Two-weight world title-holder Evander Holyfield believes Deontay Wilder deserves more credit for almost stopping Tyson Fury in their first meeting.
Holyfield was reacting to verbal exchanges about the first result. A possible delay by official Jack Reiss.
The ‘Gypsy King’ argued his case of winning the majority of the rounds, whilst Wilder claimed the referee saved Fury from defeat in the final round.
Wilder and Fury answered further questions from the media this week in the opening press conference ahead of their upcoming rematch on February 22nd.
Former heavyweight champion and boxing Hall of Famer Holyfield has weighed in on the argument.
Holyfield doesn’t believe dominating a fight gives you the right to claim victory outright if you were almost KO’d.
“My whole thing is I really like him cos he’s amazing but to me. He’s just like Deontay too, very confident and they got things they do well. Things they don’t do well but I kind of think that rules and regulations are very important to me. You should treat people equally,” Holyfield exclusively told World Boxing News speaking about the performance of third man Reiss.
“He was beating him the whole time, out jabbing the guy (Wilder) well. You were out jabbing the guy but Fury did get hit. He did fall down and you cannot give him that much time.
“It was just wrong. I don’t (want to) put down Tyson Fury I think he’s an excellent fighter. All this, but you cannot favor one fighter and say he was winning the whole time. What difference does that make?
“I remember watching the fight with John Tate and Mike Weaver. Tate won the fight 14 rounds and about 50 seconds and got hit with one shot, he killed him. That’s it, that’s boxing,” the former two-weight champion added.
Since their memorable heavyweight clash at the backend of 2018, both fighters have since gone on to fight twice.
Wilder has made another two successful defenses of his WBC title with wins over mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale and familiar foe Luis Ortiz.
Meanwhile, in a high-profile move to Top Rank, Bob Arum has been building up the image of Fury in Vegas with a routine win over Tom Schwartz and a tough points victory over Swede southpaw Otto Wallin on Mexican Independence weekend.
Holyfield himself was involved in a rematch against a Brit in Lennox Lewis. The first, like Wilder-Fury I, ended in a split-draw before Lewis won the second encounter via unanimous decision.
Can Fury win the only title to have eluded him or will Wilder win yet another rematch?