Deontay Wilder should still be undefeated as a heavyweight and possess the WBC title he held from 2015 to 2020.
Wilder knocked rival Tyson Fury out in the twelfth round of their first heavyweight meeting of three in 2018. The count has since been branded long, even by compatriots of Fury in his homeland.
Those words come from the man who stepped into the ring with Fury as mandatory challenger last April.
Dillian Whyte lamented the referee for Wilder vs Fury in 2018 as holding a damaged reputation from the encounter.
Whyte questioned why this is the case as he claimed Deontay Wilder stopped Fury, who got away with favor from referee Jack Reiss.
“It’s boxing, man,” Whyte told The Guardian. “There’s always something going on, some set-up. It isn’t ever going to change.
“But with this fight, I don’t understand why there’re no British judges when we’re both British.
“You wonder why Tyson doesn’t want any British officials. He seems to have more lives than a cat.
Deontay Wilder knocked out Fury
“He gets away with stuff like that extra-long count [against Deontay Wilder].
“I know what I’m up against [in this fight]. People say I have to get the knockout to win, but it’s all good to me. I’m ready to risk everything.”
Murmurings of some one-sided YouTube channels that favor Wilder believe Reiss stopped counting on purpose in unproven allegations.
“Keep an eye on the standing boxer and make sure he stays in a neutral corner. If the boxer comes out, stop the count.
“Then put the boxer back into a neutral corner and then resume counting,” is the official word on what goes down in that event.
“Deontay Wilder would still be unbeaten if it wasn’t for Jack Reiss.”
UFC star Daniel Cormier then added his considerable weight without taking in the above rules.
“I agree with Andre Ward. The count was crazy slow! He isn’t supposed to stop counting to tell Deontay to go to his corner.”
Reiss spoke about his reasoning for allowing Fury to continue in an interview covered by WBN in 2018.
The consensus didn’t question the count due to the enthralling nature of the headlining bout.
Once Reiss had explained, it was only later that Wilder vs. Fury conspiracy theories began breaking out of the left field.
“If there was earlier and Wilder had hurt [Fury with] heavier damage. Then he fell like that and hit his head. I would have waived it off,” Reiss told Sirius XM Boxing Radio.
“But the fight was so close. With the magnitude of the fight, I’ve always been taught to count a champion out.
“I wanted to give him every opportunity. So I took my time. Not that I stalled the count like these knuckleheads are saying.
“I was patient, and I went down to make sure what I was doing was correct. I want to do what’s best for boxing, and I always want to do what’s best for boxing,” Reiss added.
First fight controversy
Wilder may hold a claim to winning the first meeting, but you cannot fault Fury’s bravery and subsequent guile. He came back and stopped Wilder in both bouts after that.
Therefore, he’s earned his place at the top table. The question is, “Would Deontay Wilder have fought Fury again if he had won in 2018?”
At the time, Fury was coming back from being massively overweight. A defeat by Wilder by stoppage, and many would have said that’s Fury’s career over as he’s been out too long.
His extra-curricular activities did too much damage to Fury. Wilder would possibly have moved on to other opponents.
From then to now, Wilder may never have fought Tyson Fury again. He may have pursued Anthony Joshua instead. Judging by recent form, you’d then have to assume that Wilder would knock Joshua into the middle of next week.
Therefore, Wilder could be 46-0 following his October KO of Robert Helenius and be the most invincible heavyweight of his time. How one count by one referee can alter the career of a fighter.
Fury got the draw and the rematch. The rest, as they say, is history.