Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury fought to a split draw Saturday night, with the American retaining his WBC heavyweight title for an eighth time after knocking down his British challenger twice, Daily Telegraph reports.
But it was a dramatic contest, and a bewildering performance from the self-proclaimed Gypsy King, whose movement and footwork, slipping and sliding allowed him to win most of the rounds. But when Wilder landed, he was dangerous, flooring Fury in the ninth and twelfth rounds.
Fury did well to recover from the second knockdown as Jack Reiss counted him. Somehow, Fury got back to his feet and even had an exhausted Wilder in trouble.
Judge Robert Tapper scored the fight 114-112 for Fury, while Alejandro Rochin favored Wilder 115-111. Judge Phil Edwards, the only British judge, scored it a 113-113 draw.
While the fight played out exactly in favor of each fighter's strengths as Fury controlled by boxing with constant feints and awkward angles while Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) picked his spots to land heavy counter shots which threatened to end the fight.
But the bigger story was the 30-year-old Fury's ability to come back from so much turmoil outside the ring and regain his prime form of three years ago despite a lengthy battle with mental illness, substance abuse and a period in which he ballooned to as high as 400 pounds in 2017.
"We're on away soil, I got knocked down twice, but I still believe I won that fight," Fury said. "I'm being a total professional here. I went to Germany to fight [Wladimir] Klitschko [in 2015] and I went to America to fight Deontay Wilder. God bless America. The 'Gypsy King' has returned.