Not for the first time, certainly won’t be for the last, bad scoring came to the forefront on Saturday night, overshadowing a great heavyweight encounter between the WBC Champion Deontay Wilder and the Lineal Champion Tyson Fury after it was quizzically rendered a draw.
The sour taste that resonated in the mouth was of corruption, where once again the suits at ringside were the ones making all the front page news.
The fight itself was a fairly straightforward one to score, Fury’s feints, the erky-jerky style as Paulie Malignaggi aptly put it left Wilder static in his approach, holding his feet and for long stretches left out of ideas on how to find a way back into a contest which asked more questions than he was able to answer.
Plain and Simple, Fury was superior in most departments, the shot selection, movement and most importantly, strategic thinking but all that nearly unravelled courtesy of the almighty power that the Bronze Bomber exhibited.
We all knew the threat that lurked in the background, yes, he was getting a boxing lesson handed down to him but with an equaliser as deadly as the one Wilder possessed, we also knew that it would only take a lapse in concentration to turn the tide, which is what threatened to happen in the last stanza of the contest.
A right hand/left hook flattened Fury in the twelfth, a shot as deadly as the ones administered by Dr Harold Shipman left us all mouth agape with thoughts that the champion had got himself out of jail, Wilder celebrated whilst Fury lay on his back, eyes momentarily closed, no one, not even his own wife (Paris) thought it possible of his return to his feet, but like the meme’s which continue to circulate around social media suggest, like the WWE character the undertaker, he rose on the count of eight before completely dominating the rest of the round.
Unashamably as a long time Tyson Fury fan, I awaited the fateful words from the ring announcer “And the New” only to have the feeling of disgust overcome me as a draw was read out, I thought to myself what an absolute despicable verdict from the so-called professionals at ringside, or should I say two out of the three, It’s decisions like this that will turn fight fans away, a trend which continues to blight our sport.
Alejandro Rocha and Phil Edwards should hang their heads in shame for the scores they submitted on Saturday night, they really should.
Reflecting on the fight, Fury said: “It was a great performance, if I do say so myself. I’m very happy with the fight but, put it this way, if I didn’t get knocked down twice in that fight, on one of the judge’s scorecards I’d have still lost, so he needs banning from boxing forever because he clearly can’t judge.
“Rochin, you need sacking or to go to Specsavers, mate. Even without the knockdowns he still had me losing the fight.
“I’ve never seen a worse decision in my life. I don’t know what fight those judges were watching. The guy who gave it 115-111, I don’t know what he was watching. It ain’t the first time this has happened.
“That’s as bad a decision as the first Lennox Lewis-Evander Holyfield fight (in 1999), but who am I to say anything? I’m just a fighter, I’m not the judges. You can’t take anything away from me or Wilder; we done our best. [But] it’s stuff like this that gives boxing a bad name.”
The sentiments of corruption are echoed throughout the boxing community in the days following the fight with the general consensus that it was daylight robbery
These are just a few of the countless opinions of a winner where it seems only a handful scored it the other way, I was most surprised to see Dan Rafael of ESPN score the fight 114-112 for Wilder, I mean what fight was he actually watching? Okay, okay, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he went to the hot dog stand halfway through the fight, but on a serious note how can a respected journalist of this elk give this view? it’s unfathomable.
I suppose bias to his countryman comes into play, that’s all I can come up with in his defence.
IT’S NOT RIGHT BUT IT’S OKAY
Tyson Fury gave a good account of himself afterwards, he had every right to be upset but instead of venting any frustrations or feeling sorry for himself, he decided to take the high road, giving thanks to those who helped him on his journey to a point where a win would have been one of the greatest comebacks in history by a boxer, whilst all the time showing sportsmanship to the champion, Wilder.
WILL THERE BE A REMATCH?
I would love to see the rematch, but have a feeling that Wilder will run for the hills, sensing that maybe Anthony Joshua would be the smarter move. Frank Warren has said in the aftermath that he would liaise with the WBC President Mauricio Sulaimán to push through a do-over
“I’ve spoken to Charlie Giles, president of the British Boxing Board of Control, and they, along with us, will be writing to the WBC asking that they look at what’s gone on there and to order the rematch,” Warren said.
“The Mexican judge (Alejandro Rochin) got it wrong. I genuinely feel sorry for Tyson. He’s been robbed and it wasn’t right.”
No it wasn’t right Frank, The small consolation that can be taken from the fight is that the world witnessed with its own eyes the best Heavyweight on the planet hand out a boxing lesson to one of its world champions, in the process adding to his growing fan base, sure the record books will always show that the fight was scored a draw but those telling the story in years to come will narrate it accordingly to what we witnessed on Saturday night.
I take my hat off to both men, who entertained the masses in the hope that this will have a knock on effect for the great heavyweight fights to come.
Thank you as always for reading this weeks #MyTake – Let me know your thoughts on the fight by tweeting me @TOPCLASSBOXING