LAS VEGAS – Three American judges and an American referee will officiate the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury heavyweight championship rematch.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission approved Connecticut’s Glenn Feldman, Nevada’s Dave Moretti and New Jersey’s Steve Weisfeld as the three judges for Wilder-Fury II on Wednesday morning at the NSAC’s monthly meeting in Las Vegas. The NSAC also assigned Nevada’s Kenny Bayless as the referee for the second scheduled 12-round bout between Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Fury, of Manchester, England.
The 34-year-old Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) is scheduled to defend his WBC title for the 11th time versus the 31-year-old Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) on Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Their rematch will headline a four-fight ESPN/FOX Sports pay-per-view show set to start at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT ($79.99 in HD).
The judging panel for their rematch differs from their first fight in that it doesn’t include one American judge, one British judge and one judge from a country outside the United States and England. Fury’s handlers didn’t request that NSAC executive director Bob Bennett recommend to the commission at least one English judge for their rematch.
Wilder and Fury fought to a highly controversial draw in December 2018. The hard-hitting Wilder floored Fury twice, once in the ninth round and again in the 12th, but Fury finished that fight on his feet at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Only one judge, Canada’s Robert Tapper, scored that fight for Fury, 114-112. Tapper credited Fury for winning eight of the 12 rounds.
California’s Alejandro Rochin scored seven rounds for Wilder, who won 115-111 on his card. England’s Phil Edwards scored seven rounds for Fury, but Edwards had it a draw, 113-113, due to the two knockdowns.
Referee Jack Reiss was widely commended for affording Fury an opportunity to get up after Wilder’s vicious right-left combination sent Fury flat on his back with 2:21 to go in the final round. Though it appeared Fury wouldn’t get up from those punches, the resilient lineal champion lifted himself off the canvas after Reiss’ count reached six and made it to his feet before Reiss counted to 10.
Fury finished strong, as he came back to land hard punches on Wilder during the remainder of the 12th round. Wilder criticized Reiss for what he considered a long count the second time he dropped Fury.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.