Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury
WBC heavyweight world champion, Alabama's Deontay Wilder (40-0), takes on former WBA, IBF, WBO champion, Manchester's Tyson Fury (27-0). Wilder makes the 8th defence of his title, comes off his career best win over Luis Ortiz, 9 months earlier. Fury comes off a 10 round UD win over former world title challenger, Francisco Pianeta, 4 months earlier, the Pianeta win, Fury's second comeback fight since his 30 month layoff.
Wilder weighs in at 212-213, the lowest he's been since his debut, Fury weighs 256-257, very slightly lighter than he was against Pianeta.
The fight starts at a tentative pace, Fury is mobile, Wilder feints, is patient, but is the aggressor. The fight is very close in the early rounds, as Wilder lands a couple of hard shots, throws a lot more punches, makes Fury miss with the jab, and lands his own jab couple of times, but Fury, defensively brilliant, works well in spurts, and lands more punches.
Fury looks a million dollars in the mid rounds, as he looks to be boxing Wilder's head off, Wilder's jab is still decent, but not enough to control the fight, and for power shots, he is very inaccurate, as Fury makes him hit thin air with almost everything he throws, and countering with more than enough clean punches, does some great work, controls the distance. Wilder looks frustrated, and as if his title is slipping away from him. Fury displays outstanding boxing skill, great footwork, and at times, looks a class above Wilder.
Wilder swings the momentum in his favour, changes the fight in round 9, as he pulls the trigger, throws a few punches, missing with a couple, but landing a great left hook which puts Fury down quite heavily, Fury looks in some distress, takes 9 seconds, but beats the count, Wilder smells blood as goes for the finish, inflicts follow up punishment, but doesn't inflict a real beating, and Fury recovers well. Fury not only survives, but comes back with a brilliant round 10, boxes extremely well, lands some hard shots.
After 11 rounds, it seems Wilder needs a knock out, he goes out on his shield, and swings for the fences. Wilder seems to turn the fight around as he lands a great right hand which takes away Fury's legs, and then catches Fury on his way down with a deadly looking left hook which adds impact to the knockdown. Fury looks like he is done, Wilder thinks he's knocked Fury out as the challenger lies flat on his back for a few seconds.
Fury shocks Wilder by dragging himself back onto his feet at the count of 9, having not moved for several seconds. Wilder gets right back to attacking a very badly hurt Fury, tries his best to finish him, lands a couple of crushing follow up shots, but seems to punch himself out, and Fury rallies back, lands a couple of great shots which knock more out of an already exhausted Wilder, Fury fails to really hurt Wilder, and is also exhausted, Wilder gets back on the offensive at the end of the fight, but fails to put Fury down again as the bell goes.
It seems to most people as if Fury was too far ahead for the late knockdown to change the outcome.
The judges disagree amongst each other, a Canadian judge scores an unsurprising, non-controversial 112-114 for Fury, an English judge scores a slightly controversial 113-113 draw, and a Mexican judge scores a very controversial 115-111 for Wilder. The fight is a draw, so Wilder defends his title without a win, and Fury comes very, very close, but just misses out on winning the only belt he didn't win when he beat Klitschko in 2015.
The decision is controversial, Paulie Malignaggi is furios, Lennox Lewis says Wilder got a gift, and Alejandro Rochin is a very unpopular judge after the fight.
Wilder and Fury show each other a lot of respect in the post fight interview, they are more than happy to rank each other top 2 in the division, Fury calls WBA, IBF, WBO champion, Anthony Joshua, 'chicken'.
Both fighters claim they won the fight, but don't complain much about the decision, they agree that a rematch should happen and Wilder insists he'll fight Fury anywhere.
Floyd Mayweather Jr is disgusted with the decision, so much so that he storms out of the arena. Mayweather Jr insists Fury was robbed, his dad, Floyd Mayweather Sr, strongly disagrees.
Days after the fight, it is alleged that Wilder had a bad right arm injury during camp, which is a possible explanation as to why his left hook was such a better weapon than his right hand against Fury, despite being known for his right hand.
Some people question the length of the count, the second time Fury was knocked down by Wilder, suggesting it was long and Fury might have been legitimately knocked out, but it is later proven that Fury took no more than 9 seconds to get up despite looking like he was well and truly out.
Wilder claims he wasted gas in the tank by celebrating a knock out he mistakenly thought he'd scored, and that was a factor in failing to finish Fury.
ESPN - 114-112 Wilder
Boxing people's opinions
Andre Berto - Fury