Aftermath: Fury vs Wilder
Photo: Harry How /Getty Images
Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and WBC titlist Deontay Wilder battled to an unforgettable and controversial draw in Los Angeles on Saturday night. BM contributors Paul Zanon, Anthony Cocks, Lee Gormley, Shaun Brown, Andrew Harrison, James Oddy, Peter Shaw, Luke G. Williams, Garry White, Colin Harris, Tom Craze, Callum Rudge and Craig Scott are here with their post-fight reaction and analysis...
BM: Your verdict on the verdict ...
PZ: The verdict was wrong. Fury won that comfortably by between two to four clear rounds.
AC: Before the fight I said I expected Wilder to win by close decision. My thinking was that Fury would outbox him for the first half of the fight before slowing down, when Wilder's power would come into play and a knockdown or two would secure him the victory on the cards. Although the fight played out that way, it's hard to see Wilder as a deserving victor. Similarly, I thought the knockdowns rendered a Fury win unlikely. I felt a draw was a fair and just result.
LG: I had Fury 115-111 up in the end. Considering what he’s gone through, that performance was superb. I don’t see how one judged scored it so far in favour of Wilder as that simply did not happen. He boxed awfully and seemed to have no game plan whatsoever but his power managed to save him again.
SB: The Wilder scorecard is further proof that scoring needs to be investigated. It can't go on but it does. Fury won, no question. Not even a draw.
AH: Fury deserved the decision. Consensus scoring (where two of the judges agree on a round) was 8-4 for Tyson, with the knockdowns closing the gap to a couple of points. I thought Fury won nine rounds but was guilty of leaving some of them close enough for debate.
JO: Fury was the better man for much of the fight but the robbery shouts from the boxing public are a tad hyperbolic to my mind. There were a few rounds in there which could have gone either way. I preferred Fury's work but I can see another perspective.
PS: Bad for boxing! The inevitable stink to come may overshadow all the good that two top world sportsmen showpieced together.
LW: Fury won the fight for me. I can - just about - excuse a draw on the cards, but 115-111 in Wilder's favour is inexplicable. Fair play to Fury for being so gracious.
GW: I felt Fury did enough to win and deserved the verdict by a couple of rounds. I certainly wouldn’t classify it as a robbery, but the 115-111 interpretation is an indefensible travesty. One can only be left thinking that the Mexican judge had shelled out on an advanced bookkeeping course from Adalaide Byrd. No refunds available! I felt that Fury schooled Wilder for much of the contest, to such an extent that it felt like they were engaged in different pursuits. Fury the fluent and calculating Chess Grandmaster against an 8-year-old boy playing Tin Can Alley (one for older readers!) Wilder can certainly hit those cans pretty hard though as Fury found out in the 9th and 12th.
CH: I had it 115-111 Fury. I only gave Wilder the rounds where he scored a knockdown, plus one other. The diplomatic side of me says there were a couple more which could have been 10-10, and if I "could have given 10-10 but leaned towards Fury", then I could have leaned the other way, which would have given me a 113-113. However, I am in no two minds about it - Fury should have got the decision. I couldn't help but think of occasions such as Martinez-Chavez, when we forget the rounds of good work and end up remembering the last round knock-down more than anything else, and when that happens the moral victor is the man who scored.
TC: After the 12 rounds, I was in no doubt as to who I thought had won - but as we've seen time and time again, there's often a brief purgatory between the final bell and the scorecards being read where we reassess based on what we know boxing to be. Fury fought beautifully from the outset, and in the rounds where he showed less in terms of offense, he was the one slipping shots and making Wilder miss, often by a distance. On both the front foot and back foot, he outboxed the American for vast stretches. Calling it a robbery feels a bit strong, though. A couple of early rounds were close, (1 and 2, from memory, although I scored them to Fury watching live) and that gives you a route to 113-113. Alejandro Rochin's 115-111 card for Wilder is exceptionally bad though - there's no way that Fury only won five rounds.
CR: I had it the same as Phil Edwards, a 113-113 draw. The opening four rounds were the hardest to score with Wilder mostly leading and Fury moving around and pot shotting the American. Fury bossed the middle and late rounds but the two knockdowns turned what looked like a dominant Fury win to a close contest.
CS: It was a truly excellent fight. Fury, performing arguably better than he did in Düsseldorf. Wilder, throwing caution to the wind and hunting down the victory. I had Fury winning by two rounds when all was said and done, no case for a Wilder win whatsoever. I could maybe see a draw, with American specs on.
BM: Your take on that dramatic 12th round?
PZ: Fury's resurrection in the 12th was on a par with Lazarus.
AC: How Fury managed to get up from that heavy knockdown in the 12th and final round is beyond me. He showed a true fighting man's heart to not only rise and survive the round, but to fight back. True heart-in-the-mouth stuff.
LG: One of the best rounds of the year. How Fury managed to get up like he did and actually hurt Wilder afterwards is beyond belief. A crazy end to a great heavyweight fight. Shame about the official cards.
SB: The 12th round represented everything that makes boxing the greatest sport in the world. Drama, entertainment, edge of your seat, survival and a moment that will go down in history. Fury goes down, Wilder does a dance, Fury looks into the ref's eyes and brings himself to his feet. Disbelief and a smile from Wilder. Brilliant.
AH: We’ve seen heavyweights get up from heavy knockdowns before in major fights. Muhammad Ali did it against Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes against Earnie Shavers, Buster Douglas against Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe against Evander Holyfield. Fury’s comeback, though, in that 12th round, may be the most dramatic in heavyweight history. The fact he got to his feet was miraculous. That he survived Wilder’s follow-up attack was something else again.
JO: Fury rising from that knockdown was an iconic moment. The willpower and toughness to get up from that is something else. Wilder gets stick for plenty but I also admire his ability to find a way to land those big shots. Round 12 was why I love boxing.
PS: That 'dramatic 12th' is already indelibly etched into future history. The Round of the Year, The Fight of the Year - it makes Fury unforgettable for all time.
LW: Astonishing. When Fury hit the deck so heavily I assumed the fight was over. On the replay he looked out cold for several seconds. To get up was remarkable, to survive the 12th round speaks eloquently of his desire, skill and passion. To see such bravery and determination after all Fury has been through gave me goosebumps and almost moved me to tears.
GW: Awesome 12th round. Ultimately the difference between Wilder holding and losing a world title. Fury climbing off the canvas, when it looked to everybody watching that he was totally done, was the physical embodiment of all his recent mental health challenges. They said he could never beat his demons and he proved them all wrong. He showed the world that beneath all the words and bluster he really does maintain an unbreakable spirit. It was a perfect finale, straight out of Hollywood. If only Fury had got the verdict.
CH: The knockdown reminded me of Foreman flooring Norton (seriously, very similar) and the moments with Fury on the canvas looking dead to the world made me think of Earnie Shavers recalling his knockdown of Larry Holmes: "for 9 seconds, I was heavyweight champion of the world". How on earth Fury got up is anybody's guess, but the right hand he landed about 30 seconds later put paid to any Wilder follow-up barrage: it was everything we love about heavyweight boxing.
TC: As a fan watching these truly big fights from the UK, the very least you can hope for is that the 6am finishes give you something to remember. I've never seen anything quite like Fury's resurrection in the 12th - he was still flat out on his back at the count of six! That he got up to finish the round on the attack and even proceeded to taunt Wilder by its end is just remarkable. As Garry rightly says, it was a perfect metaphor for his return from the depths of despair outside the ring.
CR: Jack Reiss showed why he’s the best referee in the world by giving Fury every opportunity to get up and recover. It was a situation where many a referee would’ve stopped Fury as soon as he hit the floor. Wilder was naive in celebrating instead of getting his breath back as afterwards he was unable to finish Fury off.
CS: The 12th round was like something from a film. Fury clobbered with that left hook on the way down, a thudding shot which sunk him into the canvas. When he got back up, I nearly smashed the TV in excitement. He's a true warrior and not only did he survive, he dominated the rest of the round! Wild.
BM: What happens next?
