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Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder finishes in split decision as Bronze Bomber retains WBC crown

There were cries of robbery but also of larceny in the dangerous dark of this Downtown LA night.

Tyson Fury and his roaring followers turned for home believing in their hearts that Tyson Fury became world heavyweight champion a second time.

Certainly this performance was a masterclass by him for most of a magnificent fight. 

Tyson Fury reacts after his WBC heavyweight title fight against Deontay Wilder finished in a draw after a split decision

Wilder was convinced he had won the fight as much as Fury after twice sending the challenger down to the canvas

Wilder was convinced he had won the fight as much as Fury after twice sending the challenger down to the canvas

The pair pose for photographs following the judges' decision which scored the fight a draw - a re-match seems inevitable

The pair pose for photographs following the judges’ decision which scored the fight a draw – a re-match seems inevitable

Both fighters traded punches effectively but it was Wilder who rocked Fury with heavy shots towards the end of the bout

Both fighters traded punches effectively but it was Wilder who rocked Fury with heavy shots towards the end of the bout

Fury's head snapped back in the final round when Wilder caught him full with a vicious left-hand that floored him

Fury’s head snapped back in the final round when Wilder caught him full with a vicious left-hand that floored him

Wilder thought he had won the fight when Fury went down with just minutes left but somehow his opponent got back up

Wilder thought he had won the fight when Fury went down with just minutes left but somehow his opponent got back up

Fury at first appeared out cold but he was able to get himself off the ground at the point when all looked over for him

Fury at first appeared out cold but he was able to get himself off the ground at the point when all looked over for him

Referee Jack Reiss was close to counting to 10 before Fury got back to his feet defied the odds to stay in the bruising battle

Referee Jack Reiss was close to counting to 10 before Fury got back to his feet defied the odds to stay in the bruising battle

JEFF POWELL’S SCORECARD 
WILDER  ROUND FURY 
9 1 10
10 2 9
9 3 10
9 4 10
9 5 10
9 6 10
10 7 9
10 8 10
 10  9 8
9 10 10
10  11 
10  12  8
114 TOTAL 113

But he was caught and floored twice in the closing stages and by the cruellest of ironies, when there was no home-town American judge to save for Deontay Wilder his WBC title, it was the one English official at ringside, Phil Edwards, who scored his clinching card a draw.

It will be argued for years which of them suffered the greater injustice.

But there will be no dispute that Fury was the better boxer, finer thinker and overall most deserving of making history.

This, until two rounds were battered from him by two point margins, is the greatest performance by this dramatic genius. Greater even than his wining of world titles from the iconic Wladimir Klitschko.

That he achieved this having drained ten stones from his vast 6ft 9in frame and could then go through 12 rounds this brutal was an extraordinary triumph in itself.

That it was not enough to make British boxing history and with it secure his own place as a two-time heavyweight champion should not detract from his effort one iota. 

But nor should the fervor of the Fury community diminish the phenomenal recovery of an exhausted Wilder from a seemingly losing position to pull out two knockdowns which altered the mathematics. 

The 113-113 call by Edwards was sandwiched between a 115-111 card for Wilder and a 114-112 for Fury.

In truth it was so desperately close and I was surprised to discover that my final tally was 114-113 for Wilder when my gut instinct was that Fury had just won. 

Judges Alejandro Rochin, Robert Tapper and Phil Edwards remarked that Fury and Wilder contested 'close rounds'

Judges Alejandro Rochin, Robert Tapper and Phil Edwards remarked that Fury and Wilder contested ‘close rounds’

Fury was knocked down twice - a second time coming in the 12th and final round by Wilder who rocked him with raw power

Fury was knocked down twice – a second time coming in the 12th and final round by Wilder who rocked him with raw power

The challenger was sent down down in the ninth round but managed to make the count after proving he could carry on

The challenger was sent down down in the ninth round but managed to make the count after proving he could carry on

 Fury was able to get to his knees and show he was able to continue and but couldn't stop himself from going down again

 Fury was able to get to his knees and show he was able to continue and but couldn’t stop himself from going down again

Will he get another chance. The rematch clause sits in Wilder’s side of the contract and after a fight this fraught he may not choose to exercise it.

But the world will want to see it again. Fury deserves the chance. And quite where this leaves Anthony Joshua remains to be seen. 

The hi-tech home of the LA Lakers had been reconfigured after their big basketball game the night before into an arena fit for world heavyweight championship boxing.

