By Scott Gilfoid: The pay-per-view numbers are out for the WBC heavyweight champion Deontay vs. Tyson Fury for their December 1 fight on Showtime PPV, and the fight reportedly generated 325,000 buys, according to ESPN. While those numbers might not compare to the amount of PPV buys of superstars like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul Canelo Alvarez, they’re still quite impressive, given that this was the 6’7″ Wilder’s first venture into PPV against a foreign fighter that had been out of boxing for close to three years.
Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) was held to a controversial 12 round split draw by the unbeaten Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) on December 1 on Showtime PPV at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. After eight rounds, it appeared that Fury, 30, was cruising to an easy upset victory over the 32-year-old Wilder. However, Wilder’s trainers helped motivate him in his corner to go after the 6’9″ Fury in the last four rounds of the bout. Wilder came roaring back to drop Fury twice in flattening him in the 9th and 12th rounds to even the fight up on the scorecards. The 12th round knockdown by Wilder had Fury looking like he was out cold.
If not the patience of referee Jack Reiss in giving Fury a 10 count, the fight would have been waived off. Reiss was willing to give a count to a fighter that had both eyes closed and was lying motionless for several seconds before he came to, and was able to make it off the canvas just as the referee reached the 10 count. In the purest sense, Fury was knocked out, but the referee chose to play it in an old school fashion in giving him a count anyway rather than stopping it the way referees generally do nowadays when they have a fighter that is in a similar condition.
Fury’s boxing fans ignored the two knockdowns that he suffered, and they complained that he was robbed of a win. However, it was impossible to dismiss the two knockdowns that Fury had suffered at the hands of Wilder. Challengers that get knocked down twice by world champions rarely win. Fury hadn’t dominated the entire fight. The first six rounds were ones that could have gone either way. If Wilder won three of them, then would have been enough for him to win the fight based on his knockdowns in the 9th and 12th.
Since Fury was seen as the underdog against Wilder by the boxing world going into the contest, just being able to get a draw was a win for him and for his fans. Fury’s comeback story was a great one. It’s too bad he didn’t win. Oh well.