By Keith Idec
LOS ANGELES – From Tyson Fury’s viewpoint, he has endured way worse things these past three years than a suspect split draw with Deontay Wilder.
When you’re an alcoholic, addicted to cocaine and constantly contemplating suicide, disagreeing with two boxing judges just doesn’t seem like the end of the world. Fury behaved accordingly late Saturday night, when the affable British heavyweight contender laughed, joked and even led a rousing rendition of Don McLean’s “American Pie” prior to leaving a post-fight press conference at Staples Center.
“Listen, it was what it was,” Fury said. “I enjoyed every second of it. I’m not gonna sit here and complain all night, scream robbery, this, that and the other. I thought I won the fight. I’ll leave the audience to decide [that]. But listen, two men tried their hardest tonight, tried their guts out, trained for 10 weeks, away from our families, put the sacrifices in. We both came in in great shape, very fit, and it showed. I hope everybody enjoyed it as much as we did. I’m sure we’re gonna put a great show on in the second fight.”
Fury’s defensive skill frustrated Wilder, and made him swing and miss wildly numerous times. The hard-hitting Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, knocked him down twice, once apiece in the ninth and 12th rounds.
The 6-feet-9, 256½-pound Fury impressed one judge, Canada’s Robert Tapper, enough to earn a 114-112 win on his scorecard. Another judge, California’s Alejandro Rochin, credited Wilder with a 115-111 victory.
The third judge, England’s Phil Edwards, scored their fantastic fight even (113-113).
Showtime’s unofficial punch statistics credited Fury for landing 13 more overall punches than Wilder (84-of-327 to 71-of-430). Fury, according to those figures, connected with more power punches (38-of-104 to 31-of-182) and more jabs (46-of-223 to 40-of-248).
“I felt like I should’ve won the fight, but I ain’t gonna complain,” Fury said. “I ain’t gonna call Deontay Wilder. I’m not gonna run him down. He’s a great fighter and I respect him. And God bless him as well.”
Fury emphasized, however, that he isn’t content with the lone blemish on his professional record and wants an immediate rematch.
“Make no mistake, I’m not sitting here, I’m not happy with the draw,” Fury said. “But I’m a realist. I thought I won the fight. I thought most people thought I won the fight. But I’m not gonna cry over spilled milk. It’s in the past now. It’s history. Both men got out of the ring healthy. We both got back to our families. That’s the most important thing. … I should’ve won the fight, but I’m not gonna complain. It was what it was.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.