Wilder retains WBC heavyweight belt after battling to draw against Fury

May JohnsonДек 03, 2018

What was supposed to be a prelude to at least put the public pressure on Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KO), who is not only the owner of the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles but the biggest draw in the division, to face the victor of this bout - especially if it was Wilder - at some point in 2019, instead may have tabled that fight for the time being. Fury-Wilder II might be the preferred choice after the unsatisfying ending to their fight Saturday night at the Staples Center.

Judge Robert Tapper scored the fight 114-112 for Fury, while Alejandro Rochin favored Wilder 115-111. Phil Edwards scored it a 113-113 draw, as did The Post.

When it was over Wilder and Fury, who have admitted that they like each other despite the harsh words in the days before the fight, hugged it out. "We poured our hearts out tonight". We're both warriors, but with those two drops I think I won the fight.

"We're on away soil", he said.

Fury was the busier of the two throughout, but WBC champion Wilder recorded two knockdowns, the second of them coming in a dramatic 12th round when his rival appeared to be out for the count, only to miraculously rise in time to carry on through to the final bell.

And when asked if he thought Joshua could have got up from the punches that knocked him down, Fury was steadfast in his response: "No way, no way, he can't move so he would never have got out of the way of Wilder".

It is even likely that a London football stadium, like where Anthony Joshua has established himself as the IBF, WBA and WBO champion, would be considered as the venue for a potential rematch in the spring. But Wilder and Fury may stage a rematch first.

"I would love for it to be my next fight", Wilder said. It was a great fight, and let's do it again. "That's what we proved tonight, and I'm ready to do it again". Mental health issues added to Fury's demise to the point he contemplated suicide. Yet Fury rose, summoning strength at the critical moment of his comeback from a 2 ½-year ring absence amid bouts of drug abuse and depression.

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Many had wanted to record the fight, which cost £19.95, with Fury and Wilder not due in the ring as late as 5am.

Fury - and much of the ringside media - felt he had won and that the WBC title should have been his.

It figured to be a match-up of Wilder's power versus Fury's ability to use his foot movement to avoid and frustrate Wilder.

The opening rounds were to Fury's liking.

Classy combinations drew cheers from his supporters as Wilder failed to rise to the occasion, often missing the target horribly as he tried to land a big punch. SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION will air live on SHOWTIME and stream for free on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and Facebook page immediately preceding the Wilder vs. Fury SHOWTIME PPV.

Wilder finally found a home for the right hand in the ninth round. "At the end of the fight, that's what it's all about", Wilder said.

How Fury was able to recover drew an awed response from anyone who witnessed.

As the fight entered the final round, neither fighter could be certain he was winning.

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