Deontay Wilder draws with Tyson Fury to retain WBC heavyweight title in Los Angeles
Deontay Wilder (left) throws a punch at Tyson Fury during their WBC world heavyweight title bout. (Reuters: Andrew Couldridge)
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have fought to a split draw, with Wilder retaining his WBC heavyweight title after knocking down his British challenger twice.
- Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury were scored the winner by a judge each, with the third scoring the bout as a draw
- Fury was knocked down twice by Wilder, in the ninth and 12th rounds
- Fury remains the unofficial lineal champion of the heavyweight division
Wilder (40-0-1) floored Fury (27-0-1) in the ninth and 12th rounds, yet Fury clearly outboxed Wilder for large portions of the remainder of their entertaining showdown at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Fury looked finished when Wilder put him flat on his back with two minutes left in the fight, but he rose and made it to the bell.
Judge Robert Tapper scored the fight 114-112 for Fury, while Alejandro Rochin favoured Wilder 115-111. Judge Phil Edwards and The Associated Press scored it a 113-113 draw, with Wilder’s knockdowns compensating for Fury’s superior technique.
Both men were not overly upset by the verdict in front of a frenzied Hollywood crowd, embracing warmly and talking about a re-match.
“One hundred per cent we’ll do the re-match,” Fury said.
“We are two great champions. Me and this man are the two best heavyweights on the planet.”
The bout was a rare meeting of two unbeaten heavyweight stars in their apparent primes, with both fighters putting aside caution and the typical squabbles over money or belts to stage one of the best matchups in the glamour division’s recent history.
And the fighters delivered, each in his unique way.
The 205 centimetre Fury spent nearly every moment of the fight nimbly avoiding Wilder’s punches in a masterful display of shifty technique and athletic defence — except for the two moments when the 200cm Wilder viciously knocked him to the canvas.
A punch to the top of Fury’s head shockingly put him down in the ninth, but he bounced up quickly.
Tyson Fury with the referee after being knocked down during his fight against Deontay Wilder. (Reuters: Andrew Couldridge)
With just two minutes left in the fight, a vicious right-left combination from Wilder left Fury flat on his back.
Even though Wilder made a throat-slashing gesture and mouthed “it’s over,” Fury gathered his senses and beat the count. He steadied himself and went back to work, and even landed a few shots of his own before the final bell.
“We gave each other all we’ve got,” Wilder said.
“We’re the best in the world. The respect was mutual.”
Wilder failed to win for the first time since his semi-final bout at the Beijing Olympics, and he failed to knock out his opponent for only the second time in 41 career bouts.
Yet he showed remarkable resourcefulness and power, avoiding what would have been a decision loss with those two knockdowns.
Fury also remained the unofficial lineal champion of the heavyweight division by virtue of his victory over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015.