For about five seconds in the final round of Tyson Fury’s battle with Deontay Wilder last night (Sat., Dec. 1, 2018), “The Gypsy King” was unconscious. Arms limp, eyes glazed over, staring blankly at some entrancing sight only he could see after the hardest puncher in boxing connected with a clean right hand and follow-up left hook on the collapsing giant.
But, he had 10 seconds to get up, and get up he did, forcing Wilder back with his own brutal right hand and defusing “The Bronze Bomber’s” attack. It was the second time he’d gotten off the canvas during the 12-round championship bout, and he’d won practically every second of the fight when he was on his feet.
It wasn’t enough.
For 98 percent of the fight, Fury made Wilder look like an amateur, slipping increasingly desperate right-hand bombs and picking away with both his jab and the occasional exploratory flurry. Wilder punished him for his taunting in the eighth by catching him behind the ear, sending Fury tumbling down, but the Brit immediately regained the momentum and stayed in control until the near-disaster in the twelfth and final frame.
Despite the two knockdowns, Fury appeared to have things well in hand. At most, one could find perhaps two additional rounds for Wilder in which he at least kept up in the jab battle, which would result in a 114-112 Fury victory. Instead, Wilder escaped with a split draw courtesy of one of the worst scorecards I’ve ever seen: a 115-111 score from judge Alejandro Rochin, who saw seven rounds for Wilder, so many that Wilder would have won without a single knockdown.
This being boxing, we’re probably going to get a rematch in the coming months. One can only hope there’s a modicum of competence next time.
For complete “Wilder vs. Fury” results, including round-by-round coverage of the night’s proceedings, click here.