What. A. Fight.
Talk about two prizefighters that possess the true heart of a champion.
WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder (40 – 0 – 1, 39KO) and Tyson Fury (27 – 0 – 1, 19KO) squared off in front of a packed house at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and gave everyone in attendance their moneys worth.
The fight started with Fury exhibiting his trademark herky-jerky head and upper body movement, constantly moving to keep Deontay at bay, while Deontay came out trying to gauge the timing of Fury’s constant feints. As the fight wore on, Fury started getting comfortable, slipping most of Wilder’s power shots, peppering him with the jab, and landing some counters along the way. Fury was extremely cognizant of Deontay’s devastating right hand, evading it at all costs, while Wilder wasn’t making it easy on himself by rounding the right hand out instead of firing it straight, making it easier to see for his opponent.
As the rounds continued, Fury got more and more comfortable with exploiting some of Deontay’s weaknesses, and keeping him off balance, pop-shotting him here n there, and making him pay with combinations whenever he was cast out of position.
In the mid-rounds Wilder decided to widen his stance and slightly changed his tactics, where he found a little more success, landing a couple body shots and shooting more jabs upstairs, but Fury continued to be an elusive target that Deontay was having problems finding, and Fury continued to outbox him.
The 9th round is where Wilder started to string a few punches together and was successful in knocking Fury down. Fury may have been a little off-balance, but Deontay connected with a good, sound shot, and it was a legitimate knockdown. Culminating the 9th, 10th and 11th round, we got the sense that Deontay was in serious need of a knockout to retain his title-belt.
Both entered the 12th round very confident, and we were blessed with an unbelievable finish. Wilder, instead of winging the right hand as he did for most of the fight decided to straighten it out, and ark it downwards as Fury tried to duck under it, but he got caught with the big power shot on the ear, and then a dynamite left hook followed, knocking Fury straight on his back, with his head hitting the canvas. One of the most devastating sequences witnessed in boxing in quite some time, it looked like Fury was out cold, and that there was no way in hell that he was going to get up from what looked like a shoe-in for Knockout of the Year, but with serious determination, serious heart, and serious fortitude, Fury somehow got up just in the nick of time to beat the 10 count.
A swell took over the Staples Center as everyone was collectively in shock that Tyson got up from such a nasty combination. Doing everything he could to convince Referee Jack Reiss to continue, he survived, and Wilder, dead tired and running on fumes emptied his entire arsenal trying to put Fury out for good, but Fury countered him with a 2-punch combination that rocked Deontay as he was pushing forward on his onslaught. Both men hurt, and completely spent, emptied their last bullets leading up to the final bell of the 12th round.
Both men exhibited high inordinate amount of respect towards one another after the fight, as they should. Combat aside, they’re both actually fond of each other, and both have gained a greater deal of respect for each other after the fight. The scorecards were about to be read and was announced that it was a split-decision. Assuming with a split-decision in play that we were going to get a winner, it was announced that it was ruled a SPLIT DRAW, therefore Deontay Wilder reclaims his WBC title, and Tyson Fury still claims what he believes is the Lineal tag to his name in terms of being the actual Champion of the division. An interesting fight, a thriller down the stretch, and an otherworldly explosive finish to cap the night off, but somebody’s ‘O’ had to go? not so…..here is our scores & the scores of the official judges.
PROJECT COMBAT SCORECARDS:
JON UDDIN = 115 – 111 TYSON FURY.
TRE BERRY = 115 – 111 TYSON FURY.
ALEJANDRO ROCHIN = 115 – 111 DEONTAY WILDER
ROBERT TAPPER = 114 – 110 TYSON FURY
PHIL EDWARDS = 113 – 113 DRAW
Disagreements aside with the scoring, this fight was another booster shot in the arm for a Heavyweight division that is slowly beginning to resurge, and I speak for all of us when I say that we’re all for it, as the Heavyweight division has always been an integral part in mounting excitement to the landscape of the sport.