Usually, in boxing, the fight doesn’t live up to the hype. That wasn’t the case this past Saturday night.
Tyson Fury survived a pair of hellacious knockdowns — including one in Round 12 — and appeared to outclass WBC champion Deontay Wilder before settling for a split draw in front of 17,698 fans at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The first heavyweight title pay-per-view bout in America since 2002 saw both fighters combine for a modern classic that was overflowing with tension and drama. One judge had it considerably wide at 115-111 for Wilder while the second had it 114-112 for Fury. The final scorecard was 113-113.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) December 2, 2018
While the fight played out exactly in favor of each fighter’s strengths as Fury controlled by boxing with constant feints and awkward angles while Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) picked his spots to land heavy counter shots which threatened to end the fight.
Fury largely outboxed Wilder for the first half of the bout until a short right hand caught him on the temple and dropped him early in Round 6. Fury got up quickly and rallied to nearly winning back the round as Wilder appeared as if he might’ve punched himself out going for the finish.
If nothing else, both fighters dramatically raised their profile and proved that the heavyweight division is the glamour division of the sport. Fury gained an American following courtesy of his iron will and remarkable resolve, while Wilder proved that he is always one punch away from putting his opponent on their back.
More importantly, heavyweight boxing needed this. And a draw was arguably the most fitting way the fight could end. Expect a rematch in 2019 between these two heavyweight champions.