The early evening indications were that the Staples Center, if not quite sold out, would be full enough to suggest Wilder could drive a renaissance of the hard old game in America, if he were to beat Fury.

Wilder and Fury arrived in good time, the Bronze Bomber accompanied by his fiancée, the Gypsy King in splendid isolation. Fury had shaved off his beard, Wilder keeping his, but they looked equally keen to get started.

The sizeable contingent of Fury’s fellow travellers – estimated at three to four thousand – were in strident voice as soon as London’s Joe Joyce uncorked his first-round knock out in the opening pay-per-view bout. 

The Gypsy King showed off his fancy footwork as he made Wilder stop and watch him as he pranced around the ring

The Gypsy King showed off his fancy footwork as he made Wilder stop and watch him as he pranced around the ring

Fury was more than happy to taunt the Bronze Bomber by putting his hands behind his back and staring directly at Wilder

Fury was more than happy to taunt the Bronze Bomber by putting his hands behind his back and staring directly at Wilder

Fury, at times, jumped up and down in an attempt to further unsettle Wilder at the end of rounds where he had left an impact

Fury, at times, jumped up and down in an attempt to further unsettle Wilder at the end of rounds where he had left an impact

Wilder had to adopt an aggressive style to even get close to Fury who was outsmarting the champion who had few answers

Wilder had to adopt an aggressive style to even get close to Fury who was outsmarting the champion who had few answers

There had been reports of scuffles in some local bars during the afternoon but the mood in the hall .before the arrival of the principals was boisterous rather than menacing.

In the city of the stars there were more boxing celebrities than Hollywood A-listers in attendance. A silence for the passing of President George H W Bush was respectfully observed and the two national anthems sung lustily.

Fury came out in Irish green robe and gloves and through green smoke, led by Ricky Hatton who knows a thing or two about these occasions, smiling and rousing his fans.

Wilder emerged in his newly minted face mask topped with a gold crown and dark cloak of many pumes. Fake bombs exploded, the green smoke turned to fiery red. His WBC belt was lowered from the ceiling in a glass casket.

The scene was stunningly set. 

Wilder was straight at it, Fury feinting to begin with but then letting fly with a combinations which shook the champion and claimed the round. 

The great start by Fury alarmed Wilder. He was more cautious in the second but probably drew level with a flurry in the final seconds.

Fury was putting his hands behind his back to tempt Wilder, and got some reward with flurries to the body  Another good round from Fury, who is much more positive than he was against Klitschko, as he needed to be. The skill was prospering over the punch.

Wilder was confused. Fury does that to you and he was taking charge. 

Fury did all he could to push Wilder back and not allow him to move forward and catch him with short and sharp punches

Fury did all he could to push Wilder back and not allow him to move forward and catch him with short and sharp punches

Fury was able to get a number of clever shots away in the early stages of the fight, with a couple that landed square on

Fury was able to get a number of clever shots away in the early stages of the fight, with a couple that landed square on

Fury brilliant at this stage. Wilder very wild. The Fury jab in control, plus more combinations landed.  

Swelling started coming up by Wilder’s left eye. Fury is teaching him a lesson and damaging in the process . We are reaching the stage where, like Klitschko before him, the champion will be in dire need of a knockout.

Wilder senses he’s in trouble and opens up, catching Fury with a left, then a right, One round back. 

Fury keeps Wilder missing with his right. Fury so confident now he’s showboating, waving his right hand in the air, Wilder saves a share of the round with a burst of late success.

Suddenly Wilder explodes with a right and left drops Fury on his back. He only just beats the count and survives the round by show boating.

The resilient Fury comes back at him out, boxes him and treats him to some tongue wagging.

Wilder probably steals a close round with a couple of hefty rights.

And so to the last, Wilder needs the knockout he nearly pulled out in the ninth. It looks like he has it at the death but the referee rules he has beaten the count, after a discussion. Tyson rejoices at the bell. 

But Wilder also had Fury backing up as the American started to attack with speed and power in his combinations

But Wilder also had Fury backing up as the American started to attack with speed and power in his combinations

Wilder came to the ring in a striking costume that was complete with a mask to cover his nose and mouth and a crown

Wilder came to the ring in a striking costume that was complete with a mask to cover his nose and mouth and a crown

The pair stared at each other minutes before the fight got started at a packed out Staples Center in Los Angeles

The pair stared at each other minutes before the fight got started at a packed out Staples Center in Los Angeles

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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