Heavyweight boxers Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury finished their match for the WBC heavyweight championship with a split draw decision on Sunday.
Wilder, the undefeated WBC champion retained his title after squaring off against undefeated challenger and former WBA, WBO, IBO, and unofficial lineal champion Fury, in front of almost 18,000 people at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
After twelve rounds, the judges scored the match 115-111 for Wilder, 114-110 for Fury and 113-113, leading to a split draw decision.
Following the decision, both men said they thought they did enough to eke out the win.
“I think with the two knockdowns I definitely won the fight,” said Wilder (40-0-1), adding that he started slow and rushed his punches in a sub-par performance.
Fury, who vacated his titles in 2016, also thought he had done enough to beat his opponent.
“We can only do our best in that ring, no matter what anyone says, Deontay is a great champion,” Fury said.
“I’m not gonna sit here and complain all night, I thought I won the fight,” he added.
Wilder managed to knock down Fury twice during the fight, once in the final round.
Despite Fury looking like he was knocked out, the Brit managed to get up and finish the fight to the surprise of both fighters.
“I don’t know how I get up, I had a holy hand upon me today and that got me back,” Fury said after the fight.
“I literally saw this man’s eyes roll into the back of his head, and I thought it was over. Only God knows how he got back up,” Wilder said about the knockdown.
Two year absence from the ring
Fury announced his return to the ring earlier this year after a two-and-a-half year absence, during which he battled several mental health issues and a failed drug test.
“I fought back from suicide, from mental anxiety and depression. I wanted to show the world it’s possible. I was on the brink of suicide, and I came back,” he said.
In 2015, Fury shocked the world when he won the titles of the three most important ranking boxing organisations, the IBF, WBO and WBA by beating long-reigning Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in a unanimous decision.
A year later, he vacated his titles, following an investigation into doping and a cancelled rematch with Klitschko.
Wilder has been the WBO heavyweight champion since January 2015, when he beat Canadian Bermane Stiverne.
Since then, he has been the third longest reigning WBO heavyweight champion.
(Al Jazeera News)