Tyson Fury Denied At The Death
Despite the crudeness and the predictability of Deontay Wilder, when he has imminent danger in his fists you can never think you have him beaten.
Tyson Fury giving a performance perhaps from another time, was seemingly cruising towards becoming the world heavyweight champion again. But Wilder saved his unbeaten record and his title with two late knockdowns.
Wilder had his man over in the 9th, but Fury recovered and Wilder then seemed spent. The champions moment had passed, his last hope to salvage the fight looked to have gone.
But despite Fury showing impressive recovery powers and regaining control of the contest, the fight had one dramatic twist, and that twist denied Fury leaving the Staples Center as the champion.
Fury started the 12th well, but in the blink of an eye, he was on his back and his fight looked over. But somehow, miraculously he got up at 9, and incredibly finished the fight on the front foot.
Most ringside observers had Fury winning, but the judges scored the fight a draw. One judge had Wilder up 115-111, another saw it 114-112 for Fury and the final card of 113-113 made it a split draw.
I had it 8-4 in favour of Fury, but the two knockdowns narrowed the gap on my card. Even though it made I still had Fury winning, by a two-point margin, just a one round swing would have resulted in a draw, it was no robbery.
But Fury proved the doubters wrong, despite his lack of ring time, he boxed brilliantly at times, making Wilder miss badly throughout.
Fury was the one setting the pace and looked the likely winner until this gripping absorbing contest exploded into life in the last four rounds.
But despite how well he fought, in some of the closer earlier rounds, I wondered if Fury might regret not being more active, leaving doubt, giving the judges an excuse to give the champion some of the rounds. I had it even after four rounds, but you could easily have had it 3-1 for either fighter, only the 3rd was a clear-cut round, a round in which Fury really showed his class.
The result makes a rematch inevitable, and hopes of an April unification fight with Anthony Joshua now look more remote than ever.
Wilder yet again showed his flaws, but still found the power punches to save the day. But he seems like a champion ready to be taken.
Fury despite being denied at the death, proved beyond any doubt that he is back. In LA he just fell a little short, next time the odds will say he won’t.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME