By Mark Elezaj
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Los Angeles- The time for talking was over. It was now time to put up or shut up, and boy did both fighters show up! Both fighters did their part in providing us with a CLASSIC Heavyweight Title Fight. This was the first heavyweight title pay-per-view fight in America since 2002, it was one of the most anticipated heavyweight showdowns in recent memory and it went all the way to the final bell, a war between two undefeated fighters, living up to its intense hype.
From the opening bell both fighters looked to feel each other out. Wilder was in control early but Fury landed a couple of big shots in the final seconds of the round that got Wilders attention.
From that point, Fury controlled the fight by boxing with constant feints and awkward angles. Wilder, who was following Fury around the ring, would pick his spots looking to land his heavy counter shots.
Fury slipped hard shots and countered clean while taunting Wilder throughout the fight. Not only did Fury go on to outland Wilder, 84 to 71 according to CompuBox, but he also looked to have the better stamina while landing the bigger punches. But Wilder’s big right hand was the reason you couldn’t rule him out of the fight.
In the ninth round, Wilder finally found a home for his right hand. He dropped Fury, who wasn’t badly hurt and then went for the knockout. But Fury began to fight back, throwing his hands in the air, sticking out his tongue, while baiting Wilder to come at him. It was a great back and forth action as both fighters exchanged big punches.
Fury bounced back in the 10th and continued with his momentum into the 11th, and it was clear that Wilder was becoming more and more frustrated as the rounds came to an end.
Wilder came out with a sense of urgency in the 12th round and landed a huge right hand followed by a clean left hook that put Fury flat on his back. The crowd erupted and it looked like the fight was over. Fury stood up, barely beating referee Jack Reiss’ count, and continued on. An exhausted Wilder then rocked him with a follow-up attack but Fury held on.
Fury came roaring back, stunning Wilder with a right hand of his own as both warriors fought each other to the final bell.
According to CompuBox punch stats, Wilder landed 71 of 430 shots and Fury landed 84 of 327.
The judges scored the fight 115-111 for Wilder, 114-110 for Fury and a 113-113 tie ensuring that the champion retained his world title.
“We’re on away soil, I got knocked down twice, but I still believe I won that fight,” Fury said. “I’m being a total professional here. I went to Germany to fight [Wladimir] Klitschko [in 2015] and I went to America to fight Deontay Wilder. God bless America. The ‘Gypsy King’ has returned. I’m what you call a pro athlete that loves to box. I don’t know anyone on the planet that can move like that. That man is a fearsome puncher and I was able to avoid that. The world knows I won the fight.”
“I think with the two knockdowns I definitely won the fight,” Wilder said. “We poured our hearts out tonight. We’re both warriors, but with those two drops I think I won the fight. I came out slow. I rushed my punches. I didn’t sit still. I was too hesitant. I started overthrowing the right hand and I just couldn’t adjust.”
“The rematch, I guarantee I’m going to get him,” Wilder said. “I would love for it to be my next fight. Why not? Let’s give the fans what they want to see. It was a great fight, and let’s do it again. It doesn’t matter to me where we do it. We’re the two best in the world, and we proved it tonight. When you get two warriors, you get a great fight. That’s what we proved tonight, and I’m ready to do it again.”
Fury also expressed that he ready to do it again.
“One hundred percent we’ll do the rematch,” he said. “We are two great champions. Me and this man are the two best heavyweights on the planet.”
Even with the draw, Fury, rightfully, was proud of his performance against Wilder.
“I hope I did you all proud after nearly three years out of the ring,” Fury said. “I was never going to be knocked out tonight. I showed good heart to get up. I came here tonight and I fought my heart out.”
In what will surely be remembered as one of the best fights in recent memory, both Fury and Wilder showed that they are the best heavyweights in the division today.
~The Fighting Voice~