PZ: They need to have the rematch, which will dwarf any fight Anthony Joshua has on the horizon.
AC: The boxing world will now demand a rematch. Whether that happens first up or in the second half of next year remains to be seen. But what this fight does do is put tremendous pressure on Joshua to select an impressive opponent for his Wembley fight in April if he wants to outshine what these two warriors delivered.
LG: A rematch should be next. Let’s hope it happens immediately next year.
SB: Has to be a rematch. Fury is back and he's only going to get better from tonight. Wilder still has much to learn but he's now in a position where it has to be Joshua or Fury next. Not a bad position but anything less will severely damage his reputation. The flip side is Fury and keeping him fit in every aspect. Once he's ready get him back out again. I'm going in circles here. Rematch!
AH: A lot depends on how Fury responds to the inevitable lull he’ll find himself experiencing once the cameras stop following him around. Unless a deal is done quickly to set a future date against Wilder or Joshua, he could quite easily relapse into the frame of mind he spoke so candidly about pre-fight. A rematch would be ideal but would Wilder want to go through all of that again? The American showed real spirit to keep plugging away but he was on the wrong end of a boxing lesson for much of the fight. Throw in the merciless taunting and “big dosser” jibes and he might not want to reconvene with 'The Gypsy King' quite as soon as the money men would like. That might lead to Wilder vs Joshua next, with Fury on the outside looking in.
JO: I've always had a feeling Wilder could be Joshua's bogeyman. I feel his team will take that fight, aware they've maybe got lucky in this one. My worry is a spell of inactivity could really halt Fury's momentum. He needs s few decent keep busy style fights.
PS: Anything might! Fury may be too hosed off with the decision to want anything to do with boxing for a long while, and who could blame him. He probably doesn't want to hear anything more about the game for several weeks. Wilder will not want any more of Fury for quite a while. I think he knows he lost that fight. For the annuls of trivia pursuit, It was 116-113 to Tyson on my card, Wilder winning only the two knockdown rounds, and sharing two others.
LW: Hopefully a rematch, of course, although I wouldn't mind seeing both men take an interim fight beforehand. One thing that is undeniable is that Joshua's thunder has been well and truly stolen. For me AJ vs Wilder or Fury is no longer the biggest fight in the division (significance wise) - Wilder vs Fury 2 is. I'd also like to add that - whatever the sanctioning bodies say - Fury is the heavyweight champion of the world.
GW: There has to be a rematch and soon. The only real barrier to that is Fury maintaining his current focus away from the camera glare. There can be no return to the 16 Stellas and the Truck stop breakfasts, so the quicker it is in the diary the better. Both men will revel in continuing to take the limelight from Anthony Joshua, and expect continued goading from Fury in AJ’s direction.
CH: I think we'd all love to see an immediate rematch, but there was something in Wilder's voice which made me not sure how much he really wants it. Combined, both men have the ability to make Anthony Joshua seem like the 'poor man's choice' and to hog all the heavyweight limelight. If they don't have an immediate rematch then they should share a card in the spring to build-up to the rematch in the summer. I would take an outside bet that one of them faces Joshua in April, with the other one having an Interim bout before facing the winner next Christmas - but I think it more likely that Joshua vs either of them doesn't happen until 2020 (sadly).
TC: Both Fury and Wilder seemed to agree on a rematch after the fight, but their words sounded noncommittal. I want the immediate rerun in the spring, whether that's back in the States or in Manchester. I have a feeling we might see something less compelling in the interim for both - Dominic Breazeale is waiting on his WBC mandatory, and Fury might choose to sit it out while that's being dealt with.
CR: A rematch, probably in Vegas. While we’d all like a return to be back here in the UK. The lure of the casino money will just be too great for Wilder and Fury to turn down.
CS: I don't know if Wilder will fancy the rematch as a voluntary. It's all wrong for him and he escaped with his belt here. However, he's a proud man and perhaps he'll prove me wrong. Let's not forget, this isn't a fully fit and sharp Tyson Fury. He can improve. I think he's shown himself that he can mix it and beat 'the best in the World'.