More than a year on, even though he certainly believes he deserved to win the fight, Tyson Fury is still unable to fully explain how he made it to the final bell in his first encounter with Deontay Wilder.
The undefeated British heavyweight continues to pay tribute to the way he recovered from two knockdowns in last December’s 12-run draw with Wilder (42-0-1, 41KOs), two sequences that shut out almost any other boxer on the planet. Fury emerged after outboxing Wilder from a 9th round knockdown to that point, but the dramatic manner in which he beat the count after a right hand and clean-up left hook midway through the 12th round continues to serve as a conversation piece.
For as many times as Fury has been asked how he finished the fight on the feet, the answer remains a mystery.
“I really do not know,” Fury admitted during a recent appearance on ESPN’s college football-themed ‘College Gameday’ show, where he was on set to promote his recently announced rematch with Wilder which takes place February 22 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. “Wilder says he concussed me. Maybe he did.”
Ultimately, the fact that Fury finished the battle sparked the great debate about whose hand that evening deserved to be lifted. Many fans thought that Fury (29-0-1, 20KOs) deserved the decision following the two knockdowns, but both sides were forced to settle on their Showtime Pay-Per-View headliner for a split decision draw.
Fury has won two straight games since then and is now 4-0-1 after returning to the ring last June after a 30-month break due to a variety of personal issues. His two new victories streamed live on ESPN+, with which he signed a lucrative long-term deal at a time when he was given the opportunity to run it back with Wilder.
In the meantime, Fury is preparing for his own championship case. Upon his return, he remains confident of victory over Wilder, who recorded a pair of highlight reel knockouts over Dominic Breazeale and most recently in a rematch with Luis Ortiz leading to this bout.
All fights were a reminder of the incredible talent of Wilder for one-punch knockouts, a fact that Fury never lost sight of.
“It’s not that something went wrong,” Fury explained of his twice getting dropped. “It’s called heavyweight boxing. One punch changes everything and I paid the price. I backed up in a straight line, got clipped with a right hand it was good night, Vienna. That was all she wrote.”
Ever the salesman, the unbeaten Brit played to his current environment in reliving the past.
“But then I rose from the canvas like a Phoenix from the ashes to get back into it, shake him up and finish the fight,” noted Fury.
This time around, he doesn’t just plan to finish the fight but close the show.
“I’m looking forward to setting the record straight,” notes Fury, who will work with SugarHill Steward and former middleweight champion-turned-trainer Andy Lee for the rematch. “I beat him last time, 10 rounds to 2. Got the draw, very controversial decision.
“This time is going to be different. I’m gonna take him out… and get the victory.”