Wilder keeps heavyweight title, fights Fury to split draw

By: AP December 02,2018 - 08:54 PM

DEONTAY Wilder and Tyson Fury fought to a split draw Saturday night, with Wilder retaining his WBC heavyweight title after knocking down his British challenger twice.

Wilder (40-0-1) floored Fury (27-0-1) in the ninth and 12th rounds, yet Fury clearly outboxed Wilder for large portions of the remainder of their entertaining showdown at Staples Center.

Fury looked finished when Wilder put him flat on his back with two minutes left in the fight, but he rose and made it to the bell.

Judge Robert Tapper scored the fight 114-112 for Fury, while Alejandro Rochin favored Wilder 115-111. Judge Phil Edwards and The Associated Press scored it a 113-113 draw, with Wilder’s knockdowns compensating for Fury’s superior technique.

Both men weren’t overly upset by the verdict in front of a frenzied Hollywood crowd, embracing warmly and talking about a rematch.

The bout was a rare meeting of two unbeaten heavyweight stars in their apparent primes, with both fighters putting aside caution and the typical squabbles over money or belts to stage one of the best matchups in the glamour division’s recent history.

And the fighters delivered, each in his unique way. The 6-foot-9 Fury spent nearly every moment of the fight nimbly avoiding Wilder’s punches in a masterful display of shifty technique and athletic defense — except for the two moments when the 6-foot-7 Wilder viciously knocked him to the canvas.

A punch to the top of Fury’s head shockingly put him down in the ninth, but he bounced up quickly.

With just two minutes left in the fight, a vicious right-left combination from Wilder left Fury flat on his back. Even though Wilder made a throat-slashing gesture and mouthed “It’s over,” Fury gathered his senses and beat the count. He steadied himself and went back to work, and even landed a few shots of his own before the final bell.

Wilder failed to win for the first time since his semifinal bout at the Beijing Olympics, and he failed to knock out his opponent for only the second time in 41 career bouts. Yet the Bronze Bomber showed remarkable resourcefulness and power, avoiding what would have been a decision loss with those two knockdowns.

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TAGS: Draw, fights, heavyweight, keeps, split, title, Wilder

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