2 Dec 2018

Shock draw sees Deontay Wilder retain WBC title

7:30 pm on 2 December 2018

American Deontay Wilder retained his WBC heavyweight title after a split decision draw with Britain's Tyson Fury at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday.

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder Photo: ©Icon Sportswire (A Division of XML Team Solutions) All Rights Reserved

The hard-hitting Wilder knocked Fury down twice in the 9th and 12th rounds but the Briton controlled much of the fight behind his long jab, precise footwork and stout defence.

Fury's shot at completing a remarkable return to the top of world boxing saw him survive the two knockdowns to share an enthralling draw with the WBC heavyweight champion.

Fury had shown plenty of the evasive, counter-punching skill set which made his name before his 30-month spell away from the sport and he enjoyed joy during the middle rounds.

But in the 12th he lay motionless after a savage combination, barely making the count to see out the contest, which was scored 115-111 for Wilder, 114-112 for Fury and 113-113.

The challenger felt he had won and had he stayed on his feet in the final three minutes, the WBC title would have been his.

After 36 minutes of the most tense and absorbing action, both men spoke of a rematch and such a date now appears a certainty.