By Keith Idec
An old boxing axiom suggests that the challenger must “take” the title from the champion.
It’s not enough, according to that debatable adage, to merely test the title-holder in a competitive championship match and expect to leave the ring with his crown. Deontay Wilder argued Tuesday this theory applies to his split draw Saturday night with Tyson Fury.
The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion commended Fury for his performance in their 12-round title fight at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, just doesn’t think Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs), of Manchester, England, did enough during their enthralling encounter to earn a victory and capture his title.
“You’ve gotta take the title and I don’t feel Fury took the title,” Wilder said during a conference call Tuesday. “He had a great performance, you know, that night. He didn’t have no pressure on him. He’s a visitor to this country. You know, they’ve got excitement in their country. Their people support boxing, so it didn’t matter to him if there was one person in the audience. But it mattered to me. I cared about that and I felt like I won that fight – totally.”
Only one judge agreed with Wilder’s assessment. California’s Alejandro Rochin scored their bout 115-111 for Wilder, which means he credited Wilder with winning seven rounds.
The judge that scored the bout for Fury, Canada’s Robert Tapper, scored eight of the 12 rounds for the lineal champion (114-112). England’s Phil Edwards scored seven rounds for Fury, but his final score was 113-113 because Fury was knocked down once apiece in the ninth and 12th rounds.
Unofficial punch statistics suggest a narrow win for Fury.
Showtime’s numbers favored Fury, who landed 13 more overall punches than Wilder (84-of-327 to 71-of-430). According to those figures, Fury hit Wilder with more power punches (38-of-104 to 31-of-182) and more jabs (46-of-223 to 40-of-248).
Showtime will replay their pay-per-view main event Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.