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How did you score Fury-Wilder I? Scorecard and analysis

Image: How did you score Fury-Wilder I? Scorecard and analysis

By Michael Malaszczyk: Reigning WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) are set to fight each other for a third time this Saturday, October 9th, 2021.

When this trilogy match was announced, the initial reaction in the boxing community was one of disappointment, as Fury had been all but set to face Anthony Joshua in a unification bout that would see the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era.

Wilder winning a court battle to demand the third fight derailed those plans. However, as fight night for Fury-Wilder III approaches, excitement for the bout has grown significantly.

Some of this can at least be attributed to the fact that Joshua lost his titles in an upset to Oleksandr Usyk and has activated the rematch clause, so an undisputed showdown is off the radar at the moment.

Fight week has been electric, with fighters and fans casting predictions for the bout and a heated press conference that saw promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren stop a face-off between the two fighters.

Image: How did you score Fury-Wilder I? Scorecard and analysis

Naturally, the fight many are discussing in the buildup to this fight is Fury-Wilder II. This makes sense as their second bout was more recent and saw Tyson Fury win by knockout. The rematch was not close; the only remotely close round was the second. Besides that second round, it was a complete mauling by Tyson Fury that saw Fury drop Wilder twice before Wilder’s corner threw in the towel in the seventh round. Fury significantly changed his style in their second fight, choosing to fight on the front foot and pressing Wilder backwards as opposed to boxing on the outside like he did in the first fight.

Given the decisive outcome of the rematch, it is easy to forget how dramatic and exciting the first fight was. Fury-Wilder I saw an interesting clash of styles. Deontay Wilder, the pure puncher, against Tyson Fury, the cerebral boxer. The draw decision was somewhat controversial as many felt Fury had boxed well enough to win the decision. However, others felt that the draw was fair, as Wilder was the champion and knocked Fury down twice.

Let’s go back nearly three years ago to December 1st, 2018, an historic night in boxing that saw two undefeated top heavyweights square off.

I am going to share with you my personal scorecard, and explain the logic behind my scoring:

Round 1: Wilder 10-9
Round 2: Wilder 10-9
Round 3: Fury 10-9
Round 4: Fury 10-9
Round 5: Fury 10-9
Round 6: Fury 10-9
Round 7: Fury 10-9
Round 8: Fury 10-9
Round 9: Wilder 10-8
Round 10: Fury 10-9
Round 11: Fury 10-9
Round 12: Wilder 10-8

Result: Tyson Fury wins, 114-112 (8 rounds to 4)

ANALYSIS: The first two rounds were not decisive rounds in anyone’s favor. Fury moved well, but did not throw much, and appeared to be sizing Wilder up. Wilder was a bit busier in these first two rounds, throwing jabs upstairs and downstairs.

Image: How did you score Fury-Wilder I? Scorecard and analysis

Again, these were not big rounds in anyone’s favor, but I gave them to the champ on the basis of activity. In Round 3, Fury began to open up, landing fast jabs consistently and beginning to land combos. This is how the entire middle portion of the fight would go; Fury moving well and out-scoring Wilder. Wilder remained in the fight, managing to give Fury a bloody nose, and came close to landing big shots in Rounds 5 and 7. However, for every good shot, Wilder landed or almost landed, Fury would fire back with three or four fast punches. I scored Rounds 3 to 8, all for Tyson Fury. In Round 9, those big shots Wilder came close to landing earlier finally landed, and he dropped Fury. Fury got up and continued to box well, but it was Wilder’s round. Fury seemed to have a renewed sense of urgency in Round 10 and had his best round of the fight, clocking Wilder with some eye-catching right hands. Round 11 looked more or less the same as the middle rounds; Wilder throwing huge shots but missing most of them, Fury moving well and out-scoring Wilder to win the round. Round 12 was one of the most dramatic rounds in boxing history. Fury was dropped by a Wilder right cross-left hook combination and appeared to be out, but somehow got up in something reminiscent of a Rocky movie. He battled on bravely and even had Wilder on the back foot in the final minute of the round, but because of the knockdown, it was again Wilder’s round.

So, I had it a rather decisive Fury win, 8 rounds to 4. I even marked the second round as a “close round” but gave it to Wilder, so I could very easily have the fight 9-3 for Fury (115-111). While I disagreed with the draw decision, I did not think it was the worst decision ever, given that Wilder did drop Fury twice, was champion, and was never truly out of the fight despite being outboxed. Seeing as Fury dominated the rematch, it’s difficult to still be angry over the result.

Of course, in boxing, scoring is subjective. Different fans look for different things, and score the rounds accordingly. The only scorecards that truly matter are those of the three judges at ringside, but fans have always and will always score fights, followed by discussion and debate over it.

How did you score Fury-Wilder I, and why?

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