get-go, the 6ft 9′ frame of Fury seemed to dance around the American throughout the opening three rounds.
The Manchester native looked simply ageless, with his mix of defensive gall and experience exciting the thousands in attendance, despite his style being previously called “boring” and “anti-boxing.”
It was only until the seventh round that we really got to see why Wilder is so revered in the division landing big shots throughout.
Round 9 marked the decline of Fury’s dominance after being sent down to the canvas by the American, not the first time the Brit would be on his back in the fight.
After fighting back in rounds 10 and 11 in two closely contested battles Wilder sent Fury crashing down to the canvas with a vicious right hand. But yet despite looking out for the count Fury dragged his 6ft 9′ body back to its feet leaving all – especially Wilder – spellbound on how exactly he managed to rise?
The fight itself was too close to call with British and American journalists conflicted on who was up on the cards. A sentiment repeated by the judges with the clash ending in a split decision draw sparking controversy throughout the boxing world.
Twitter: RT @paulchowdhry: #WilderFury Fury robbed. The British judge clearly got paid off. Tyson trolled boxing, won 10 out of 12 rounds and came b… (@s80key)
Twitter: @PaddyConsidine @Tyson_Fury Completely agree – Fury schooled him (@LeeRMI)
Twitter: RT @JurgenPressed: Cannot believe Tyson Fury greatest comeback was ruined by a Mexican judge. Cannot believe I’m saying this but Trump was… (@CS1892)
Twitter: RT @frankbrunoboxer: Massive respect to @Tyson_Fury he’s a champ, a phenomenal comeback I’ve never shouted so much at a tv, be proud you’ve… (@Iostfeel)
It was a proud night for the Gypsy King, and despite the controversial decision was ever gracious thanking Jesus Christ before going onto
“We’re on away soil, I got knocked down but I still believe I won the fight. I’m showing total professionalism. Thank you for the opportunity D, God bless you.
“The Gypsy King has returned. God bless America. I’m a professional athlete who loves to fight. He is a fearsome fighter. The world knows the truth. Thank you to every fan around the world.”
While Fury skipped around the ring following Round 12’s end it was the normally brash and lively Wilder that remained quiet looking dejected and distant when waiting for the judge’s decision. Yet after the fight remained confident he had won:
“With the two knockdowns I definitely won the fight. I don’t think he had control.
“I wasn’t hurt. I did not sit still, I was too hesitant, I started overthrowing the right hand. I was forcing my punches too much.”
Cheers rang out as Fury spoke, a stark contrast to the barrage boos that Wilder had to contend with. Despite a great Pay-per-view show a coy and slightly dazed Tyson Fury pledged:
“I’ve been away from my family for 10 weeks and just want to spend some time with them over Christmas.”
“One hundred per cent we will do the rematch. We’re the best two heavyweights in the planet. There is another heavyweight who is a chicken. (Anthony) Joshua where are you?”
Fury has never looked like an athlete, but maybe for the first time in his career certainly acted like one. The 6ft 9 giant was last seen heading to the hospital with paramedics for a routine check-up after the clash.