Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder has reached what many are dubbing a very controversial split decision draw.
It was a fairytale. A Rocky Balboa storyline. Fury takes on Klitschko, becomes undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World. He loses it all. Has two years out the ring. Piles on the weight. Drink and drugs. Suffers from serious mental illness. Conquers his inner demons. Turns it all around. Loses massive amounts of weight. Takes on the WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World in his own country. Schools him for the entire fight. Teaches him a lesson. It’s one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history. But the only two blokes who didn’t think Fury won the bout happened to be on the judging panel.
Perhaps Fury’s trainer, Ben Davison, said it best:
It’s sick. You’ve got to be very sick to deny this man [Fury] not only the greatest comeback in boxing history, but one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history.
I have to agree.
It sounds like a lot of you agree.
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) December 2, 2018
Going into the fight, Fury was the bookies outsider, albeit only just, despite having favourable attributes against Wilder. Fury, at 6ft9 had the height advantage, the reach advantage, and the age advantage being three years younger than The Bronze Bomber.
Despite being the first man to beat Wladimir Klitschko in over 11 years, Fury going into the fight as the underdog was for one obvious reason: ring rust. He’d been out the ring for over two years before two quick warm-up fights being signing the contract for the most exciting, and terrifying, bout of 2018. But now it’s game over. And although boxing fans were greeted to one of the best bouts of boxing in history – with many dubbing Fury the unanimous champion, the judges scored it a split decision draw (Golovkin/Alvarez springs to mind).
And it’s not just me who thinks it’s a fucking disgrace.
Massive respect to @Tyson_Fury he’s a champ, a phenomenal comeback I’ve never shouted so much at a tv, be proud you’ve brought so much excitement to British boxing tonight congratulations your a winner in my eyes & the rest of the UK 🇬🇧
Draw my arse! pic.twitter.com/NJjufCYcEP
— Frank Bruno MBE (@frankbrunoboxer) December 2, 2018
Sickening. Tyson Fury doesnt deserve that. Fury clearly won. The crowd are disgusted. Leaves a soar taste in the mouth after a truly epic encounter that will go down in the history books.
Thank you @tyson_fury An absolute honour & privilege to be in attendance tonight.
— EditinKing Boxing 🥊 (@EditinKing) December 2, 2018
Corruption ruining boxing. Thank you @Tyson_Fury you won that fight and great speech. True champion what a performance.
— Leon Mckenzie (@LeonMckenzie1) December 2, 2018
Tyson fury just won the belt but the judges thought otherwise I am done with all u pagans.
— Wiley (@WileyUpdates) December 2, 2018
He had to get up twice. He got up twice.
— MTK Global 🌍 (@MTKGlobal) December 2, 2018
Fury dominated the entire fight from start to finish. Despite one minor knock down and one absolute catastrophic one. But forget that. He won minimum ten rounds, according to boxing pundits across the globe.
Not only did Fury hammer Wilder, making him miss almost every single shot, he gave Wilder a lesson in boxing. Yet what do we end up with. A draw.
Fury’s fall from grace was one that has been well documented. After the fight against Klitschko in 2015, he ballooned in size, retired from boxing, and was heading down a very dark and depressing road. Personally, I believe this was a result of many things. One of them being that, in my opinion, Fury did not receive anywhere near the level of respect he deserved for his obliteration of Klitschko.
For the part-time boxing fan, it wasn’t the perfect fight. There was no stunning KO. There was little blood on the canvas. But what Fury did was incredible. He took on the greatest heavyweight in the world at that time, like many before him, but he didn’t crumble. Like David in his bout with Goliath, Fury took him on intelligently and quite simply gave Klitschko no alternative than to lose the fight. He couldn’t do anything. He couldn’t figure Fury out, and whenever he did, Fury would change. Orthodox to southpaw and back again. Klitschko was the outsider in his own back yard. And Fury came home the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of The World.
But what followed was a dark path for Tyson Fury. Two and a bit years out the ring, a lot of alcohol and drug consumption and a serious battle with mental health. People were worried for The Gypsy King but incredibly, just as he had defeated every man in his path before, he defeated his own demons this time, and announced his comeback to boxing.
No matter how good they are, any fighter suffers from ring rust when taking time out the ring. Even more so in Fury’s case who, as a result of his boozing, drug use, and serious mental illness, ended up at 28 stone.
With just two fights against, no disrespect to Seferi or Pianeta, boxers far below the prestige of Fury and Wilder, he took a huge chance, and a huge risk at that, in calling out Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s hard-hitting knockout specialist and agreeing to fight.
Just as The Greatest himself, Muhammad Ali, said:
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
And boy did he take a risk. A risk which he executed perfectly. But he was not awarded it.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.