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Tyson Fury: “Everyone thought I won”

Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

By Trevor McIntyre: Tyson Fury initially took the high road last night following his 12 round split draw against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, but he then changed course, saying that the “World knows the truth” about how he should have been given the decision and crowned the new World Boxing Council champion. The judges couldn’t come to an agreement in who they felt was the true winner of the fight.

The judges scored it 114-112 for Fury, 115-111 for Wilder and 113-113. Certainly many of the boxing fans saw Fury as the winner of the fight, but they’re not the ones that scored the fight.

Fury, 6’9″, looked very upset when the results of the fight was announced that it was a 12 round split draw. The three judges each had their own interpretation of who they felt won the fight. While the boxing public overwhelmingly saw Fury as the winner, the judges were split in picking the winner. What might have hurt Fury’s chances of winning the fight, besides being knocked down twice by Wilder, is the way the boxing fans cheered loudly each time Deontay would land a shot.

Having the fans on Wilder’s side might have resulted in two of the judges giving him more credit than he otherwise would have received if the fight had taken place at a neutral venue. Fury knew what he was getting himself into when he agreed to fight the American Wilder in Los Angeles, California. This wasn’t Wilder’s home turf, but the fight was in the United States, and that was more closer to home for the Alabama native than for British fighter Fury. When the judges’ decision was announced, Fury made a face and looked very unhappy.

Two of the judges thought Fury didn’t do enough to deserve the winner. Wilder knocked Fury flat in the 9th and 12th, and that ruined the British fighter’s chances of walking out of the Staples Center with the WBC title slung over his shoulder last night.

“I’m what you call a professional athlete, who loves to box,” Fury said to BT Sport Box Office. “Slip and slide, show my skill, 6’9″ and 260 lbs. I don’t know anybody on the planet who could move like that.”

The fight would have been a winnable one for the 6’7″ Wilder if he had shorter arms, and if he’d been able to stay in close to Fury. Wilder’s bad habit of staying on the outside and throwing badly telegraphed single right hands made Fury’s job of dodging the shots easy. Fury only had to watch for Wilder’s right hands all night long, as he wasn’t sig his left. Staying on the outside kept Wilder from being able to throw combinations, and reload after he would miss with a punch.

A good heavyweight with shorter arms would have been able to continue to throw punches after they missed a shot against Fury. Wilder couldn’t do that because his entire game was based on him throwing single right hands at maximum distance from the outside. When Wilder did throw his right hands in close, he lacked the power on the shots because he was smothering his shots. Wilder is only powerful when he’s throwing his right hand from the perfect distance. Fury knew about this weakness in Wilder’s game, so he took full advantage of it by making him miss all night.

“That man is a fearsome puncher, but I avoided his shots tonight,” Fury said. “Listen, I’m not going to take anything from Wilder, he’s a great champion and a great man. I thank him for the opportunity. The world knows the truth. I thought I won the fight. I thought I should have took the belt home,” Fury said.

Fury was able to make Wilder miss most of the fight, but obviously not all the time, judging by the 2 knockdowns that occurred at a crucial point in the contest in round 9 and 12. Fury seems to have lost sight of the historical significance of fights in which one fighter is knocked down twice by their opponents. Only in rare cases has a fighter been able to overcome two knockdowns and go on to win the fight. Usually when a fighter has been knocked down twice, they lose. Fury was lucky to get a draw, because he lost at least two other rounds besides the 9th and 12th.

It looked to some like Fury was done for the night after he was knocked down in the 12th by a right hand from the 6’7″ Wilder, who got everything he had that punch. Wilder wound up on that right hand and connected perfectly with it to the head of Fury, putting him on his back on the canvas. Fury had his eyes closed when he was down, and it looked like he out cold completely. It’s unclear why the referee Jack Reiss didn’t stop the fight at once when he saw Fury’s condition. Almost any other referee would stop the fight when they saw Fury on his back with both eyes closed. Reiss was very charitable in giving Fury, 30, a big break in waiting to see if he’d stir from his slumber. Sure enough, Fury came to his senses, opened both eyes, and climbed off the deck to resume fighting. The way that Fury fought after getting up, it makes one wonder whether he was as hurt as he appeared to be when he was down on the canvas.

“I was never going to be knocked out tonight,” Fury said. “I got put down with some good shots. Showed good heart to get back up. I came here tonight and I fought my heart out.”

Fury will need to fight Wilder a second time if he wants a chance to get the victory. It’s probably not enough that the world knows that he was the true winner in the fight. Fury needs to stay on his feet, and show that he can move enough to keep from getting clipped again by the hard hitting Bronze Bomber.

Fury was embarrassing Wilder through the first eight rounds with his frequent jabs and counter right hands that he was catching hi with. However, when things started to look bleak for Deontay, he came on with a surge of energy that resulted in him knocking Fury down in the 9th and 12th. Fury looked like he wasn’t fully prepared for Wilder to up his game in the last four rounds of the fight. Things had been so easy for Fury in rounds one through eight. He likely thought he had the fight in the bag, and was just going to cruise to victory the rest of the way. Fury overlooked the huge determination that Wilder had. He did not want to go home the loser in the fight, so he went after him with a vengeance in rounds 9 through 12.

“Listen 100 per cent we’ll do the rematch, but we’re going to go away, recalculate, see what’s going to happen, get back together,” Wilder said.

It’s nice that Fury is interested in a rematch, since that’s what Wilder wants. If both fighters want to meet again, it should be a fairly simple matter of them having their management sit down and pound out an agreement in the negotiations. The purse split might be a little different in the rematch than it was in the first fight given Fury’s success. The only things that could prevent an immediate rematch between Fury and Wilder is if the World Boxing Council orders Deontay to face his mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale or if Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn decides that he wants to match his fighter Anthony Joshua against one of the two. Hearn, of course, wants to have Joshua fight Fury or Wilder, but the way that he’s unwilling to give them a purse split that they consider fair will likely prevent either of those fights from happening.

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