Saturday night’s WBC heavyweight championship fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury was a thrill ride and a great show of skill between two of the best boxers in the world. Unfortunately, the judges sitting ringside at the Staples Center in California weren’t up to the same standard of quality. They rendered a controversial split decision draw: 115-111 Wilder, 114-112 Fury, and a 113-113 tie.
The public consensus seems to be that Fury controlled the majority of the fight and should have easily won a decision. With Wilder knocking down Fury twice late into the bout, there’s arguments to be made for the 113-113 score ... if you’re generous towards Wilder in how some of the early rounds were judged. But that 115-111 Wilder score from judge Alejandro Rochin? Inexplicable. Indefensible. Questionably corrupt.
At the post-fight press conference, Tyson Fury said he kept his cool as the decision was read to avoid a potential riot amongst his gypsy fans in the arena. But now that it’s the day after, he’s letting the world know what he really thinks.
”To be honest with you, I’ve never seen a worse decision in my life,” Fury said at a hastily arranged Sunday press conference (video via The Mac Life). “I dunno what fight them judges are watching. The guy that had it 115-111, he had me losing the first six rounds and I don’t know what he was watching. But this is boxing and it’s not the first time this has happened. I think this is as bad of a decision as the first Lennox Lewis / Holyfield fight.”
”It’s stuff like this that gives boxing a bad name. Reports like this, all the media today will report bad stuff. Controversy, this that and the other. Everybody in boxing is saying it’s a very controversial thing. Time and time again we see it.”
Fury took exception with the 113-113 score, but singled out Rochin as particularly clueless.
”He needs banning from boxing forever because he can’t judge clearly,” Fury said. “What was his name? Rochin needs sacking. Because even without the knockdowns, he still had me losing the fight.”
Fury’s promoter Frank Warren revealed that he would write to the WBC and demand they look into the scoring and order a mandatory immediate rematch between Wilder and Fury. As for where the rematch could be held, you’d think both Warren and Fury would insist on the UK. But the money to be made off American pay-per-view may be too strong of a lure, even with hometown judging in the mix.
Amazing dressing room footage @Tyson_Fury consoles all of his team-mates, family and friends moments after a controversial split-decision draw...— Boxing on BT Sport (@BTSportBoxing) December 2, 2018
This just shows the strength of the man pic.twitter.com/koLMpqYk2B
”I’ve always found that all the way through, generations, history of boxing, all the massive fights have always been in the USA,” Fury said. “So that’s what I did, I came over to crack the United States. And if everything would have been fair I would have been going home with the WBC belt. But no harm done, still the lineal champion, still unbeaten. We move on.”
”You travel if you think it’s going to be a level playing field,” Warren said. “And when you get decisions and you get judges like you got last night, that’s when you think ‘Why don’t we stay at home?’ It should be fair. It’s terrible when you get a judge watching a fight that way, you wonder what sport you’re in. It’s wrong.”
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