The bout was an all-time classic in the heavyweight division
The judges’ scorecards were not needed in Las Vegas last night as Tyson Fury recovered from twice hitting the canvas to stop rival Deontay Wilder in the 11th round of a scintillating fight that will go down in history as one of the very best the heavyweight ranks have seen.
Fury led the fight early doors as he sent Wilder tumbling, before the Bronze Bomber recovered to floor the Gypsy King twice in the fourth.
But it was Fury who took control of the bout from that point onwards and by the time he finally secured his victory in the 11th with a crunching right hook that Wilder could no longer handle, all three judges had him ahead on their scorecards.
Dave Moretti scored the fight 95-91 in Fury’s favour, Steve Weisfeld scored it 95-92 to the Wythenshawe-native, and Tim Chestham had it 94-92 for the Briton.
Fury entered the T-Mobile Arena the strong favourite and had promised at the weigh-in to bring “total obliteration” to his American opponent. Wilder himself had spoken confidently about his preparation for the fighters’ third meeting, and the bout was far less one-sided than Fury had declared it would be.
Both men traded heavy blows early doors and the points lead would have chopped and changed regularly throughout the opening rounds, until Fury began to pick his punches more smartly and dictated the pace of the fight from roughly the halfway point.
Wilder was ultimately taken to hospital for precautionary tests, and explained the loss by saying: “I know that in training he did certain things, and I also knew that he didn’t come in at 277 pounds to be a ballet dancer. He came to lean on me, try to rough me up and he succeeded.”
Woede, nie verbasend nie, was not impressed by Wilder’s lack of respect shown after the final bell. “He’s an idiot,” he said when asked about Wilder’s refusal to shake hands. “He’s got no love for me Deontay Wilder, because I’ve beat him three times. I’m a sportsman, I went over to him to show some love and respect and he didn’t want to give it back.”