The WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder retained his crown by the slimmest of margins, with a split decision draw against Tyson Fury at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
As promised in their heavily promoted lead up to the fight, both fighters put on a show. Fury dealt a master-class in tactics, Wilder always dangerous with his lethal right hand.
Fury put to rest any questions about his boxing ability and status amongst the best in class, likewise any questions about his fitness.
Wilder meanwhile, reasserted his infamous punching power.
Wilder had Fury on the canvas in the 9th and 12th, the latter knockdown looking like it would be the end of the fight. A heavy right, followed by a left as Fury was on his way down and Fury’s eyes were rolling. Laid out on his back at the count of five, Wilder began celebrating the victory, but on the count of six, Fury rose like Dracula from his coffin and by nine, had and convinced the referee that he could continue.
In the end, it was two very different fighters in an intriguing battle, neither lost their precious record of O’s and boxing as a sport was the victor.
The judges called the fight a draw, but in the aftermath of the fight many disagreed:
This #WilderFury judging takes me back to my first fight with @holyfield Just goes to show how hard it is for a Brit to come to America and take someone’s belt even tho that’s what we clearly saw. Big up to @Tyson_Fury who never ceases to amaze me. Hold ur head high! 👊🏾💥
— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) December 2, 2018
Massive respect to @Tyson_Fury he’s a champ, a phenomenal comeback I’ve never shouted so much at a tv, be proud you’ve brought so much excitement to British boxing tonight congratulations your a winner in my eyes & the rest of the UK 🇬🇧
Draw my arse! pic.twitter.com/NJjufCYcEP
— Frank Bruno MBE (@frankbrunoboxer) 2 December 2018
Unbelievable how Fury got up off the floor and fought like a Champ; I’m proud of this Boxer.
— George Foreman (@GeorgeForeman) 2 December 2018
Deontay Wilder is still the WBC World Heavyweight Champion!
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) 2 December 2018