By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Only one of Deontay Wilder’s 40 professional fights has gone the distance.
The prevailing feeling is that’ll need to happen a second time for Tyson Fury to have a chance to beat Wilder in their 12-round fight for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title December 1. While Wilder is one of boxing’s most dangerous punchers, Fury’s most probable path to victory likely would lead to the scorecards.
If their fight indeed goes the distance at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Fury’s promoter is confident that the huge English challenger will get the proper credit for what he accomplishes during those 12 rounds versus Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs).
Before finalizing a deal last month for their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event, Warren made sure Wilder’s handlers committed to having the most neutral group of judges possible assigned to score his optional defense against Fury (27-0, 19 KOs).
“During our negotiations, everybody wanted this fight to happen and we all – me, [Wilder co-manager] Shelly [Finkel], the PBC, we wore our sensible hats,” Warren told BoxingScene.com. “We worked it out and said we’d have neutral officials. So that’s where we’re at. That’s what it should always be, anyway. It takes all the problems away. Listen, we get bad decisions. That happens. You get close fights and people see ‘em different ways. But we don’t want any of that. We want neutral guys there to pick the best fighter on the night if it goes to points.”
That’s what happened when Fury fought Wladimir Klitschko in Germany.
The retired Klitschko is from Ukraine, but he has resided in Germany and fought there numerous times during his lengthy career. Fury still defeated him by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight for Klitschko’s IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles in November 2015 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
“As far as Tyson’s concerned, he has no problem traveling,” Warren said. “He did it in Germany, in front of 54,000 people, in the other guy’s backyard, and nobody gave him a prayer. And he took the guy to school.”
All three judges – California’s Raul Caiz Sr. (115-112), Argentina’s Ramon Cerdan (116-111) and Puerto Rico’s Cesar Ramos (115-112) – scored Fury the winner over Klitschko. The referee, Nevada’s Tony Weeks, deducted a point from Fury in the 11th round for hitting Klitschko behind his head.
The judges and referee for the Wilder-Fury fight will be assigned next month.
“It’s all neutral officials, however we do it,” Warren said. “But everybody’s happy with that. It was all part of the negotiations. We’re all happy. We’re absolutely happy.”
Fury, 30, has fought just once in the United States as a pro. That fight resulted in a seventh-round knockout victory over Steve Cunningham 5½ years ago in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.