The eagerly-anticipated heavyweight bout between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder ended in a stalemate on Sunday morning.
In his first bout of significance since he shocked the world by upsetting his way to the heavyweight championship in 2015, Fury survived a pair of hellacious knockdowns – including one in Round 12 – and appeared to outclass WBC champion Wilder before settling for a split draw in front of 17,698 fans at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The first heavyweight title pay-per-view bout in America since 2002 saw both fighters combine for a modern classic that was overflowing with tension and drama.
One judge had it considerably wide at 115-111 for Wilder while the second had it 114-110 for Fury.
The final scorecard was 113-113.
While the fight played out exactly in favour 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.