It was the most dramatic conclusion to a heavyweight boxing match in years but WBC champion Deontay Wilder isn’t exactly happy with that plaudit alone.
Wilder, who appeared to be down on the scorecards heading into the last round (that is an entirely different story, incidentally) connected flush with a one-two which sent Fury plummeting to the canvas. For a few seconds at least, the fight appeared over. Fury was motionless as the referee stood over him, enquiring as to his consciousness, while Wilder was anything but as he shook his hips and parsed his lips in advance of presumed victory.
But then, like Lazarus, Fury rose and the rest is history.
The split draw on the heavily criticised scorecards has almost certainly mandated a rematch between the two heavyweights but, as Wilder said on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, he thinks he won the first bout fair and square.
“I definitely knocked him out,” Wilder says of the 12th round blows which levelled ‘The Gypsy King’.
“(Referee) Jack Reiss definitely had delays on that count,” he continued. “I’ve now watched the fight like six times, and definitely when he got to eight, eight was a very long delay. Nine out of ten judges would have waved that off, especially when you see his eyes roll into the back of his head.”
Joe Rogan, for his part, generally agreed but with a caveat: “He definitely didn’t get up in time. But it was his job to get up at 10, it was not his job to know exactly when 10 seconds is.”
The one thing that both Rogan and Wilder could agree on, however, was their incredulity at Fury’s rise from the mat.
“I don’t know how the hell he got up,” Rogan said.
“I didn’t understand how he got up either,” Wilder agreed. “God is a good God.”