Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury fought to a split-decision draw on SHOWTIME PPV® on Saturday night from STAPLES Center in one of the best heavyweight fights in years.
After controlling the WBC World Championship fight early, Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) miraculously overcame two knockdowns by Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) – including one in round 12 – in the improbable draw.
The judges scored the bout 115-111 for Wilder, 114-112 for Fury and 113-113.
“I think with the two knockdowns I definitely won the fight,” said Wilder, who has recorded a knockdown in each of his 41 pro fights. He was defending his WBC belt for the eighth time since 2015.
“We poured our hearts out tonight. We’re both warriors, but with those two drops I think I won the fight.”
Fury saw it differently, stating that he gave it everything he had.
“We’re on away soil, I got knocked down twice, but I still believe I won that fight,” said England’s Fury, whose amazing comeback continues following a two and a half-year absence from the sport. Fury was suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, plus mental health issues.
“I hope I did you all proud after nearly three years out of the ring. No way, 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.”
It was an electrifying night with an attendance announced at 17,698 fans, which included Hollywood stars and fight fans like former Lakers greats Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, former NFL stars Michael Strahan and Michael Irvin, and boxing legends Evander Holyfield and Floyd Mayweather.
Fury, who out-landed Wilder 84-71 overall, was caught by a short right hand by Wilder just behind the left ear. The blow dropped Fury for the third time in his career in the ninth round. Then in the 12th, a Wilder right hand and left hook combination sent the 6-foot-9 Fury down again, hitting his head on the canvas. Again, he managed to stand up and referee Jack Reiss let him continue to fight
“Boxing is always the theatre of the unexpected, and that’s what we had tonight,” SHOWTIME expert analyst Al Bernstein said.
Bernstein said seeing Fury get up and continue to fight after the brutal knockdown was “one of the most astonishing things I’ve ever seen in the boxing ring.”
SHOWTIME boxing historian and commentator Steve Farhood had Fury controlling the early rounds and Fury winning rounds 3-8, and ultimately scored the fight, 115-111.
Because of a rematch clause, both fighters were asked if they would like to do it again. “I would love for it to be my next fight,” Wilder said. “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.”
“One hundred percent we’ll do the rematch,” said Fury, fighting in the first heavyweight title pay-per-view bout in America since 2002. “We are two great champions. Me and this man are the two best heavyweights on the planet.”
Wilder said he came out slow and rushed his punches. “I didn’t sit still and I was too hesitant. I started overthrowing the right hand and I just couldn’t adjust.”
Fury was fighting for the third time this year with 26-year-old trainer Ben Davison in his corner. He also had former boxing great Ricky Hatton and seven-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach in his corner.